Whispers: Debate & Dialogue

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Detail – Whispers


Lawrence Argent, Whispers, 1999, limestone, bronze, and sound


Lawrence Argent, Whispers, 1999, limestone, bronze, and sound

One special aspect of the college or university experience is the open pursuit of learning through lecture, debate, and dialogue. Some artworks celebrate and explore these complex activities. Faculty member Lawrence Argent (b.1957) completed the limestone, bronze and sound sculpture Whispers in 1999. Based on 3D digital scans of the faces of several students in Argent’s classes, its over-sized limestone and bronze lips appear closed and mute. As one approaches the sculpture, however, voices of actual lectures and public events on campus emerge softly from concealed audio speakers nearby. Whispers can be interpreted as one artist’s appreciation—realized both audibly and visibly—of the university as a place for civil speech—and listening.

Location: between the Shwayder Art Building and the Ritchie Center


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Lawrence Argent, Whispers, 1999, Limestone, bronze and interactive sound elements

Location: Between SAB and Ritchie Center

  • Renowned sculptor Lawrence Argent created “Whispers” for the University of Denver community in 1999. It consists of many lips placed on the walkway as benches and elevated on pillars surrounding the entry to the Coors Fitness Center and the Gates Field House – previously recorded university lectures can be heard coming from speakers incorporated into the outdoor sculpture installation daily. The marble elements were sculpted by a computer-controlled milling machine. Lawrence Argent is perhaps best known for his creation of the “Big Blue Bear” sculpture that peers into the windows of the Denver Convention Center downtown.

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