Public Art within the Civic Center Cultural Complex includes a diverse range of subject matter, scale, color, and materials; each piece has a unique boldness to it, and injects an interesting, and sometimes controversial element into the urban landscape in which the Civic Center museums have been placed.
“The Yearling” was created by artist Donald Lipski. Located on the north side of the Denver Public Library in front of the Childrens’ Pavilion, the sculpture is made of steel and fiberglass. The bright red chair measures 21 feet tall and ten feet wide, and the pinto pony is six feet tall at the ears. The scale of this work is meant to recall that time in life when even everyday objects seemed monumental. The piece was originally commissioned for an elementary school in upper Manhattan. When the school district asked Lipski to omit the horse, he refused, saying, “It just lost all its magic.” The sculpture spent 1997 in New York City’s Central Park, where it was widely acclaimed before traveling to Denver in 1998 for permanent installation. For more information about the artist, go to: Donald Lipski.
I wanted to give kids something that would really be a cause for wonder
Willy, Argus, & Lucky, located in the Denver Art Museum’s Kemper Courtyard is a group of three sculptures by Montana artist Deborah Butterfield. The life-size horses appear to be at home . . . at pasture in the sunken, grassy area of the courtyard. Lucky rests on the ground; Argus stands with its head down; and Willy, a tribute to the artists palomino who passed away on the way home from surgery at Colorado State University, stands with a twisted backward glance.