40 West Arts

Celebrating launch of 40 West ArtLine

Block party brings dinosaurs to West Colfax corridor

Posted 6/5/18

The germ of the idea that turned into the 40 West ArtLine first came to West Colfax community leaders in 2012. On a sunny afternoon on June 1, 2018, those same leaders, plus a mob of volunteers, …

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40 West Arts

Celebrating launch of 40 West ArtLine

Block party brings dinosaurs to West Colfax corridor

Posted

The germ of the idea that turned into the 40 West ArtLine first came to West Colfax community leaders in 2012. On a sunny afternoon on June 1, 2018, those same leaders, plus a mob of volunteers, artists and supporters all gathered in the 40 West Arts District to celebrate the unveiling of the line.

“The fact that you can finally walk the line ... I’m just over the moon,” said Liz Black, executive director of 40 West.

“This is not the end,” added Alexis Moore, principal planner with the city. “This is just the start of something the community will enjoy for generations.”

The ArtLine launch party coincided with the district’s June First Friday party and the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design’s Arts and Revelry event.

Here’s everything the community needs to know about the newly opened line and the community party that kicked it all off.

Background on the ArtLine

Work on the ArtLine began in earnest more than a year ago and was created in conjunction with 40 West, the City of Lakewood, and other community partners. The trail was inspired by lines like Boston’s Freedom Trail.

The line received national support from a $100,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment of the arts, making it the highest of such awards for any project in Colorado. It was also the first award ever granted to Lakewood. It also received s

The aim of the line is to connect Aviation, Mountair and Walker Branch parks through visual cues and art installations along the way. Community input was a key part of the process, and that will continue as the line develops.

The concept for the most iconic art along the ArtLine are three large interactive sculptures for each of the three connected parks, inspired by the Stegosaurus, Colorado’s official state fossil. The PUNCH artist team came up with the ideas for the sculptures, with the aim of using shapes, sounds, colors, shadow patterns and movement to delight visitors, Moore explained.

The line is just one facet of the revitalization going on along West Colfax, and Moore said the hope is it will enhance a sense of place and beautification along the corridor. It will also be a boon to businesses along the line.

It’s envisioned to become the longest continuous arts experience in Colorado, with the hope of connecting to other similar lines developed by other communities.

ArtLine basics

• The ArtLine is a free, four-mile long walking and biking outdoor gallery experience winding its way through historic neighborhoods along West Colfax Avenue and the W Line light rail in the heart of the state-certified 40 West Arts Creative District.

• A painted green line leads travelers through the Artline’s pieces of public art. There is wayfinding along the way to guide people through the experience.

• There are about 70 new pieces of public artwork along the line, many of which will rotate out over the years to showcase new works. In addition to the art, there are games along the way for children of all ages.

• The three large interactive public art pieces are - the “Dermal Plate Gateway” located at Mountair Park, 5620 W. 14th Ave., “Stegoskel” located at Walker-Branch Park, 5825 W. 16th Ave., and “Unearthed Plates” located at Aviation Park, 1890 Teller St.

• Details are available at 40WestArtLine.org.

Quotables

“I’m super amazed at all the community engagement and pride that went into putting the line together. The line is interactive, and we’re going to be changing things so it will be a new experience to keep coming back to. It’s all about a sense of discovery.”

- Liz Black, executive director of 40 West

“Seeing all this come together after so many years is amazing. It’s a testament to the many people who worked for so long that we’re here today. I hope the line will help with community building around our arts district and our neighborhoods.”

- Alexis Moore, principal planner with the city

“I live in the neighborhood, so when I first saw the signs about the line I said, `I want to be a part of this because it is making our neighborhood awesome.

I think it’s going to bring a community spirit to the neighborhood - one that welcomes everyone.”

-Sarah Vickers, volunteer

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