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Keep your eyes peeled as you walk around Denver today—you could find little pieces of art hidden across the city as part of Art Drop Day Denver.
This annual scavenger hunt, now in its third year, encourages local artists—from painters and sculptors to musicians and even creative kids—to “drop” their artwork for others to stumble upon throughout the day. To participate as an artist, you can register online with Denver Arts & Venue, or simply place your work somewhere in the city with an art drop form attached. Artists can also share clues and/or a picture about the hiding spot on social media or in the Facebook Group, using the event hashtag, #ArtDropDenver. Anyone can participate in hunting down the artwork—and yes, once found, the pieces are yours to keep.
Brooke Dilling, strategic partnerships and community programming specialist for Denver Arts & Venues, expects more people than ever to join in the fun this year. “Particularly, this year, I think people are angry and stressed, and there just seems to be a lot of concern over the way the world is heading. This gives people a way to connect over something positive,” says Dilling. “I think people like mysteries and they like to go find things, so it is such a fun way to watch people engage and put a smile on their face for a brief moment in time during the day.”
World Art Drop Day is the brainchild of Utah based illustrator and artist Jake Parker, who has worked on projects such as Horton Hears a Who! and Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon. While on a cross-country road trip in 2014, Parker decided to hide his illustrations in each city he visited, and leave clues as to where fans could find them. The project was a success, so he decided to make a day of it, dubbing the first Tuesday of September as Art Drop Day.
When Dilling heard about the idea, she immediately wanted to bring it to Denver. “I think it’s a great way for us to say that, you know everybody matters in the arts, and everybody can be an artist,” she says.
Denver Arts & Venues will participate in the day’s events, as usual, but in addition to their typical handful of mini Blue Bears, they will be hiding 23 pieces of art, including works from Santa Fe Art District’s Access Gallery‘s Art-O-Mat. These pocket-sized works are created by teens with disabilities who attend the gallery’s ongoing Artworks program. At Access Gallery, they’re sold for $5, alongside works from national and international artists, through a refurbished cigarette vending machine.
Denver Arts & Venues will hide these pieces, along with the bears, in all 11 Denver City Council districts. When I tried to get some hints as to where you can snag a mini bear or Art-O-Mat piece, Dilling said their lips are sealed, so you’ll just have to keep a close watch on social media and hunt for yourself.
Need to Know: Art Drop Day is Tuesday, September 5, all day, or until all art is found. Follow or tag #ArtDropDenver on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or join the event’s Facebook Group to participate, both as an artist or as a scavenger.