On March 26, the public in Denver and London are invited to join in British artist Stuart Semple’s “Hug Huddle” to share a simultaneous moment of connection. Semple, whose artwork “Happy City: Art for the People” is launching in Denver on May 18, will lead the hug in London at Potters Fields Park, with the Denver Theatre District initiating the Denver-based hug at The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex (1400 Curtis St.) at 10:30 a.m.
Staged concurrently in London and Denver, the “Hug Huddle” is a spontaneous artwork that takes the form of a public invitation to hug. For this work, Semple invites strangers to choose a person (or persons) at random for a hug. The “Hug Huddle” is a statement of empathy and togetherness, and holds poignancy in a world that is increasingly divided. Everyone is welcome to show up and participate.
“I’m really excited for the ‘Hug Huddle,’ and can’t wait for friends in London and Denver to come together and share what I hope will be a happy and uplifting moment,” said artist Stuart Semple. “I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone on the big day.”
The Denver event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Both cities will have a live feed of “Hug Huddle” as it takes place, and the feeds will be available online.
“Happy City: Art for the People” is a six-week, citywide art intervention with the purpose of breaking down personal, emotional and social barriers in the urban environment and inciting widespread happiness. The project is envisioned by Semple and produced by the Denver Theatre District with artistic direction by Black Cube. Six large-scale artworks will transform a number of downtown Denver locations, ranging from Union Station to public plazas, into large-scale immersive art experiences. The project is Semple’s largest and most ambitious to date.
“Happy City: Art for the People” is a result of collaboration among a number of funding partners, including Black Cube, Community First Foundation, Denver Arts & Venues, P.S. You Are Here, Denver Union Station, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Downtown Denver Partnership, McWHINNEY, Sage Hospitality and VISIT DENVER.