Meet Oso, the Barnum Bear

In collaboration with Denver Arts & Venues, the Community Coalition for Barnum, and Barnum Elementary, the Ross-Barnum Branch is the proud home of the public art installation “Los Osos de Barnum Reciclan (The Barnum Bears Recycle)” by local artist Alexander Perrine

This life-size sculpture of a bear, also known as the Barnum Bear, contains more than 1,000 pieces of recycled and repurposed materials donated by members of the Barnum neighborhood including broken toys, coat hangers, plastic chairs, screws, hoses, wires, foam packaging, car parts and kitchen utensils. Donations from the neighborhood totaled to 90 - 95% of the project materiels, each donated piece also has a story from its donor.

The Barnum Bear, called “Oso” by library staff, is not only a nod to the Barnum Elementary School mascot but also to Colorado's American Black Bear population. Although, the Earth Day installation ceremony was postponed due to COVID restrictions, Oso is seated at the entrance of the library, greeting everyone as they bike, drive, or walk along 1st Avenue with a reminder of community and environmental awareness.

Written by dbrooks on November 3, 2020