By:John Hickenlooper Issue:Biennial of the Americas 2010 Section: Inspirations
Denver immersed itself in international art, culture, cuisine and ideas in July with the inaugural Biennial of the Americas. It was a memorable celebration across 41 of Denver's finest cultural institutions. Vibrant dance performances, energetic concerts, provocative art exhibits and engaging speakers celebrated the richness of our hemisphere.
More than 10,000 saw the Biennial's headline art exhibition, The Nature of Things, at our newly-restored landmark McNichols Building in the heart of the city.
Renowned Mexican artist Jeronimo Hagerman's colorful installation decorated the exterior of the McNichols Building. Inside, Pedro Reyes’ exhibit Palas Por Pistolas, made 20 shovels from melted guns voluntarily turned in by the citizens of Culiancan, a Mexican city with the country's highest rate of handgun deaths. These shovels were subsequently used to plant a peace tree at the Denver Botanic Gardens and trees at Carson Elementary School.
Beyond art, the Biennial's speaker’s series brought together local and international philosophers, scientists, public servants and others. At The Americas Roundtables and Summits at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, world leaders, dignitaries and industry experts identified common challenges, sought joint opportunities, and promoted a shared vision for a more cohesive hemisphere.
There were plenty of opportunities for just plain fun, too. Children enjoyed a creative space where they got to explore art, music and new media. And, more than a dozen concerts featured hot bands from across the hemisphere.
This summer was just the beginning. Denver looks forward to convening the Biennial again in 2012. This convocation of the Americas' leading and emerging minds in the arts, sciences, culture, politics and technology aims to help develop a unified vision for the future of the Western Hemisphere.
We hope you'll join us.
-Hick Mayor of Denver