Colorado, Destinations, North America

The Story Behind Denver’s Big Blue Bear

I See What You Mean

To most, this sculpture created by the late Lawrence Argent is known as “The Big Blue Bear.” Few are aware that the formal name of the sculpture is “I See What You Mean.”

Location

Where is the big blue bear in Denver

Located outside of the Colorado Convention Center on 14th Street between California and Stout, the blue bear has hundreds of visitors a day. On any given afternoon, you will witness children climbing the bear’s feet, young adults posing for selfies and citizens and tourists alike snapping a shot of the striking 40-foot attraction.

Why Blue?

Artist Lawrence Argent intended for the piece to be eye-catching, but he didn’t plan for it to be vividly blue! In fact, the blue color was a complete accident. Originally, the bear was going to reflect the colors of Colorado in shades of sandstone, but a printing error showed Argent just how lovely this piece could be in a bold hue.

Sightseeing in Denver

Popularity

Argent was shocked by the attention his creation has received. The bear is now a Mile High City icon and appears all over the internet with comments like, “Where is this bear located!? I NEED to see it in person!” In an interview, Argent said, “To me, it’s kind of like the bear needs the building, and the building needs the bear.”

Things to do in Denver iconic symbolsSo why is the bear so popular? Is it the bold color? Is it the huge-ness of it? (Yes, huge-ness is totally a word.) Or is it the whimsical, playful nature of the bear? It seems to be peering into the convention windows as if to say, “What’s going on today?”

My vote is the latter.

A City Landmark

Whatever the case may be, the bear is certainly a Denver landmark and is worth a visit on your next trip to the city.

Lawrence Argent completed this piece in 2005. He passed away at the age of 60 at Rose Medical Center following a liposuction procedure on October 4, 2017. I’d like to thank him for his beautiful contribution to the city. My heart goes out to his loved ones.

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Thanks for reading,

Emma

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