In honor of Black History Month, DEN is celebrating three Black artists who have contributed to DEN’s expansive and unique art collection which includes more than 30 pieces of artwork.
About Ed Dwight
Ed Dwight is one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America, creating and installing over 100 public art projects including one at DEN. Prior to becoming an artist, Ed had a remarkable career and list of accomplishments including serving as a military test pilot, training to become the first Black astronaut, and working as an IBM Computer Systems engineer and an aviation consultant.
Ed's childhood dream was to be an artist, however, his life experiences really shaped him into the prolific artist he is today. His company, Ed Dwight Studios, Inc., has developed into one of the largest single artist production and marketing facilities in the Western U.S.
Some of Ed’s most famous art pieces include abolitionist Frederick Douglass, homerun king Hank Aaron, Roots author Alex Haley, and America’s largest tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, Ed continues to expand his award-inning bronze series with new Jazz, African, and African American history works.
Learn more at https://www.eddwight.com/
About Bill Smith Statue
Ed Dwight created this bronze sculpture in honor of William "Bill" Smith, who was the Manager of Public Works for the City and County of Denver during the time that the airport was being built. The sculpture can be found on Level 6 outside the entryway to the Airport Office Building near the A-Bridge Security Checkpoint.
About Darrell Anderson
Darrell Anderson is a local artist whose desire is to unite the world through art including an art piece at DEN. Darrell has brought the diversity of his personal and professional encounters with people, places, philosophy and philanthropy is reflected in the richness of his body of artwork. Darrell served in the U.S. Army throughout Asia as a race relations instructor during the Vietnam War and worked for 12 years as Frontier Airlines’ first male flight attendant.
Darrell has represented his hometown of Denver in its sister city of Brest, France, as an ambassador of art and cultural exchange, making return visits to create a community mosaic there. He has taught art workshops on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona; in Australia; in Beijing; in Burkina Faso, West Africa; and in small communities throughout Colorado’s rural, eastern plains.
Darrell’s work includes a serigraph commissioned by the Colorado Rockies of the late Major League Baseball player and team manager Don Baylor; identity development for the annual Pan African Film Festival, and a wide range of public art projects that delight passersby at train stations, public universities and government buildings including the U.S. Custom House in Denver.
Learn more at https://www.darrellanderson.com/
About Patterns and Figures
Darrell Anderson produced “Patterns and Figures” using terrazzo and mosaic tile to depict images that, when viewed from above, pop out, representing foreshortened figures of people below. The people represent the cultural diversity of travelers using Denver International Airport. The artwork can be viewed on the floor of Concourse A.
About Marcus Akinlana
Marcus Akinlana began painting murals with Public Art Works Inc. as a youth in Washington D.C. and has provided inspiration through art for many years including a piece at DEN. Marcus is also the founder of WON Mural Society, which over the past fifteen years has designed and fabricated numerous public art projects both nationally and internationally.
While studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Akinlana had the opportunity to assist Jon Pounds and Olivia Gude, two leading artists of the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG). He went on to join CPAG and to execute numerous public and collaborative murals and community based public art projects.
Marcus is also the founder of Positive Creations, his fine art-based company, which retails his original paintings and art works, limited and open edition prints. He is now the Artistic Director who spearheads all creative endeavors of the businesses. Art in America selected a mural by Akinlana as the “Best Public Art of 1995” and included his “Mile High & Rising” project located at DEN in “Public Art Review 2000.”
Learn more at https://www.akinlana.com/
About “Mile High and Rising”
“Mile High and Rising" was created by Marcus Akinlana and depicts the spirit of adventure, optimism and triumph that African Americans brought to Colorado and the Old West. Historical figures like Barney Ford and Aunt Clara Brown are featured in this inspiring mural. The mural can be viewed on southwest end of Level 5 of the Jeppesen Terminal.