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DU grad dedicates artwork at site of personal tragedy

On Nov. 10, 2006, University of Denver law graduate Frank Bingham endured his greatest personal tragedy when a drunk driver crashed into his family as they walked across a downtown Denver street, killing his wife and two young children.

On May 10, 2011, Bingham stood before civic leaders and supporters on a warm afternoon and presented the city of Denver with a massive kinetic statue that reflected spring sunshine off shining blades of titanium. From his tragedy, he said, comes a symbol of strength and light.

The huge project, the work of artist Robert Pietruszewski and a team of donors, is titled “Connections” and is dedicated to the memory of Bingham’s family; wife Rebecca and children   Macie, 4, and Garrison, 2.

Speaking briefly to the assembled crowd, Bingham recalled early talks with city leaders and how they led him to want to give something to the city that transformed the intersection at 15th and Arapahoe streets “from a place of darkness to a place of movement and light.”

With the statue’s glistening blades drifting in slow circles behind him, Bingham said, “In my mind, it’s a total success.”

Denver Mayor Bill Vidal thanked Bingham for his gift and said he felt a personal connection to him and his story.

“I couldn’t miss today; I wanted to be part of the celebration, be part of enjoying the moment, and also thankful for Frank and the way he has reminded us of the importance of life,” Vidal said. “Frank found a way not only to deal with a tragedy but also to remind us this is how you overcome, this is how you move on. This is how you make something positive out of tragedy.”

Bingham, who graduated from DU’s Sturm College of Law in 2010, closed the brief ceremony by reading from a work by poet Maya Angelou.

“When great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly,” he read. “Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”

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One Comment

  1. Simone Kivett says:

    Your speech to the Denver community was amazing. I really appreciate the sculpture as well. Thank you.

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