On Jan. 18, Civic Center Conservancy launched a temporary, interactive art installation in Civic Center Park, Tree of Transformation by Denver-based artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf of Yetiweurks. The installation will remain through April 15.
Tree of Transformation is the second in a series of 20-foot-tall interactive musical trees by Geurts and Elmendorf. Made of wood and steel, the installation takes the form of a twisting steel-pipe tree trunk sprouting from a full-size upright piano and creates sound and light from user interaction on the piano. The installation is the beginning of an ongoing effort by Civic Center Conservancy to deepen activation in the Park with art.
“The placement of art in the park provides the community with free access to art and recognizes the importance of culture in creating shared experiences and connections to place,” said Eric Lazzari, director of programming and events for the Civic Center Conservancy. “Tree of Transformation is one part of a strategy that includes more than 200 days of activities scheduled for Civic Center Park in 2018. We hope it’s the first of many temporary art installations as part of our new Civic Center Art in the Park program.”
According to the artist statement from Geurts and Elmendorf, “The intent of the work is to encourage collaboration between strangers and inspire us to rediscover our sense of childlike wonder.” The artists describe the musical tree, “Tree of Transformation is a 20-foot-tall interactive musical instrument which couples an antique piano with a set of nine steelpans that were handcrafted in Trinidad and Tobago, where the instruments were invented. It plays like a normal piano, but when the keys are pressed mallets are actuated that strike the pans creating a surreal sound and experience.”
Tree of Transformation in Civic Center Park is supported by a P.S. You Are Here grant from Denver Arts & Venues, a grant from Xcel Energy and a charitable contribution from Slifer Smith & Frampton.
“We believe thriving arts and cultural activities are a key component to vibrant and strong communities and are thrilled to provide Civic Center Conservancy with support through our arts and culture grant program,” said Kynnie Martin, senior foundation representative, Xcel Energy. “Tree of Transformation will invite people of all ages to linger in one of Denver’s most historic and important public spaces.”
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