May 4, 2022 City Building

The Auraria Campus 5280 Trail Art Dedication & Artist Reception

The Downtown Denver Partnership’s 5280 Trail is a bold, visionary project to transform how the public right of way is used in Downtown Denver. In partnership with the Auraria Sustainable Campus Program, and the Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC), this project funded three artists through private grants to create different sculptures along the 5280 Trail that winds through the Auraria campus. 

“From the beginning, community-led engagement and design have been integral to the development of the 5280 Trail,” Manager for Urban Planning Ellen Forthofer said. “These art pieces on Auraria campus that we’re celebrating today highlight Auraria’s voice in the larger 5280 Trail project.” 

The 5280 Trail reimagines how we use public space and interact with Downtown Denver while encouraging students, faculty, and staff members to commute via cycle and public transit in lieu of cars. Long-term, the 5280 Trail will reduce our collective carbon footprint, get Trail users outside and enjoying the public realm, and support our city’s culture of innovation and embracing the great outdoors, as outlined in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan. 

Community members joined to celebrate the artists whose work was chosen to be on the Auraria Campus portion of the 5280 trail. The three artists are Emily Zeek, Walter Ware III, and Joshua Ware. Folks took a tour around campus to visit the three sites along the 5280 trail and hear more from the artists about their pieces. 

Emily Zeek’s sculpture, Force Field, is pointed towards the Phoenix Center and signifies the chaos on campus.   

Walter Ware III’s sculpture, Waymark, deals with humanity and symbolizes the four campuses: University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University, Community College of Denver, and AHEC. 

Joshua Ware’s sculpture, DETH LIGHGHT XXXI: 4JAY, was in dedication to his former professor at the University of Colorado Denver Jake Adam York.  

“As the Trailblazing phase continues, you can expect to see more expressions of community voices within the six neighborhoods connected by the 5280 Trail- Auraria, La Alma/Lincoln Park, LoDo, Ballpark/5Points, Capitol Hill, and Golden Triangle,” Ellen Forthofer said.  

Picture credit: Tomás Bernal


Walter Ware III | Waymark
Emily Zeek | Force Field