This Denver roadside attraction is so big, I can hardly bear it. And it definitely didn’t leave me feeling blue. It’s the Big Blue Bear in Denver, Colorado. Otherwise known as, “I See What You Mean.”
In a city known as the Mile High City, it is only appropriate that there are a few fun, tall things to see (such as Blucifer, the Blue Mustang that the Denver Airport). And this mile high attraction is definitely worth seeing. This giant bear was created by artist Lawrence Argent (1957- 2017), an associate professor of art at the University of Denver. Installed in the summer of 2005, the larger than life sculpture was made in California and then transported to Denver in sections to be assembled upon arrival.
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The big bear stands impressively high at 40 feet tall, pressing its paws and nose against the window glass while peeping into the third floor of Colorado’s Convention Center in downtown Denver. In total, the roadside giant cost $424,400 to construct.
Why a bear?
Argent wanted to pay homage to the Centennial State without using cliche, overused imagery, such as mountains. He felt like the curious peeking bear represented well the curiosity of passersby who might be wondering just what is happening within the convention center walls.
Why a blue bear?
Artist Argent never intended to color the grizzly blue. He originally meant for the sculpture’s hue to reflect the colors of Colorado, with a more natural earth-toned brown paint job. But, at once point in the process, a printing error produced a bright blue design, Argent loved the whimsy of it, and the bear officially switched colors to be blue. Lapis lazuli blue to be exact. The bright blue color is said to represent the Colorado sky.
The oversized artwork actually has an official name: “I See What You Mean.” But if you just want to call it “The Big Blue Bear,” you’ll be in good company.
Photos of the Big Blue Bear in Denver, Colorado
After visiting this Colorado roadside attraction, stick around Denver to find some other silly sites, such as the giant dustpan and broom, Little Man Ice Cream milk can building, SoundWalk, and the giant pencil.
Big Blue Bear FAQ
The three-story tall big bear sculpture peeks into the windows of the Colorado Convention Center, representing the curiosity of people who pass by and wonder what is happening inside. The blue color was a happy accident but is said to represent the color of the Colorado sky.
The official title of this Denver roadside attraction is “I See What You Mean.” But most people just call is “The Big Blue Bear.”
The giant bear is made of fiberglass and concrete.
The big bear in Denver is located at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver (50-776 14th St, Denver, CO 80202). You can find this roadside favorite on Fourteenth Street between California and Stout.
This Denver bear was created by Lawrence Argent (1957- 2017). Argent was an artist and associate professor of art at the University of Denver (later, professor emeritus). He also created a 49-foot panda bear in China and a 56-foot-long rabbit at the Sacramento airport.
I See What You Mean: Big Blue Bear
Address: Colorado Convention Center, 50-776 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See