Art For Ransom


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Nearly a year ago, we reported on an interesting idea that the Art Director’s Club of Denver came up with called ‘The Brief.’ ADCD put together an evening in which top-notch ADs and CDs from Denver, along with 75 students from design schools along the front range, were invited to a “typical night at the agency.” The event was intended to benefit Arts Street, a local non-profit.

During the evening, a creative brief (written by Factory Design Labs’ Steve Whittier and Stella Yu of Arts Street) was presented to teams of 4 students and 1 CD or AD. The teams were given a limited time to concept and design the next fundraiser for Arts Street.

The team headed by Extra Strength’s Steve Koloskus came up with the winning idea that evening which you may have seen revealing itself over the last several days in Denver. With Art for Ransom, public art pieces across the city have been covered with black plastic, wrapped with yellow caution tape and feature the URL of the organization. During an event at Redline on September 12, the art that’s been held for ransom will be gradually revealed as donations to the organization come in from gallery show attendees.

“It’s really a great way for people to understand that public art and all art in the city comes at a cost, and like non-profits that support the arts, are struggling in these difficult times,” said Erin Trapp, director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs.

What a genius idea.


  1. BrendonK September 3, 2009

    Great, great work

    Great, great work

  2. Brian W. September 3, 2009

    i’m so glad the city agreed

    i’m so glad the city agreed to do this.

    i was floored when those kids presented that idea.

    it’s awesome to see it come to life.

  3. dozer! September 4, 2009

    Well played

    Well played

  4. Randall Erkelens September 4, 2009

    I participated last year in

    I participated last year in the project. And what a great experience. There was so much energy and talent in the room eager to create. One complaint, just about every student had nicer laptops than me. 🙂 Congrats to the winners and a most excellent execution.

  5. Peter Regenold Bergman, ADCD Education Committee Volunteer September 4, 2009

    The student team who came up

    The student team who came up with the concept under Steve’s direction was”

    Karen Andrews : [email protected] : Metro State
    Sidney C. Clewe : [email protected] : CSU
    Jeffrey Steffonich : [email protected]: Metro Stare
    Garrett Buckert : [email protected] : U. of Wyoming

    Hire them!!

    The ADCD education team is working on holding The Brief again this year tentatively on October 22nd. We’ll give the Egotist the scoop!

  6. Andrew Hoffman September 4, 2009

    It was great being able to

    It was great being able to help out with this event. The Metro State kids are tearing it up! Some of the best student work I have seen in Denver has come from Metro. Keep it up!

  7. Steve whittier September 4, 2009

    I was really impressed with

    I was really impressed with the teams and their passion.
    They were poised and they could present.

    Stella knows what she is doing and has built an amazing program and for her to assemble a team and get this live should show us all that if you want it, it can happen.

  8. Peter Regenold Bergman September 18, 2009

    Wrap up of the September 12th

    Wrap up of the September 12th Art For Ransom even at RedLine is posted on

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