Art at the Denver Botanic Gardens is not a new thing. Every summer, the York Street location features an artist for a special exhibition — last year it was Alexander Calder and this year it was Mike Whiting. So it comes as no surprise that their newest addition to the Gardens, the Freyer – Newman Center, will continue the theme of incorporating art and nature. Set to open in 2019, the Freyer – Newman Center will include six classrooms, four galleries, new herbaria for vascular plants, mushrooms and slime molds, laboratories, a new library and a coffee shop. But it will also include a large-scale art installation on the exterior of the plaza, thanks to a grant from Denver Arts and Venues.

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The $300,000 grant is up for grabs, too. Any artist or artist team can now apply until November 26, 2018. The request for qualification (RFQ) asks that the artists create an original work, specifically for the new center. It also stipulates that the installation should “create a distinct connection to the natural world,” — an important point to the Gardens, who like to harness the beauty of both art and science at the same time. According to the press release, the art should also “engage multiple senses, harnessing tactile and auditory components while demonstrating the connection between the micro and macro, as well as honoring human relationships to the natural environment and enhancing the experience of those that use and enjoy the center.”

Rendering of the new building

The commission for the project — and the final decision on who receives it — will come from the Denver Public Art program. That program has been around for 30 years now, changing the artistic landscape of the city in many ways. The Gardens are excited to include the art installation at the newest addition to the facilities, especially because part of the center will be dedicated to art and creativity anyway.

The Freyer – Newman Center will be located near the main entrance to the Denver Botanic Gardens, at the corner of York Street and 11th Avenue. For more information and to apply, visit this website

Art at the Denver Botanic Gardens

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