Denver Federal District Art
The federal government has incorporated artwork in its public buildings since the 1850s. When GSA was established in 1949, it assumed responsibility for the stewardship of much of this artwork and for the continued commissioning of American artists to create permanently installed artwork for federal buildings across the nation. Per federal regulation, GSA is required to allocate one-half of one percent of each public building's construction cost for the design, fabrication and installation of a site-specific, permanent piece of artwork. View additional details about GSA’s Art Program.
Alfred A Arraj U.S. Courthouse
Sundials, like the one on the Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, measure the apparent solar time at the specific location where the dial is placed. The protruding gnomon casts a shadow which tracks the hours as the day progresses from sunrise to afternoon. The length of the shadow varies depending on the time of year. Lines indicate where the shadow reaches on the Summer and Winter Solstices and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes.
This piece is located on the exterior of the building, along the Champa Street side of the courthouse. “Irregular Form” is an expansive wall drawing comprised of irregular slabs of gray slate on a black granite background. The artwork’s immense scale and striking contour exert a commanding presence in its urban environment. Captured within a sturdy, grid-like framework that references the rational, geometric ordering of the entire building, the unwieldy appendages of the gray form are firmly anchored to the supporting architecture. This playful tension between organic and geometric elements is a hallmark of LeWitt's innovative wall drawing technique.
Byron Rogers Federal Building
“Public Jewel” by Liz Larner
“Public Jewel” is a vertically oriented, open-form, rectangular bronze structure that holds Colorado-minded stone aloft. These stones are set into the top of the bronze open-form. The sun shines through the range of translucencies of the agglomerate boulder and the atmosphere flows through the openness of the structure, inviting one to walk through or stand beneath it.
“Field Pattern” by Tsehai Johnson
Tsehai Johnson uses industrial slip casting techniques to create distinctive ceramic artworks that comprise thousands of individual elements joined together to create a low relief pattern on the wall. Her art combines the three-dimensional qualities of sculpture, such as volume and scale, with the optical aspects of painting with shifting colors and changing shapes.
Composed of 1,700 glazed porcelain forms, Johnson created “Field Pattern” specifically for the walls of the remodeled Byron Rogers Federal Building. Inspired both by the angled, lozenge shape of the floor plan of the building and by patterns that have reoccurred for centuries, these artworks have both the stability of repeated patterning and the fluidity of a changing optical experience. The artwork explores shifting experiences as the patterns change from thick relief to very thin as the colors change as well. This installation animates and decorates the second floor public spaces, revealing both a sense of order and offering a framework for exploration of the stability of pattern and mutability of change. The artwork’s delicate and glistening forms fill the walls it occupies offering viewers a moment to contemplate as the repeated geometric forms change shape and color.
Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building
“Three Movements” Sculpture by Sebastián
In 2014, the César E. Chávez Memorial Building in the Golden Triangle underwent a massive building modernization that included refurbishing "Three Movements", a metal sculpture by Sebastián. Originally, the art was on display inside the building's lobby, however, GSA re-dedicated the art in a new "Art Park" in front of the building entry on the corner of Speer Boulevard and 12th Street. In order to accomplish this, GSA worked with the city of Denver, local neighborhood groups and the local arts community. The result is that the park further connects the building to the neighborhood’s emerging art district thus allowing for the community to better enjoy the art.
Byron White Courthouse
“Rocky Mountain Sheep” by Gladys Caldwell Fisher
“Rocky Mountain Sheep” was commissioned by the Treasury Relief Art Program, a federal art program enacted during the New Deal era. Created out of Limestone, “Rocky Mountain Sheep” are two sculptures created by Fisher (1907-1952) that are located on the southwest entrance to the Byron White U.S. Courthouse.
Federal Courthouse Diptych #1 & #2 by Daniel Sprick
Two paintings, flanking the courtroom entrance, are arched in a Romanesque architectural configuration and are consistent with the building's interior details. The paintings are two interior still life, containing artifacts reflecting the cultural diversity of the Courts. The contents of the two paintings echo the architectural motifs of the interior; trying to incorporate the color, texture and especially the architectural design elements as the settings for still life.
One of the paintings alludes to a Colorado landscape with agricultural and mountainous elements. The other contains oblique and subtle symbolism regarding the activities of the Courts. The arched doorways in the paintings invite the viewer to enter the judicial process and provide a sense of well-being. In both paintings, the colors are darker at the top, blending to lighter colors at the bottom. The background is a brightly lighted space, drawing the viewer into the composition. The work is figurative and realistic; it is framed with wide moldings and elegantly carved with gilt liners.