There’s a new piece of public art coming to downtown Denver, but viewers could be excused if they can’t tell the difference between the sculpture and any nearby construction site. That’s because the artwork will be made from 100 PVC pipes, the same ones that are used to carry water and sewage to and from apartment buildings, businesses, homes and offices.
The temporary outdoor installation, called “Pipelines,” will be built in a small plaza that sits just across the 16th Street Mall from Union Station as part of the inaugural Cities Summit of the Americas, April 24-30. The summit is a gathering of government, business, academia, culture and arts leaders from the Western Hemisphere who will talk about shared challenges.
When it is complete, the blue, green and pink installation will allow the public to interact with parts of it, according to Black Cube Nomadic Art, a Denver-based nonprofit arts organization that is co-sponsoring the artists with the Biennial of the Americas.
“The blue, green and pink in the artwork come from the colors used by the PVC pipe industry to identify fresh water, sewage and grey water, respectively. We use them to recall the cyclical nature of resource management: supply, waste and recycling,” Toronto-based artists Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster said in a statement. “The installation aims to make visible and prominent a system that is vital, yet often taken for granted or ignored — an attitude no longer possible in times of environmental crisis and resource scarcity.”
Black Cube executive director Cortney Stell said she chose the piece because it ties into “wider conversations that are important to our city,” including the climate, health, basic needs and Denver’s current effort to replace lead pipes with PVC in many residential neighborhoods.
Stell didn’t want to give away the final look of the art, however, which will be constructed in mid-April and unveiled to the public on April 23.
In addition to the installation, which will only be on view until Sept. 10, Denver is renaming the triangular plaza from Tail Tracks Plaza to Plaza of the Americas.
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