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The Art of Denver’s New Luxury Hotel

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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The Art of Denver’s New Luxury Hotel

If you’re traveling to Denver this summer, check out The Art hotel, which opened in June 2015. Developed by Corporex Companies and philanthropist Lanny Martin, who also chairs Denver Art Museum's board of trustees, The Art is the first luxury hotel in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to the Denver Art Museum, the History Colorado Center, the Clyfford Still Museum, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, and a variety of art galleries. Corporex hopes the hotel will serve as a catalyst for revitalizing the area, which was hit hard during the recession, and draw more attention to the arts in Denver.

 

Dianne Vanderlip, former curator of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, is now the in-house curator at The Art. The hotel's art collection boasts a “who’s who” of modern art, including Tracey Emin, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg, Leo Villareal, and Andy Warhol. Some of the most notable pieces are LeWitt’s massive tri-color piece that greets guests as they enter the hotel and Villareal’s light show that flashes patterns on the ceiling of the outdoor portico. There are bronze horses, avant-garde videos playing on the elevators, and more. Off the elevators, each floor will display a modern artist’s original piece, and the artist’s works and color palette will translate into each guest room. “Every piece was predicated by a desire to say something about the specialness of Colorado…” said Vanderlip in an interview with Condé Nast Traveler.

 

“Some hotels just use decorations or cheap facsimile art,” artist Mary Ehrin, who was commissioned to create a sculpture for the hotel, told Colorado Public Radio. “Using real great art is important because strong work inspires strong discussion.”

The Art also includes a high-end restaurant, a bar with an outdoor terrace, and two floors of leasable office space.

 

Learn more.

 

Photo courtesy of The Art hotel.

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Kaiser Permanente Employee Shows Her Creative Outlet

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Meet Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government, external relations and research for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. In her spare time, she’s a fabric artist and has completed more than 100 beautiful pieces—some of which she proudly displays all over her home. See how Dr. Allen-Davis incorporates her creativity and problem solving skills into her artwork as well as her work at the office.

 

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Pro sports could be your arts organization’s next power play

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Banks, industrial manufacturers, energy and technology giants—these often become the “usual suspects” when arts organizations seek to build partnerships with businesses. But for some arts organizations, a major opportunity may lie the unlikeliest of industries—professional sports.

 

According to a recent Forbes article, professional sports, as a North American industry, generated a whopping $53.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to rise to $67.7 billion by 2017. This provides terrific potential for arts organizations to look within their own backyards at their local professional sports teams as possible strategic partners. In the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII, let’s examine this idea through the lens of the National Football League (NFL) and rival Super Bowl rival teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, who have each integrated the arts into the investments they are making within their respective communities.

 

The mission of the NFL Foundation is to support the health and safety of today’s youth and improvement of the communities in which its players and fans live. The arts play a key role. The Foundation recently announced a $1 million grant to the New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee’s Snowflake Youth Foundation, which funds charitable projects throughout New York and New Jersey, many of which provide visual art, dance and drama programs for youth. Additionally, for nearly 20 years, the NFL has supported the Youth Education Town (YET) program. Similar to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YET Centers provide after-school activities for school-age children, many of which are heavily arts-focused. YET Centers are launched with a $1 million Super Bowl Legacy Grant from NFL Charities that is matched by the Super Bowl Host community.

 

CenturyLink Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks, began its Stadium Art Project in 1998. 12 artists and projects were selected from hundreds of submissions. The artworks, now on display, have turned the stadium into a veritable gallery space featuring $2 million worth of art. Works include Bob Haozous’ installation on the stadium’s North Tower, assembled from four 24-foot-diameter painted steel discs, intended as a constant reminder of our deep connection to the earth. Additionally, the Seahawks support the Experience Music Project (EMP), a Seattle museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. (Photo courtesy of CenturyLink Field.)

 

Mike Flood, director of community relations for the Seattle Seahawks, describes the team’s partnership with InvestEd, an organization that provides funding to support the efforts of secondary schools throughout Washington state: “We donate auction items to causes supporting the arts. Our primary focus is on the healthy development of youth through athletic and academic programs. 100% of proceeds from Seahawks license plate sales (after state of WA costs) go to InvestED.  They give money to students in 660 schools statewide to pay for extracurricular activities such as art, music and sports.”

The Denver Broncos have invested in the arts by building and supporting organizations and programs that serve the greater Denver community. For example, in 2003, the Broncos opened the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, which, among its many services, provides art programming intended to develop creativity and cultural awareness in young people through knowledge and appreciation of visual arts and crafts, performing arts, and creative writing. The Club has a dedicated cultural arts room, offering classes in music, drama, fine arts, crafts, photography, woodworking and more.

 

According to the 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, 66% percent of companies surveyed admit to never having been asked to support the arts, which means there are still resources yet to be tapped by arts organizations. Look beyond the “usual suspects” and consider a partnership with your local professional sports team. No matter who you are rooting for in Sunday’s game, recognize that the professional sports industry and the support it provides, particularly through partnerships with the arts, can be the best play your team can make to improving the vibrancy and vitality of your community.

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Announcing the 2013 CBCA Business for the Arts Award Winners

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks at the 2013 CBCA Business for the Arts Awards.The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) has announced the winners of the 2013 Business for the Arts Awards, Colorado’s signature event honoring companies and individuals for their exemplary partnerships and engagement with the arts, to a sold-out crowd of arts, business, and civic leaders at the Seawell Grand Ballroom this afternoon. 

 

“Congratulations to the arts and business leaders recognized today,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “Colorado is known for its craft breweries, galleries and world-class entertainment venues. Our creative industries create jobs, foster innovation, help to drive our economy and enhance the lives of all Coloradans.”

 

“The arts support the economic foundation of our City and impact each and every Denver citizen, both directly and indirectly,” Mayor Hancock said. “In 2011, our area’s art community contributed $1.76 billion in economic activity, including growth in jobs, volunteering and economic impact. These figures prove the important and necessary role arts and culture play in Denver as we move forward.”

 

 “When arts and business partner, we see increased vitality, civic engagement, and innovation.  The whole community benefits,” Deborah Jordy, Executive Director, CBCA said.

 

The following five winners were chosen from fifteen finalists:

 

Create Award (new in 2012) acknowledges an outstanding, for-profit creative business that has made a significant impact on Colorado’s creative economy

  • I Heart Denver Store for its innovative retail model featuring locally-designed goods from the best of Colorado’s creative sector

 

Impact Award highlights the innovative use of the arts to propel business success, programs that engage employees with creativity and other community activities that support arts and business partnerships

  • Denver International Airport for the DIA Art & Culture Program, which elevates the airport experience while highlighting Colorado’s cultural communities

 

John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award recognizes a business sector individual who has made significant contributions to advancing arts and culture in Colorado

  • Chuck Morris for his support of Colorado’s music community by attracting world-class acts, building exceptional venues, and supporting local artists and nonprofits

 

Philanthropy Award honors exemplary corporate citizenship and generosity to arts and cultural projects and organizations

  • CBS4 for its financial, in-kind, and editorial contributions to the arts that have raised cultural awareness for over twenty years

 

Workspace Award pays tribute to an exceptional work environment that advances business objectives

  • Newmont Mining Corporation for using art to strategically display its global presence while highlighting international connectivity in its newly expanded corporate offices

 

The distinguished judging panel for the 2013 Business for the Arts Awards consisted of:

 

Lead sponsors for the event were Ernst & Young and Pinnacol Assurance. Additional sponsors of the 2013 Business for the Arts Awards included Delta Dental of Colorado, Denver Arts & Venues, Kaiser Permanente, GE Johnson Construction Company, John Madden Company, Snell & Wilmer, The Publishing House, CBS4, ColoradoBiz Magazine and The Denver Post Community.

 

Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

On the Fence in Denver

Posted by Deanne Gertner
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On the Fence in Denver

I hate construction sites.

 

I know, I know: it means architects drafting blueprints; it means a plumber buying his daughter a new tutu; it means an accountant sweating the costs of nuts and bolts; it means a toy manufacturer making more plastic tool sets; it means realtors and workman’s comp insurers and educators and marketing people all get to work and in turn buy things like groceries and clothes and gasoline, pay taxes and rent, and go to the museum or the zoo or the theatre or the gallery.

 

Construction equals jobs and homes and a buzzing economy.

 

Intellectually, I get it. I really do. As the granddaughter and niece of electricians, I really should have a better attitude about it, because, arguably, without construction, I wouldn’t even be here.

 

Maybe it’s that I’ve been hollered, hooted, and whistled at one too many times, albeit less and less as I’ve gotten older. Or maybe it’s the noise and the ugly mess of it coupled with the possibility of a nail puncturing my car tires that makes my left eye twitch. But lucky for my delicate aesthetic, Denver businesses are finally catching on and are turning their construction sites into canvases, so to speak.

 

Case study numero uno: Children’s Hospital Colorado, Phipps/McCarthy, and UMB Bank, joint finalists for Colorado Business Committee for the Arts’ (CBCA’s) 2012 Business for the Arts Awards in the Impact category for the Many Hands Create Art project.

 

Faced with increased patient demand and limited space, Children’s Hospital broke ground on a 10-story, 124-bed tower in 2010. The Phipps/McCarthy team, in an effort to minimize the construction’s impact on the patients in the existing hospital, suggested hanging murals from the fence lining surrounding the site. Nearly 100 mural panels were created to camouflage the construction fences. More than 40 hospital groups comprised of patients, families, nurses, physicians and staff, 25 professional artists and local art students, and seven local community groups including schools and visual arts nonprofits came together to create the panels. That’s a whole lot of art making, folks!

 

The murals weren’t simply about beautifying a fence but also engaging community, encouraging collaboration, and harnessing the healing power of the arts. UMB Bank, presenting sponsor of the mural project, funded an artist honorarium of three creative workshops for hospital patients and staff and even commissioned professional artists to create panels at two bank locations.

 

Phipps/McCarthy, contributing sponsor, donated labor and mural materials while employees installed the panels pro bono in November 2011. The work will be up through the duration of the construction until December 2012.

 

You see, it takes a village (or at least a group of dedicated folks) to turn blah into ah:

Case Study #2: Denver International Airport (DIA).

 

 

Conspiracy theories aside, DIA does a lot, I mean A LOT, of construction. On my way from the parking garage to my flight to San Antonio for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention  just a few weeks ago, for example, I saw no less than three construction projects. But here is the genius of DIA and its public art program: Terminal Kings, 100’-long, 8’-tall panels on moveable 4’ sections by world-renowned street artists Sam Flores, David Choe, and Highraff.

 

The murals act as unique, mobile, adjustable barricades between travelers and airport construction and will be on rotating display until 2017. The murals make the airport construction not only tolerable but enjoyable, pulling the viewer in with their vibrancy and urban feel. After suffering through TSA, I was rewarded at Jeppsen Terminal with a punch of color and the swirling forms of Sam Flores while I waited for my train to Concourse B. The mural was a welcome and fun respite from the hassles of travel, like a hopscotch for the eyes. Terminal Kings takes public art from a fixed point in time and space to a moveable feast of form and function.

 

Final case study of this post to really dump a ton of bricks on your noggin: Denver’s Union Station.

 

Union Station, a historic transcontinental railroad station, had for years languished in underuse until the recent decision to create a mixed-purpose, multi-modal transportation hub in the heart of Denver’s Lower Downtown. Of course, this is all fine and dandy when the work is complete, but for now, there are mounds of dirt and cranes and diggers. It does not, to put it mildly, look pretty over there.

 

Except that is, for the whimsical fence treatment by the Ladies Fancywork Society (LFS), whose claim to fame includes yarn bombing some of Denver’s most beloved public art pieces (i.e. adding a ball and chain to Lawrence Argent’s “I See What You Mean” and putting leg-warmers on Jonathan Borofsky’s “Dancers”). Instead of pigeonholing LFS as knitting outlaws, Arts & Venues Denver, the city’s cultural affairs division, and Union Station opted to join LFS in their yarn frenzy (since they obviously could not beat them) and commissioned the group to create the fun and cheery Flower Garden Fence of crocheted, rainbow-colored flowers, lady bugs, ants, spiders, birds, bees, and clouds. The Flower Garden Fence proves that sprucing up a boring chain-link fence requires only the good, old-fashioned talents of an artist collective (and mad amounts of yarn).

 

And there you have it. Three shining examples of business and art working together to make a better environment, one that pulls people into the project rather than pushes them away, and create lasting partnerships that make Denver the great place it’s become.

 

So next time you break ground or knock out a wall, get your local artists, crafters, and community together to paint a panel or crochet a seascape or up-cycle bottle caps into a mosaic.

 

As Einstein said, “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” And construction sites, too.

 

*'Flower Garden Fence' beautifies a Denver construction site (Photo by Ladies Fancywork Society)

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Partnering with the Arts On and Off the Slopes

Posted by Emily Peck
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Aspen Skiing Company won Colorado Business Committee for the Arts' (CBCA's) 2012 Business for the Arts Impact Award which highlights innovative use of the arts to propel business strategies.  Aspen Skiing Company partnered with the Aspen Art Museum to bring together skiing and contemporary art.  The results? Skiers saw arts in unexpected places and the initiative helped Aspen's business stand out from the crowd.  Watch the video to learn more.
 


 

At the awards event, the Honorable Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper said, “Partnerships between arts and business help define Colorado. These types of collaborative efforts attract new businesses to our state and go hand in hand with the innovative spirit that makes Colorado a great place to live, work and play.”

 

Want to see more? Check out videos from the other CBCA award winners and finalists on why they partner with the arts in Colorado.

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