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John King making the model for “Lollipop Tree." Photo by Ehren Joseph

Getting in Touch

Touch, tug and twist John King's newest kinetic sculptures, coming this month.

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When it comes to art, museums typically deliver the same message: Please don’t touch. Colorado artist John King, who has been making kinetic sculptures (meaning they move) in his Lyons studio for more than 15 years, has a different philosophy. “I intentionally try to delight or amuse in the moment,” the 68-year-old says. To accomplish that, King encourages people to touch, tug, and twist his public art pieces. Take his latest work, “Stargazer,” which will be introduced at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora this month. At roughly 20 feet tall, “Stargazer” features circles and crescents that turn around a solid base. The idea is that both pint-size patients and their parents can look up at the piece, spin it, and get lost in the sky—hopefully experiencing a momentary distraction from whatever landed them in the hospital. (King’s “Lollipop Tree” also debuts this month in downtown Greeley.) All told, King has created about 25 public works across the state; if you happen across one, feel free to give it a whirl.

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