Welcome to the home of Stuart Semple's Happy City. Here you can see an overview of his current and upcoming public art projects and an archive of previous Happy Happenings from around the world.
HAPPY CITY DENVER: ART FOR THE PEOPLE
APRIL - JUNE 2018
'Happy City' is an ongoing series of public art interventions, happenings and installations by British artist Stuart Semple spanning almost a decade. The premise of this body of work is simple, to test the idea that art in public space could help to connect us and make us feel happier.
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
Since 2008 Stuart has been creating award winning public art around the world, using it as an action towards the greater public good and social change. You can see some of the previous Happy City projects here in the Happy Happenings section.
Denver will play host to several of his better known interventions, installations and brand new works, for the first time, in one place alongside a full local community arts program.
Happy City Denver : Art For The People was initiated by Stuart Semple, is produced by the Denver Theatre District and Black Cube and made possible with the kind support of a variety of wonderful local Denver based partner organisations check them out here.
MONDAY 26th MARCH
On Monday 26th of March thousands of members of the public across London and Denver joined together for the simple purpose of physically connecting for a Hug.
In Denver people got together at Denver performing Arts Complex whilst London's Hug huddle took place at the iconic London Bridge. Check out the video and photos from a very special day.
Stuart has more Hug Huddles planned so keep your eyes on this site to find out when one might be happening in a town or city near you!
Originally released into the sky by Stuart during London’s 2008 recession, “Happy Clouds” is composed of smiley-face bubble sculptures, that when released with helium, drift amid public spaces. This iconic artwork has exhibited outside the Tate Modern in London, as well as in Dublin, Moscow, Australia and Milan. Intended to provide viewers with a brief moment of cheer, “Happy Clouds” were launched at over a dozen sites across the Denver-metro area from Red Rocks to Denver Public Library Branches. The fleeting, environmentally-friendly, “Happy Clouds” floated outdoors, interrupting daily life to remind us all to be mindful of the present.
EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE DROP
May 18 – June 10, 2018
Times: Wednesdays – Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
& 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.;
Saturdays & Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Denver’s Union Station, Great Hall
Free, 18 and over, and open to the public
EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE DROP IS PRODUCED BY BLACK CUBE
“ Emotional Baggage Drop (hello stranger)” is an audience-led art installation that explores ways to alleviate anxiety and feelings of isolation through the social benefits of trusting strangers. The installation mimics a luggage drop that collects emotional, as opposed to physical, baggage within the great hall of Denver's Union Station. At this private booth, people are invited to confidentially share their burdens with a stranger who, in turn, listens to and accepts their emotional baggage. By bringing strangers together, instigating intimacy, and asking participants to share personal hardships, this artwork endeavours to create trustful human interactions.
Stuart Semple, Emotional Baggage Drop (hello stranger), 2018
Photo: Third Dune Productions
Image courtesy of the Denver Theatre District and Black Cube
June 23 & June 24, 2018
Time: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
17th Street between Wynkoop Street and Wazee Street
Free, all-ages, and open to the public
JUMP is a participatory artwork by Stuart Semple that invites the public to experience an immersive dance party, complete with an inflatable dance floor. The inflatable floor is a variation of a previous work created by Semple titled, “Jump,” which was first installed in Melbourne Australia in 2013. This unconventional art installation aspires to generate unexpected moments of joy, connection and freedom of expression.
Stuart explains “It’s impossible to Jump in the past, or the future. You can only jump in the here and now. Happiness can only live in the present moment, by connecting to our bodies in movement and in unison we are invited to uncover inner happiness.”
June 1 - June 20, 2018
Tuesday through Saturday
Time: 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
THE DAIRY BLOCK
1855 Blake St. Suite 101, Denver, CO 80202
Expect to participate in this immersive exhibition by Stuart Semple. Plush pools, holograms, custom paint colours for Denver, original paintings and giant collaborative colouring pages.
The Happiness HQ brings a space to Happy City where Deverites can connect, get creative and discuss the deeper meanings around the 3 pillars of cultivating lasting happiness - community, connection and mindfulness.
Self acceptance, honestly and human connection are key themes that flow throughout the installation.
I SHOULD BE CRYING (BUT I JUST CAN'T LET IT SHOW)
June 15, 2018 through May of 2019
Opening Date: Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: 16th Street Mall Alleys
Free, all-ages, and open to the public
I Should Be Crying But I just can’t let it show is a new piece of public sculpture by Stuart Semple imagined created as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project."
By reimagining the ordinarily neglected civic spaces of alleyways, the project nurtures dialogue around social trust and human connection. The work aims to soften public space and encourage city dwellers to explore overlooked areas of the urban realm.
Stuart's piece is produced by Black Cube and generously supported by The Downtown Denver Business Imporovement District.
HAPPY CITY DENVER : ART FOR THE PEOPLE
local community projects
Happy City Denver : Art for the people
May 18 through June 30, 2018.
Under the artistic direction of Black Cube, the project brings together more than 10 artists’ perspectives to address ideas of happiness and community wellness, in order to imagine a more connected society. The installation sites are located throughout Denver, and include streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens, and Union Station, among others.
Additionally HCD brings together a variety of community organisations for workshops, talks and events throughout the city. For more information on the full local program check out:
Happy City Denver is kindly supported by:
Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Community First Foundation,
Denver Arts & Venues, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Downtown Denver Partnership, McWHINNEY, P.S. You Are Here, Sage Hospitality, VISIT DENVER
Happy City in Denver is made possible thanks to the generous support of these guys: