The Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center, encased in Indiana limestone, complements the Denver Mint and new Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse adjacent to Colfax Boulevard.
Denver’s Public Art Program was established in 1988 by Executive Order under Mayor Federico Peña. The order, enacted into Ordinance by Mayor Wellington E. Webb, directs that 1% of any capital improvement project over $1 million undertaken by the City be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects.
Artist Garrison Roots was selected to create an epoxy resin terrazzo art floor for the Denver Justice Center Van Cise-Simonet Detention Building titled Acumen. To create his design, Roots layered patterns and images from nature (water, fire, tree-rings and a hurricane) to create a richly colored, interlaced work that defines this public place of interaction and ever-changing “community.” The artist’s goal was to activate a thought process that invites dialogue and conversation regarding subject matters ranging from beauty to indifference, from education to faith, from history to investigation, from action to reality. Roots has created an artwork that “reaches far beyond the boundaries of words” and serves as contemplative “centerpiece” on the table of a larger "family.” The artist states, “After all, we are all part of the same community, and justice systems are examples of how we may depend on as well as define one another.”