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City Prepares for 55 Degrees and Other Public Art Installations in Civic Area

Beginning September 14, the Civic Area will undergo construction to welcome Boulder’s newest public art commission titled 55 Degrees by artist Adam Kuby.

This artwork is the result of extensive community engagement and is the first large-scale public art commissioned through the Public Art Policy.

Work on 55 Degrees, began in 2017 with a community selection process that included broad engagement. For the Civic Area, the community and public art selection panel selected Kuby’s proposal from over 280 qualified applications as it is civic in scale, highly visible, and complements the character and uses of the park. Adam Kuby used his background in landscape architecture, sculpture, urban forestry and zoo habitat design to inform his project.

The installation will include three large steel sculptures near the Main Library which refer to our iconic Flatirons.  The sculptures will function as interactive windows, framing the sky, the park and the mountains beyond.  The project has employed many local businesses across Boulder County, with the sculpture itself being fabricated at Living Design Studios, Inc.

Construction is anticipated to take roughly 8 to 10 weeks, culminating with installation of the sculptures around Oct. 15.  The construction team will follow construction guidelines with strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  During this construction period, the city and construction crews will do everything possible to ensure safety and minimize impact to park visitors and neighbors.  The park and library will remain open, although intermittent disruptions to the Boulder Creek Path and Canyon parking lots will occur.  Traffic on the path or in this lot will be detoured or diverted to another parking location.

The city is also working with artists for three other new artworks in the Civic Area. Detour has completed a mural on the north building of the Main Library to honor Boulder’s former mayor and LGBTQ activist Penfield Tate II. Non-binary artist Robert Martin will be creating a new mural in celebration of Colorado’s mountain birds at the Boulder Creek Path 9th Street Underpass the week of September 7th. And, Michelle Sparks is finalizing the design on her permanent public art commission for the Boulder Creek Path Arapahoe Underpass.

In 2016, Boulder joined many surrounding and peer communities in formalizing its public art program. From 2017 to 2019, the Office of Arts and Culture and participating artists engaged with the community through a myriad of activities to learn more about the project, including Public Art Socials, Artist Talks, Public Art Town Halls, and ongoing updates through the Boulder Arts Commission, Public Art Implementation Plan, community engagement surveys, and more. Over the last four years, the public art program supported 75+ city-initiated temporary projects, 40+ city-initiated murals, countless community-initiated temporary projects and murals, and seven integrated artworks.


Concept rendering of 55 Degrees by Adam Kuby.  Image courtesy of the artist.

The City of Boulder’s Office of Arts and Culture is currently implementing Boulder’s Community Cultural Plan. Through a set of programs including cultural grants, public art, initiatives that support artists and the creative economy, and research, the office supports the community-created Vision for Culture: Together, we will craft Boulder’s social, physical and cultural environment to include creativity as an essential ingredient for the wellbeing, prosperity and joy of everyone in the community.

Media Contacts:
Matt Chasansky, Office of Arts and Culture, 303-441-4113
Shannon Aulabaugh, Media Relations, 303-441-4491

Published September 10, 2020