I travel a lot, which means that I drive to the airport a lot. If you know Denver International Airport, you know that it’s a) full of conspiracy theories, and b) SO FAR AWAY FROM DENVER. Peña Boulevard is paved with good intentions, but mostly a dull drive.

Except for the clouds.

For the longest time, there was an art installation in a field just west of the road to DIA, and it was one of my favorite things. “Why do you like it so much?” people would ask. I don’t know. Why do I like chocolate, or the color green? I just do. It was delightful and whimsical and just totally unnecessary – no one NEEDS cloud towers – but aren’t you glad they exist?

(Art by Christopher M. Lavery. Photo credit.)

Sometime in the last year, the clouds vanished. It didn’t exactly make a difference to my life or anything, but it really bummed me out. Why did they take them down? Where could they have gone? How sad that a bright spot in my regular drive to DIA just up and disappeared.

But just now, I took Foxy on a lunchtime walk. I wasn’t half a block from my house when I rounded the corner and, there across the freeway, I saw them.


The clouds are right around the corner from my house! Albeit in a hideous location. But there they are! I found them!

I don’t know if they’re just in a holding cell until they’re moved to their intended spot, or if that empty parking lot in the shadow of Elitch’s is their final destination (which would be a strange choice). For now, I’m just glad to know that they still exist. It gives me hope that the good things can continue, like the Velveteen Rabbit.



  1. Kim on April 7, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    That just brings a smile to my face! Those clouds are your spirit art. They followed you home!

  2. Louise on April 7, 2015 at 6:59 PM

    Please investigate the history of those towers. I think they originally had cowboy hats painted on them. Does anyone really know what they mean?

    PS I like the cloud idea.

  3. Paul on April 22, 2015 at 4:32 PM
  4. Chris Lavery on July 29, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    I originally made Cloudscape for DIA’s TEMPORARY emerging public artist program launched in 2008. The works were installed in 2010 on Pena. Since then I gifted them to the City of Denver’s public art collection. They are being maintained by the Children’s Museum currently. At some point they will be light up from the inside with pink LED lights. They were never cowboy hats or sombreros. They simply reflect a pop-aesthetic of clouds and the old water and oil rigs frequently found on the plains of Colorado. This work was inspired by and created for the Colorado landscape. It is unfortunate that they no longer exist in the original site, but I am happy that they have a secondary life at the Children’s Museum with great caretakers! I am fortunate to have had the clouds on the landscape that captured my imagination but I cannot regret donating them to the wonderful city of Denver! Besides now more people get to see them closer to home!

    • hootenannie on July 31, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      Chris, this is amazing!

      I’m so glad that you saw this post – I am OBSESSED with the clouds (not sombreros, duh), and so pleased to have found them in the heart of Denver. I’ve since moved from Colorado to Minnesota, but will always watch for the clouds when I pass I-25’s exit 211 (the exit to my former house). Thank you for giving Denverados something to smile about. :)

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