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Civic Center Conservancy Brings Temporary Art to Civic Center Park with Tree of Transformation

Civic Center Conservancy Brings Temporary Art to Civic Center Park with Tree of Transformation

Denver-based artists Nick Geurts & Ryan Elmendorf install interactive piece with celebration on January 18  

DENVER (Jan. 8) – On Jan. 18, Civic Center Conservancy will launch a temporary, interactive art installation in Civic Center Park, Tree of Transformation by Denver-based artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf of Yetiweurks. A free public event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with food and beverage trucks will celebrate the installation, which is accessible to everyone who visits the Park. The installation will remain through April 15.


Tree of Transformation is the second in a series of 20-foot-tall interactive musical trees by Geurts and Elmendorf. Made of wood and steel, the installation takes the form of a twisting steel-pipe tree trunk sprouting from a full-size upright piano and creates sound and light from user interaction on the piano. The installation is the beginning of an ongoing effort by Civic Center Conservancy to deepen activation in the Park with art.


“The placement of art in the Park provides the community with free access to art and recognizes the importance of culture in creating shared experiences and connections to place,” said Eric Lazzari, director of programming & events for the Civic Center Conservancy. “Tree of Transformation is one part of a strategy that includes more than 200 days of activities scheduled for Civic Center Park in 2018. We hope it’s the first of many temporary art installations as part of our new Civic Center Art in the Park program.”


According to the artist statement from Geurts and Elmendorf, “The intent of the work is to encourage collaboration between strangers and inspire us to re-discover our sense of childlike wonder.” The artists describe the musical tree, “Tree of Transformation is a 20-foot-tall interactive musical instrument which couples an antique piano with a set of nine steelpans that were handcrafted in Trinidad and Tobago, where the instruments were invented. It plays like a normal piano, but when the keys are pressed mallets are actuated that strike the pans creating a surreal sound and experience.”


Tree of Transformation in Civic Center Park is supported by a P.S. You Are Here grant from Denver Arts & Venues, a grant from Xcel Energy and a charitable contribution from Slifer Smith & Frampton.


“We believe thriving arts and cultural activities are a key component to vibrant and strong communities and are thrilled to provide Civic Center Conservancy with support through our arts & culture grant program,” said Kynnie Martin, senior foundation representative, Xcel Energy. “Tree of Transformation will invite people of all ages to linger in one of Denver’s most historic and important public spaces.”


For a media kit, including images, artist statement, artist bio and a map, please visit


For more information about Civic Center Conservancy, Civic Center Park and Tree of Transformation, visit or engage in conversation on Facebook (Civic Center Park & Civic Center Conservancy), Twitter (@CivicCenterPark) or Instagram (@CivicCenterDenver), using the hashtag #TreeofTransformation.


About Civic Center Conservancy

Formed in 2004, the Civic Center Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the City and County of Denver restore, enhance and activate Civic Center Park. Through programs such as Civic Center EATS, Independence Eve, Civic Center MOVES, Civic Center Cinema and Art in the Park; advocacy around design, infrastructure and policy issues; and fundraising for capital improvements, activities and initiatives that support and revitalize the park, the Civic Center Conservancy aims to elevate and sustain Civic Center Park as Denver’s vibrant, iconic community and cultural hub. For more information, please visit Follow Denver’s Civic Center Park on Facebook, @CivicCenterPark on Twitter and @CivicCenterDenver on Instagram.


About the Artists: Nick Geurts & Ryan Elmendorf

Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf are Colorado artists who pride themselves on creating immersive, participatory art, with the goal of instilling a sense of child-like wonder in the greater community. As artist-engineers they draw inspiration from various types of vibrations as exhibited by their engaging acoustical, optical and electro-mechanical works. Their mission is to draw participants in with intriguing form and lead them to discover something completely unexpected.