CSU System selects artists for installations at the Spur campus in Denver

The Colorado State University System today announced that it has selected eight artists, including four from Colorado, to activate the CSU System Spur campus in north Denver with one-of-a-kind, large-format art installations. Located within the future National Western Center, the three-building Spur campus will open in 2022, acting as a front door to the world-class research and education provided by the CSU System.

More than 445 local, national, and international artists submitted concepts celebrating Spur’s commitment to culture, education, innovation, and research. Installations will take place between August 2021 and June 2022.

“The artists selected each have a brilliant and unique approach that will add to the Denver landscape — their works are meaningful, sustainable, and inspiring. Within each of these works is diversity of thought and artistic approach,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “CSU is proud to work with these eight talented artists on the Spur project.”

Each commissioned artist will receive a portion of the nearly $1.3 million allocated for this effort, as part of the state’s commitment to public art through Colorado statute. Installations will include street art and murals, sculptures and site-specific artwork. Artists are encouraged to engage with nearby communities, and all works selected are meant to inspire and create interaction with the Spur campus.

“As a youth growing up in Denver, Colorado, the amazing landscapes and rigid Rocky Mountains triggered my artistic interests. I found the art in the alleys of Denver very inspiring,” said Anthony Garcia, owner of Birdseed Collective in Denver, and the artist selected to create a mural in the alley of the Spur water building. “My own artwork is a living, breathing creature created on a back-alley wall, organic and man-made. I want the world to see what I see.”

The CSU System partnered with Colorado Creative Industries, as well as Denver-based art consulting and curatorial firm NINE dot ARTS, and Tribe Development Company to select artists and create a cohesive art collection that will breathe life and culture into the new campus.

“We were inspired by not only the volume of submissions, but by the unique and thoughtful ways that artists around the world think about artwork within the public realm,” said Martha Weidmann, CEO and cofounder of NINE dot ARTS, which led the collaborative campus art masterplan with a focus on selecting innovative, engaging, imaginative, and relevant artworks. “Once complete, this highly visible art experience will highlight the ways food, water, and health impact humanity.”

See the renderings and learn about the artists at csuspur.org/art.

About Spur: CSU System at the National Western Center

Coming in 2022: CSU System will open Spur, where innovative ideas and unforgettable experiences come to life at the National Western Center. Spur’s three buildings at the center of the landmark project in north Denver will ignite and fuel new ideas around water, food, and health and their impact on our lives and our world. Spur is where learning is open and accessible to all. Where researchers tackle the world’s most pressing problems around water, food, and health. Where art and culture challenge and surround you. Where rural and urban, local and global intersect. The state legislature allocated $200 million for the construction of the CSU Spur project in 2015, citing the educational, economic, and public benefits that the campus would bring. Learn more at csuspur.org.

About the National Western Center

The National Western Center is a year-round, global destination for ag and food innovation, western heritage and culture that will open in Denver in 2024. We will convene the world at the National Western Center and at nationalwesterncenter.com to lead, inspire, create, educate and entertain in pursuit of global food solutions.

The National Western Center Authority is a nonprofit responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day experience of the campus realizes the mission and vision of the National Western Center. The Authority manages everything from programming, to events, to curating the tenant mix, to operations and maintenance. The Authority is guided by a 13-member board of directors.