Breck council OKs artist’s sculpture |

Breck council OKs artist’s sculpture

BRECKENRIDGE – Fairplay artist Chaz della Porta will begin work on a sculpture town art committee members believe best represents the spirit of Chris Ethridge, a Breckenridge man who died in October, 2001.

The abstract piece della Porta presented to the committee features two sweeping metal blade-like pieces, rocks to represent the area’s mining history and a scarf-like metal band della Porta said depicts Ethridge’s spirit floating into the heavens. Tuesday, he said the piece will serve as a memorial to Ethridge and a tribute to the town and its history.

“I want to create a monument to Chris,” della Porta told commissioners last December. “My overriding impression of him was that he was a kind person, that he was inspired to be his fullest. This embodies the power of movement in sweeping curves; the tail shape is a last look at his spirit before he transcends to the heavens.

“As time goes on,” he said Tuesday, “people won’t know who Chris was. But the sculpture stays.”

The sculpture will be placed at the entrance to the ice rink facility on Boreas Pass Road. Ethridge, a co-owner of Great Adventure Sports and 10-year veteran with the Red, White and Blue Fire Department, spent many evenings playing hockey for the fire department team. Interpretive signs near the sculpture will outline della Porta’s vision of how the piece memorializes Ethridge.

Della Porta also plans to let Ethridge’s friends help select the rocks he’ll incorporate into the piece.

The arts committee started the process last year and narrowed the field of eight pieces to two. The other finalist was an interactive piece designed by Andrew Held and Brian Howard of the art shack in Frisco. Comments solicited from the public expressed concerns that piece would be more subject to vandalism and possibly require too much maintenance.

Committee member Maureen Hyland said she liked della Porta’s piece from the day she first saw artist renderings.

“The artist has displayed a passion for this piece of art,” she said. “It evokes tremendous feelings for me. You can just sit there and space out and think about Chris or other people who have gone.”

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