18 JUN 14 | SUMMER IS. . . the story

SUMMER IS. . .“, WORKSHOP8’s first art installation, is up at the Denver Art Museum (DAM)!


We wrote about the DAM’s call for proposals and our pitch back in February and I asked you all to be my “summer lover” in May (which you can still do)! In case you missed it, here’s a fun-sized photo-packed version of the story:

DAM’s call for proposals for the 2014 DAM Summer Installation in the Martin Plaza called for an installation that would be:

  • creative; have a strong visual draw and celebrate the idea of sculpture
  • engage the community and reflect the communal nature of the plaza while being interactive
  • reflective of the dynamic programs happening inside the museum
  • durable, on budget, and accessible to everyone

WORKSHOP8 did a bunch of fun, time-consuming brainstorming…


looked at a bunch of cool projects…


came up with some good and bad ideas…

and teamed with Blue Spruce Design & Construction to propose an installation specific to both the site and season.


We knew we wanted the idea to fill the length of the plaza, be reflective of summer and the community in Colorado, and be as sustainable as possible. These ideas and values guided us to propose the concept “SUMMER IS. . . “, a modern refined interpretation of a campfire turned wish tree / story-hub.


With over 50 entries, the Denver Art Museum chose “SUMMER IS. . .” During February, March and May WORKSHOP did more than 400 hours of brainstorming, networking, sourcing, panicking, laughing, learning and producing. On May 30th, a team of 17 people from WORKSHOP8, Blue Spruce Design & Construction and LP Custom Framing constructed the installation.

In the weeks preceding the installation day, Lonnie Gates, owner of LP’s Custom Framing, and his crew spent over 300 hours building the seating and platforms. The beautiful beetle kill lumber was donated by Wood Source in Denver and the retired climbing rope was donated by Movement Boulder Climbing + Fitness in Boulder.



The build took us one full day. No rain, no wind and smooth building made for an easy installation.

We had a blast with Crystal Allan photographing the project on June 1st, cocktail style… of course!






Intrigued and want to own a piece of our summer? Just imagine martinis on a custom-locally-made, beetle kill deck, complete with installation. What more could your summer ask for? Be our summer lover!

Want to sport one of our cool Summer Camp T-shirts? You can be our summer bestie!

Or, you can be our summer crush, and get a modern stump for your deck or yard.

Want to know more about just how sustainable we were? Check out our info page here.