Law is what we do and a part of who we are, but our lives are fully immersed in the people, places and perspectives that create Denver’s identity.  Deeply entwined with our legal practice is our love of place.  This is our opportunity to share our personal insights.

Office environments are not exactly known for cultivating creativity.  However, well‑placed artwork has the power to create unexpected moments of reflection and imagination.  Before Otten Johnson’s renovation a couple years ago, these moments were few and far between.  There were several gems in our art collection, but they were relegated to the oft-ignored corners and corridors of the office.  With the help of Nine Dot Arts, we breathed new life into our existing collection and selected new pieces that captured the firm’s local and approachable culture.  Here are a few highlights from our art collection:

Echoes in the Distance by Craig Robb

It is hard to ignore this masterpiece when you first walk into Otten Johnson’s offices.  With intertwined wood and steel elements, it captures both the movement and stability of various landscapes, in both practical and creative contexts.  A closer look reveals smaller found elements that make subtle references to the firm’s real estate and land use practices.  This imaginative 3-D installation from a local Colorado artist sets the creative vibe for the rest of the Otten Johnson office space.

Architectural Drawings series by Frank Lloyd Wright

Artwork does not need to be expensive in order to be impactful.  This collection of Frank Lloyd Wright sketches was cut out from an old calendar (really!).  While the drawings felt drab when hung in a horizontal stripe down the office hallways, grouping them together in a gallery wall created a worthy tribute to the famous architect.  By drawing your eye to multiple sketches at once, it allows you to appreciate the innovative elements of Wright’s architectural designs.

The Drift by Georgia Amar

Otten Johnson has an impressive collection of artwork by Denver artist Georgia Amar, thanks to her husband and former Otten Johnson attorney Jack Pappalardo.  While our collection mainly features her signature landscapes with surrealist elements and soothing color palettes, The Drift presents an intriguing departure.  This abstract painting draws you in with an unexpected combination of blue, green and orange hues against an inky black backdrop.  The biomorphic forms echo butterfly wings, river patterns or whatever your Rorschach test says about you.  For me, it reflects the essence of abstract art—it can be whatever you want (or need) it to be at any given moment.

Otherscape Series by Tyler Beard

This inconspicuous collage series by Tyler Beard is my personal favorite.  Starting with double-page spreads from a 1950s book about national parks, Beard cut out geometric shapes from one page and transposed them onto the other page.  The landscapes are subtly transformed by layering unexpected dimensions.  The artwork encourages you to admire the picturesque scenery while reflecting on how your own perceptions can alter your surroundings.