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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Street Fun: "Pssst…Look in here!"

Updated: May 22, 2021

Urban writer Charles Montgomery says that, “Happiness is a house with many rooms, but at its core is a hearth around which we gather with family, friends, the community, and sometimes even strangers to find the best part of ourselves.”

In downtown Denver, Colorado, that “hearth” is the 16th Street Mall, the popular pedestrian-only boulevard of cafes, shops, and hotels, bustling with tourists, street entertainers, soapbox preachers, office workers, and joggers.

And those “many rooms” may be the traditional alleys that feed into the mall every mid-block. Normally the shady passageways for delivery trucks, garbage cans, and short-order cook cig breaks, those downtown alleys have recently become hiding places for some innovative pieces of art.

In the summer of 2018, five artists transformed those alleys with sculptural art installations, with a goal of surprising, delighting and inspiring folks who happen by.

Called “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” the startling installations by Carlos Frésquez, Kelly Monico, Stuart Semple, Joel Swanson, and F.e. Toan, quickly became popular “selfie” spots that made people beam with delight. It’s no wonder -- the project was part of mile high city’s “Happy City Denver” program.


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