On Saturday, 9/24, ULC kicked off the Mosaic Community Campus Block Party with a Dedication Ceremony of the campus, acknowledging the indigenous origins of the land, its legacy of quality higher education, and its community-serving present and future uses. A stunning new public art installation by PlatteForum was also unveiled. PlatteForum is a Denver-based arts nonprofit that connects young artists to professionals in order to remove barriers to success, provide support for their creativity, and empower them to reach their full artistic potential. The organization is an art and activism incubator that makes a path for young people to express themselves and feel unity in a widely supportive community.

PlatteForum artists Michael Gadlin, Axe Leonhardtl, and Zaida Sever led the creation of the sculpture. They shared a vision with the campus partners to create an art piece that inspired joy and invoked the collaborative spirit of the campus. 

4 sculptures made up of colorful wings surround the flag pole in front of St. Elizabeth's School on Mosaic Community Campus

The stunning new art piece surrounds the flagpole in front of St. Elizabeth’s School.

Two of the sculptures from PlatteForum; one with blue wings and one with yellow and green wings

Artists Michael Gadlin and Axel Leonhardt spoke at the Mosaic Community Block Party with their art piece in the background.

Artists Michael Gadlin and Axel Leonhardt speaking at the Mosaic Community Block Party.

The artists engaged the talents of high school students from Denver School of the Arts and elementary school students from St. Elizabeth’s School, leading them in a drawing session where the students sketched the cut-out designs inside the wings of the sculpture.

Artist Zaida Sever addresses a group of DSA students

A St. Elizabeth's student traces shapes onto a paper wing

Zaida Sever, Michael Gadlin, and students from DSA and St. Elizabeth’s working together to create designs for the sculpture.

“We felt it was important to involve the community so that the students felt ownership over the project and so that the art had a sense of unity. There’s often a challenge making art with so many hands, but the result is one that has harmony and feels all together united,” said Michael Gadlin, Executive Director of PlatteForum. “We created a project that was inspired by the environmental elements of the campus and unifying, universal colors. The goal was to make sure the art moved through decades of a growing community and could last through time due to its simplicity.” 

Now, students can see their designs in the sweeping, colorful wings of the sculpture as they twist and turn in the wind, and since the quad is now open to the public from sunrise to sunset, everyone can enjoy this beautiful new piece of art. 

PlatteForum relies on community support and donations. You can support them here.