“It’s so Glenwood.”
That was resident Vickie Branson’s initial reaction to the 10,000 pound Yule Marble sculpture titled “Tubing On the Colorado,” at its unveiling Friday.
“I think we are very fortunate in Glenwood to have this piece here,” Branson said.
A few dozen people enjoyed hot apple cider and donuts at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Marble artist Madeline Wiener’s latest sculpture.
Last year the city of Glenwood Springs received a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant, which funded the public art project that will permanently reside at the north landing site on Sixth Street where the former Grand Avenue Bridge touched down.
“I wanted to pay attention to family,” Wiener said. “Glenwood Springs is all about family. It’s become my extended family.”
The sculpture, as its title suggests, features a mother and her son tubing down the Colorado River.
Approximately four feet tall, five feet wide and six feet long, “Tubing on the Colorado,” was sculpted out of Yule Marble from Colorado Stone Quarries.
Additionally, like much of the artist’s previous work, “Tubing On the Colorado” invites onlookers to also physically interact with the piece.
“Those feet become a bench and the whole sculpture becomes something that little kids of all ages can climb on, sit on and become a part of,” Wiener said.
Wiener explained the difficulties of trying to encapsulate Glenwood Springs into one sculpture but credited public outreach efforts as well as the city’s Arts & Culture Board for helping guide the work of art’s theme.
“It’s difficult to capture the spirit of our community in one piece but I think that you did a great job,” Arts & Culture Board Member Bryana Starbuck said. “When I see this piece, I see togetherness and joy. And, I think that is a part of our character here in the city of Glenwood Springs.”
According to Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith, the city hopes to introduce more public art in the future throughout Glenwood Springs.
“It’s very difficult to try and capture who we feel we are and what represents our character in one piece,” Smith said. “Obviously, that can’t be done with just one piece, which is why we hope to do many pieces throughout the city in the coming years.”
Exactly what will become of the rest of the city-owned north landing site remains in question.
However, Friday morning at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees appeared content with the addition of the sculpture.
“It’s a beautiful addition to our city and it’s a beautiful addition to north Glenwood,” Councilman Charlie Willman said. “I hope it’s just the beginning of the redevelopment of the north Glenwood, Sixth Street corridor.”