Five things you didn't know about the art at Denver International Airport

Categories: Art

denverairport.jpg
There are secrets behind the public art pieces at Denver International Airport -- and it's not what conspiracy theorists would have you believe. We checked in with DIA Exhibitions Coordinator Tim Vacca and Public Art Program Coordinator Mandy Renaud, and discovered there's a method to all the madness. Keep reading for five things you didn't know about the art at DIA.

See also: DIA now has "Dog Deity" -- "Blucifer" be damned!

TerryAllen.jpg
"Notre Denver," by Terry Allen
5) The Gargoyles are watching

Terry Allen's "Notre Denver" -- the two gargoyle statues situated in the baggage claim areas -- was put in place to watch over travelers, and ensure the safe arrival of baggage. That's clear. What's more mysterious is the plaque at the base of each piece, which describes the statue as being "roughly the size of a fifth-grade-boy."

4) Planes with a destination

Just as Allen's gargoyles keep watch over travelers' baggage, the 140 giant paper airplanes suspended from the ceiling outside the train were created by sculptor Patty Ortiz to guide arriving passengers safely to the main terminal.

Train_Call_DIA-thumb-565x376.jpg
Denver International Airport

3) Sound Art

The series of tones, melodies and messages that accompany the DIA train is actually an art piece by Jim Green. "Train Call" was designed to add a human element to the travel experience, interspersing local celebrity voices -- including those of Mayor Michael Hancock and 9 News anchor Adele Arakawa -- with the playful, child-like melodies of traditional folk songs.

2) 5,280 rotations

Did you think the propellers on the walls of the train tunnel were placed randomly? Think again. There are exactly 5,280 spinning propellers throughout the train ride, signifying each foot leading to Denver's legendary elevation. The piece is known as "Kinetic Air Light Curtain," and is the brainchild of Antonette Rosato and William Maxwell.


LeoTanguma3.jpg
"Children of the World Dream of Peace" by Leo Tanguma
1) You're reading Leo Tanguma's murals wrong

A favorite hunk of evidence for DIA conspiracy theorists, Leo Tanguma's two wall-sized murals seem to indicate a sense of destruction and decay, with the typical right-to-left read conveying children lost to an ambiguous figure of evil, or dying for reasons evidently related to their race or culture. But according to Vacca and Renaud, the murals are meant to be read from small canvas to large canvas, regardless of side placement. The infamous "Children of the World Dream of Peace," for example, actually illustrates the downfall of the vague, warhead-like figure, and portrays an optimism for future peace amongst all people. Likewise, "In Peace and Harmony with Nature" tells the story of the rebirth of the natural world, and the resurrection of those lost when humanity loses its connection with the natural world. For such a doomsday-obsessed artist, Tanguma seems pretty upbeat when it comes to the future of the global community.

Find out more about the art at DIA at flydenver.com.




Location Info

Map

Denver International Airport

8500 Peña Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: General


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
Williams JG
Williams JG

There is nothing attractive about the Denver airport and the only thing good about it is it's the cheapest flight in or out of Colorado!

Steve Paradise
Steve Paradise

Its in the middle of hell and takes forever to get there ??

Kandi Janée
Kandi Janée

That's what I would have people to believe as well-all is good at DIA.....ok!

Jeremy Dobson
Jeremy Dobson

This was a cool story when you originally posted it two weeks ago. At least we aren't having to read about juggalos I guess.

Matt Gotthainer
Matt Gotthainer

I'm sticking with the conspiracy facts. But stoked on the 5280 propellers!

Ryan Price
Ryan Price

Bogus? I think not, with all the decor in there? Trippin

Tina Degroot
Tina Degroot

Been there to see the murals, you should see the one with the children in the casket!

Michelle Garcia
Michelle Garcia

Art is in the eye of the beholder right? Maybe they should have thought of that before they displayed it as a Colorado welcome, or included some artist description on it.

rsette
rsette

In item No. 5, I think you mean "plaque," not "plague."  ROFL.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill

not really any secrets in this article

Kyle Gorman
Kyle Gorman

Holy shit a Denver relevent article!

denvergregg
denvergregg

Plague at the airport would be news were it not an embarrassing typo for plaque.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...