Art Outside Jail Makes Residents Forget Jail Exists

art at the jailThe fantastic new art pieces outside of the Denver County Jail have made it so you hardly even notice there are two correctional facilities there totaling about 75,000 square feet. “It’s remarkable what these pieces have done for this area,” said Eastbridge resident Kevin McGovern. “When Havana is open, I take it quite a bit. The art pieces have really changed my perspective of this drive, and now I’m not even embarrassed to tell people to take the Havana exit to get to my house. You really don’t know the jails are there unless you are really paying attention.”

Many other residents also appreciate how the pieces have changed the appearance of the Havana and Smith Road intersection. “I used to hate driving down that part of Havana,” said resident Paulette Williams. “Now, on my way to Target, it’s a neat little art experience that kind of takes me to a whole new place, almost like being in a museum in Europe. I look forward to the drive now.” The art pieces have been there for a short time, but have had a big impact, and not just for the Stapleton community.

“Our inmates have really taken to the pieces as well,” said Denver County Sheriff Elias Diggins. “Many will go out in the yard and just kind of stare at the pieces. We think it probably calms their nerves and makes them feel more at home.” The pieces have been an inspiration to many inmates. “Since the pieces have gone up, requests for art supplies from inmates has doubled,” said Diggins. “Some inmates have even drawn beautiful pictures of the pieces. Really inspiring.”

Little is known about the artist or why the pieces went up in the first place, but the impact cannot be measured. “I know Stapleton has had some struggles with art in the past,” said Williams. “From the acquisition of the Mustang to the weird disc things on the trails, but these pieces by the jail are just fantastic.”

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