Someone Left a Cake Out…Denver PrideFest Celebrates Marriage Equality with Landmark Sculpture by Artist Lonnie Hanzon.
“My goal as a creator is to reach the largest audience possible with images and messages of joy, history, and faith in the human spirit,” Known internationally for his monumental works of public art, Lonnie is preparing to bring his special artistic vision to Denver PrideFest in celebration of the event’s 40th anniversary. “Equality Cake” will be a temporal sculpture created in the heart of the Denver’s LGBT pride festival. At 20 feet tall, it will serve as a glittering, celebratory centerpiece, adding a fun and colorful element to the festival while also articulating important concepts about marriage equality and the history of the LGBT political movement. Timed with the pending decision in the U.S. Supreme Court that could possibly make marriage equality the law of the land, the sculpture will be created from steel, foam and mirrored disco balls. (Yes, disco balls.) Lonnie has a unique way of combining all kinds of objects into appealing and engaging public art works that morph into interactive, one-of-a-kind events. “Equality Cake” will provide festival attendees with a dramatic backdrop for selfies and social media. In a combination of whimsy and seriousness, it will also list all of the 1,138 benefits, rights and privileges of marriage as defined by the U.S. General Accounting Office. Lonnie wants crowds to be attracted to the sculpture’s colorful glitz while being moved by its content and intent. “I think the next few months might be looked back on as a ‘sea change,’” Lonnie continued. Recent polls indicate that nearly 60% of U.S. citizens now support marriage equality. “I want to help define the imagery and memories of this time. If , by chance, the Supreme Court comes back with a negative decision, I plan on turning the work into a visual protest.”
PrideFest takes place at Civic Center Park on June 20 & 21. In forty years, the festival has grown into one of the largest free celebrations of LGBT pride in the country. The CoorsLight PrideFest Parade takes place on Sunday morning and marches proudly from Cheesman Park to Civic Center down Colfax Avenue. One of the top festivals in Colorado, it is estimated that Denver PrideFest has an annual economic impact of $25 million on the local economy.
Lonnie jokes as he prepares for a giant cake in the park. “I want this work to be fun about a very serious subject. Campy and empowered and impassioned.”
Risks and challenges
• Someone could leave the cake out in the rain - there's that - we do enjoy a wide variety of weather here, but we are using good enough materials that is won't melt by Rocky Mountain Spring rain.
• I am accustomed to designing and installing very large things, that is our main work, so I have a good support team around me.
• I suppose there are haters out there, and I have never put myself out in the public on such a hot topic before, but I think I owe it to the countless brave people that have been fighting for human rights all these years to stand up. It is time for the Sea Change.
• Logistics and security of building a sculpture in such a public place could normally be challenging, but the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, the producers of Denver Pridefest, run a very tight ship, and are handling many of the logistics of the project as well as security at the event.
- (30 days)