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If playing Levitt Pavilion Denver’s new musically interactive sculpture makes you feel a sense of child-like wonder, you’re doing it right.
Sky Song—a permanent installation at the new Levitt Pavilion Denver, a public performance venue in Ruby Hill Park—was created by Denver artists Nick Guerts and Ryan Elmendorf. Composed of two separate parts, the sculpture is both fixed onto the façade of the pavilion and rises from the plaza at the venue’s ground level. Visitors can press 33 buttons on the ground-level structure to make etherial music accompanied by glowing light shows above. The structures are mirror-plated, so if you stand at just the right angle during the day, the reflection of the sky creates the illusion that the heavens are reaching through the venue and into its plaza.
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The ambitious work is an unequivocal step forward for interactive public art in Denver. It came to be installed, essentially, by way of Executive Order No. 92, a law created in 1988 that requires one percent of the budget for any capital improvement project of more than $1 million to be dedicated to the inclusion of public art.
Levitt Pavilion Denver executive director Chris Zacher says he chose to spend his mandated art budget on Sky Song because its interactive nature pulls participants into a multi-sensory experience of sound and light. “It allows musicians and non-musicians to physically play our building,” Zacher says. “Something this beautiful works in many mediums of art at the same time.”
On Thursday evening, Denver Public Art, along with Guerts and Elmendorf, will host a dedication ceremony for the installation. Attendees will have the opportunity to master playing the melodious new sculpture with the help of the artists themselves (but you can play it anytime). A celebratory free concert will follow, featuring the Pueblo, Colorado folk band the Haunted Wind Chimes and local indie folk quartet Edison.
If You Go: Thursday, August 17, 7–7:30 p.m. (free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.); Levitt Pavilion Denver, 380 W. Florida Ave.; levittdenver.org