Breckenridge dedicates artwork, time capsule at new community center | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge dedicates artwork, time capsule at new community center

Krista Driscoll
kdriscoll@summitdaily.com

On Saturday, July 18, the community is invited to attend a dedication for various installations in and around the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and Summit County South Branch Library building on Harris Street in Breckenridge.

The series of presentations begins with the dedication of a new garden, outdoor furniture and a time capsule, which will be buried a few feet from the northeast corner of the building. The transformation of the old 1909 schoolhouse into the new community center over the past three years is a project that should be commemorated, said Jerry Dziedzic, president of the board of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.

"Just as we laid a new time capsule at the old courthouse in Breckenridge when we celebrated the sesquicentennial in 2009, we wanted to commemorate this event with a capsule that folks will open 100 years from now," he said.

Among the two-dozen objects to be entombed in the capsule are a cowbell from the USA Pro Challenge and a trail map of Breckenridge Ski Resort to show our love of the outdoors, plus documents from the town that describe current government initiatives from child care to workforce housing, open space to parking and transportation.

All of the items will be on display for the public to view on Saturday, before the capsule is lowered into the ground. Dziedzic said the theme of the capital campaign for the redevelopment project was "preserving our history, building our future," and that is reflected in the mini archive of artifacts chosen collectively by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, Breckenridge Creative Arts and partners from the town of Breckenridge and Summit County governments.

"When we're speaking to those folks 100 years from now, we're telling them a little bit about what was going on, what were the major events taking place in 2015 that the community was wrestling with," he said. "In some cases, there were opportunities and there were and remain significant challenges.

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"To place that into context, think back to 1909 when the schoolhouse was built, just over 100 years ago, what was going on then? … We were digging tunnels and dredges were turning our world upside down — could we have possibly guessed that the mines would be closed, dredges shut down, that Breckenridge and Summit County would be hosting countless visitors at one of the world's greatest ski resorts?"

Made by local quilters

The Summit County Library Board and the Breckenridge Public Art Commission approached the Summit Quilters in the fall of 2013 to create a quilt for the renovated schoolhouse building. The finished work hung briefly over the fireplace on the mezzanine level of the new library for the building's grand re-opening in January — and then it disappeared.

"I've heard from folks at the library and around town just asking, 'Where is the quilt? I thought it was going to be up there. We can't wait until it comes back,'" said Debbie Conway, of the Summit Quilters. "We've been waiting to get a barrier to put in front of the quilt so it's not touched and won't get damaged by the oils from people's fingers."

There are so many elements to the quilt that people are interested in seeing, so many details to look at, and it would be human nature to want to touch it and see what it felt like, Conway said, but that would gradually destroy the fabric. Before the quilt is tucked away behind its new barrier, the public will have a chance to view it from both the front and back at the dedication on Saturday.

"We have some labels on the back of the quilt that give a bit of the story, which when it's hung, you won't be able to see that," Conway said. "It will be good to see that the history of the quilt has been documented on the back of the quilt, and it is there for future generations to see how things came about and telling about the quilt and what the elements on the quilt mean and how they relate to Summit County."

The quilt itself was a collaborative effort amongst 26 Summit County quilters, who channeled their own artistic vision, as well as incorporating input from many other people and organizations throughout the community. The dominant image in the center is of the schoolhouse building, framed from above with mountains and an alpenglow sky and below with a myriad of details related to Summit County, panning down from grass and wildflowers to bookshelves containing titles by local authors.

"The heritage of the building was an important design element for the quilt," Conway said. "The 1909 schoolhouse is pretty specific to what the building looks like now. We wanted to keep that very genuine, so that when you look at the schoolhouse on the quilt, it looks exactly like what the schoolhouse does now."

Values in bronze

The final piece to be dedicated on Saturday is a bronze sculpture created by Guilloume, an artist who has been bringing his work to shows in Breckenridge for the past 20 years. The artist said he loves our town and he thinks his sculpture, titled "Just the Two of Us," is appropriate for our community.

The sculptor's statement about this particular work describes his own journey through building a family, from meeting his wife to cherished memories watching their children grow and, eventually, leave the nest. Now, it's back to being just him and his wife, "just the two of us," he said, and that basic partnership is the foundation for all families.

"In the beginning of time, there was partnership, and I refuse to accept the concept of family disappearing, more people living alone, single parents with their kids," Guilloume said. "I know that we have to overcome these difficulties in our partnership. Every relationship is not easy, but when you have a commitment, you can work on it and that will make the best part of our lives. It's extremely important that the community see the value of partnership."

Cast in bronze, "Just the Two of Us" is 60 inches tall, atop an 8-inch base and a concrete pedestal, and it's tucked into the small, park-like alcove just east of the new entrance to the Speakeasy Theater. John and Judy Goebel, of Breckenridge, donated the piece to the Breckenridge Public Art Commission.

"We think that there's a lot of representational art in town, and we like the idea that this is a transitional piece between representational art and modern art, and we think it is an important part of people's education about art," John Goebel said.

"We like the fact that Guilloume doesn't put faces on his art, so that when you're looking at it, you can complete the story in your own mind. You can decide whether it's two people on a date, two people going to a movie, two people coming from the library — whatever the story is in your own mind that you want it to be."

If you go

What: Heritage and art dedications

When: Saturday, July 18

10:30 a.m. — Time capsule, outdoor furniture and garden dedication

11:30 a.m. — Quilt dedication

12:30 a.m. — Public art dedication: “Just the Two of Us,” by Guilloume

Where: Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center and Summit County South Branch Library, 103 S. Harris St., Breckenridge

Cost: Free and open to the public

More information: Light refreshments will be served. Call (970) 453-9767, ext. 101