DENVER, CO — August 3, 2011 — Denver International Airport (DIA) may be a major aviation hub, but cycling will take center stage at the nation’s fifth-busiest airport this August. With the USA Pro Cycling Challenge scheduled to roll through Colorado August 22 – 28, DIA, VISIT DENVER and race organizers joined forces to commission local artists for a temporary, sports-themed art exhibition. Plus Gallery’s Ivar Zeile asked 12 prominent Denver-based artists to transform actual bicycles into unique, stand-alone works of art, celebrating riders from various countries who will compete in what’s expected to be the largest spectator sporting event in Colorado history. The temporary art exhibit will be on display at DIA through the month of August and can be found on top of baggage carousels, located on both the east and west sides of Jeppesen Terminal (Level 5).
“DIA is the gateway to Colorado for tens of millions of travelers every year and is home to one of the most robust art programs of any airport in the country,” said Kim Day, DIA Aviation Manager. “Collaborating with race organizers and the local arts community to promote the USA Pro Cycling Challenge was a natural fit for us.”
Artists participating in the exhibit include Suzanne Bates, Malcolm Farley, Justin Beard, Sabin Aell, Viviane Le Courtois, Bradley Borthwick, Jason Thielke, Ryan and Tara Pattie, Donald Fodness, Frank T. Martinez, Rafa Jenn, Rokko Aoyama and Doug Sink. Each bicycle represents a country whose team is competing in the race, and serves as a welcome to international fans of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge flying to Denver for the event. When the exhibition is dismantled at the end of August, the bicycle representing the U.S. will stay in DIA’s permanent art collection, with the rest of the art pieces being auctioned off to benefit local charities.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States. For seven consecutive days, 128 of the world’s top athletes will race across more than 500 miles, through the majestic Rocky Mountains, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure and climbing more than two miles in elevation. The race will feature the best riders in pro-cycling, including the top three finishers from the 2011 Tour de France.
The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a free spectator event that will begin in Colorado Springs and travel to Salida, Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Golden, with the final finish in Denver. With more than one million spectators expected at the event, as well as national television exposure on NBC and the cable network VERSUS, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be the race to celebrate in America. For more information visit www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com.
Plus Gallery is home to one of Denver’s most reputable programs for contemporary art exhibitions and artist representation. Operating independently since 2001, the gallery’s artists have received major acclaim on local and national levels. Plus Gallery is celebrating their 10-year anniversary this summer. Ivar Zeile, owner and operator of Plus and curator of DIA’s bike art exhibit, has been a member of the Mayor’s Commission for Cultural Affairs since 2006. For more information visit www.plusgallery.com.
VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. A record 12.7 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2010, generating $3 billion in spending, while supporting 50,000 jobs, making tourism the second largest industry in Denver. For more information go to www.visitdenver.com or www.tourismpaysdenver.com.
Denver International Airport is home to a renowned collection of public art, funded by the City and County of Denver’s “one percent for art” requirement for public facilities. The airport’s Public Art Program features 27 site-specific works and includes sculptures, murals and other installations. The pieces are displayed in outdoor landscapes, inside Jeppesen Terminal and on airport concourses, as well as in the train tunnels and on the train itself. In addition to the permanent art collection, DIA curates temporary exhibitions, collaborating with museums, cultural institutions and arts organizations to present the highest quality two- and three-dimensional work. For more information visit www.flydenver.com/art.
Denver International Airport is the 10th-busiest airport in the world and the fifth-busiest airport in the United States. With more than 50 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DIA is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. DIA is the primary economic engine of the state of Colorado, generating more than $22 billion for the region annually. For more information, visit www.flydenver.com. Check out the Airport’s YouTube channel by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/DenversAirport and become our fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/denverinternationalairport.