A Worldwide Art Scavenger Hunt Returns to Denver in September

For the last few years, the beginning of September is greeted by a special day for artists and art lovers in Denver. It’s called Art Drop Day, and the premise is simple — artists hide art and post clues on social media and their fans can hunt down the pieces to take home for free. This year, Art Drop Day falls on Tuesday, September 3 and it’s looking like it might be the best turnout in Denver yet.

Although Art Drop Day was created by a guy from Utah — Denver Arts & Venues has taken it upon themselves to encourage Denver residents to join in on the experience. Continuing in the precedent they’ve set forth the last few years, Denver Arts & Venues will once again hide mini replicas of the “Big Blue Bear” (actually named I See What You Mean, by the late artist Lawrence Argent) for seekers to take home. They’ve also purchased artworks from Access Gallery again this year in order for Mayor Hancock and City Councilmembers to hide them in their districts.

World Art Drop Day, Art Drop Denver

One of the mini Blue Bears hidden for Art Drop Day 2016 in Denver. Photo by Knotty Ties on Instagram

In the past, over 100 artists have participated in the event, sometimes leaving more than one piece for someone to uncover. This year, the official Facebook group has grown from 900 members to 1,600 members — making a promising case for even more participating artists. Just a quick browse through that Facebook group, or by searching #artdropdenver on Instagram, will illustrate just how special Art Drop Day can be. There’s a thrill in the chase, satisfaction in the discovery and a fantastic story to tell when someone asks “where did you get this piece of art?”

Participating in Art Drop Day as an artist only requires a few steps. First, make sure that you fill out a form online to let Denver Arts & Venues know you’re participating. Then, create an informational sheet for the finder — include your social media handles and hashtags, care instructions for the piece and any other information you want to release. Finally, hide the piece only on the actual day (Tuesday, September 3), and wait to post clues on social media until then as well. Can’t figure out any clever clues to steer people to your hiding location? Hide it in an iconic spot and rely on the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Finders just need to be ready to scour social media on Tuesday, September 3 using the hashtags #artdropday and #artdropdenver. Timeliness is key in finding the hidden artwork, so don’t be afraid to wear your running shoes that day. If you are lucky enough to discover an Art Drop, make sure you share on social media with the same hashtag you used to find it (and don’t forget to tag the artist).

Denver is quickly becoming a major cultural destination in the US, where artists and creatives live and work in every neighborhood. But many people might not realize this, and an event like Art Drop Day creates a buzz about the local cultural community that might transcend the typical obstacles in the way of appreciating art.