Want to tour Denver’s art scene?
Contemporary art, by definition, is art that’s happening, that’s now. On Thursday, the Vail Symposium will host a tour to see what’s “happening” in Denver. While Denver is generally known for its mountains and stadiums, it is also becoming one of the contemporary-art meccas of the world. Art districts are cropping up everywhere in metro Denver. And with the addition of the Denver Art Museum’s new Frederick C. Hamilton Building, the Contemporary Art Museum’s new building and the Clyfford Still Museum to be built west of the DAM, even more art-world attention and growth will be headed Denver’s way.The Vail Symposium Contemporary Art Tour will include stops at the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and Kent and Vicki Logan’s loft in LoDo. Participants will meet at CMC Edwards at 8 a.m. and return at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $100 for symposium members/$125 for nonmembers and includes transportation and lunch at Palettes. For reservations, call or visit the Vail Symposium at 476-0954 or http://www.vailsymposium.org.The Vail Symposium tour will begin at the Denver Art Museum, where a curator will lead a guided tour of the museum’s RADAR collection. The group will also meet Dean Sobel, director of the planned Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. The Clyfford Still Museum is scheduled to open in 2009. It will premier an enormous collection of art (nearly 3,000 works) by the Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still, who died in 1980 at the age of 75. In his will, Still, who was fiercely private and overwhelmingly contemptuous of the art world, demanded that his entire estate (nearly 95 percent of the work he ever made), be bequeathed only to an American city, which would build a museum to display his art and his art alone; no works could ever be sold. Sobel will explain how Denver became that city.Contemporary-art beginningsThe Denver Art Museum began as the Denver Artists’ Club in the 1890s. At various points in time, it could be found at the public library, in a downtown mansion and in a portion of the Denver City and County Building. In 1949, however, the organization found a permanent home on 14th Avenue Parkway. Today, the critically-acclaimed museum occupies 356,000 square feet and includes gallery space, three temporary exhibition venues and a 280-seat auditorium.The modern and contemporary-art collections are located in the Hamilton Building, the most recent expansion to the museum, completed in the summer of 2006. The collection contains more than 4,500 works in a wide variety of media, with emphasis on emerging artists as much as on internationally known names.Before leaving the Denver Art Museum, the group will have lunch at its five-star reviewed restaurant, Palettes.Museum of Contemporary ArtThe next stop will be the Museum of Contemporary Art in lower downtown Denver, where Miami-based artist team Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar were commissioned to create “an experimental space for the idea of hope” in a large-scale environment. MCA’s Deputy Director, Judy Taylor, will guide us through the installation, called “The Peace Project,” which opened today.The MCA is an innovative forum that inspires and challenges all audiences and creates understanding and dialogue about art of our time. The organization was founded in 1996 by a group of energetic community volunteers and artists deeply committed to creating a permanent home for contemporary art in Denver. Exhibitions and programs at the museum focus on “celebrating the artistic strengths of this region while integrating national and international artists, curators and writers to create rich, cross-disciplinary discourse.”Art in LoDoThe day will end in LoDo, with a viewing of selections from the private collection of Kent and Vicki Logan. The Logan Collection (consisting of about 1,000 pieces) is known to be among the largest and most spectacular contemporary-art collections in the world.Last year, Vail Councilman Kent Logan and his wife, Vicki, pledged a $60 million gift to the Denver Art Museum. It is the largest planned gift in the museum’s history. The bequeathal also includes the donation of the Logan’s 15,000-square-foot home and gallery in Vail. In all, the Logans have promised more than 550 works of art to the museum. Artists include Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.