Denver Airport to feature local artist’s sculpture

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Denver International Airport (DEN) in Colorado has selected a sculpture by local artist Thomas ‘Detour’ Evans to install on B-East by 2025.

Evans’ sculpture, It’s Not What You Take, It’s What You Bring Back, was selected by a panel of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and civic leaders for DEN’s Concourse B-East expansion site. The artwork is inspired by the idea that life is always in perpetual motion, with our luggage carrying the items we hold dear. The sculpture is intended to highlight the diverse community of Denver and its surrounding areas through a companion website archiving each piece of upcycled Colorado luggage as well as the neighborhood and history of the individual it came from. The artwork will be approximately 9 x 6 x 3m and will hang from the concourse ceiling, welcoming and bidding farewell to passengers.

Three additional public artworks will be integrated into the A-West, B-West and C-East expansions and will be announced at a later date. The budget for the artwork is US$450,000. Funding for this project comes from the city’s 1% for Public Art Ordinance designated by the Gate Expansion Program’s construction budget at DEN. No taxpayer dollars are used for any artwork at DEN.

Evans said, “I am proud that millions of travelers will discover this piece during their time at the airport. By using Colorado luggage, the work is an open invitation to learn about each other. I wanted the work to strike a common chord among all travelers regardless of background. I hope that once installed, the work gives travelers an opportunity to feel more connected with each other as we are all figuring out this thing called life.”

Phil Washington, CEO of DEN, said, “The Gate Expansion Program is not only bringing 39 new gates to DEN, increasing overall capacity at the airport by 30%, but it’s also bringing new, energizing artwork to the new spaces. We’re delighted that Denver artist Detour was selected to bring color and imagination into Concourse B.”

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