Breckenridge Town Council split on logistics of proposed art installation along Blue River |

Breckenridge Town Council split on logistics of proposed art installation along Blue River

An art installation in Amsterdam by Choi and Shine Architects. The architects have been selected to create a temporary art installation in Breckenridge.
Courtesy Choi and Shine Architects

BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge Creative Arts is proposing a knit art installation along the Breckenridge Riverwalk corridor for about four months next summer in conjunction with the WAVE: Light + Water + Sound festival.

Breckenridge Town Council members voiced several concerns about the installation at a meeting in October, including the size, scope and length of time the project would be on display. On Nov. 26, they discussed a compromise on the proposed installation with the art nonprofit’s Director of Exhibitions and Special Projects Nicole Dial-Kay.

Dial-Kay said the installation, which features knitting over a wire substructure, will be created by Choi and Shine Architects, which has created other knit art installations over rivers, including one called The Lace at the Amsterdam Light Festival in 2016.

Dial-Kay explained that the group opted for the installation to be on display over a longer duration after looking at other art festival models, where installations are sometimes left up for an extended period of time.

“If it is problematic, the last thing we would want to do is create another controversial installation,” Dial-Kay said. “There are ways to make it more of a treasure hunt than a blockbuster piece that you see right when you walk on Main Street.”

As planned, community members would have the opportunity to embroider pieces for the project, which is designed to be 168 feet long, Dial-Kay said.

She also said there would be security near the art piece at peak times and that after the installation is over, the structure would be taken down in sections and saved for another installation in another town.

After learning these additional details, council members discussed whether they would rather have the installation in a busy location over a shorter period of time or in a less busy location for a longer period of time.

Council member Jeffrey Bergeron brought up the potential for “not in my backyard” feelings, similar to what Breckenridge experienced with trail troll Isak Heartstone.

“Don’t you think some of us will have different opinions on how long it is based on the location?” Bergeron asked. “I probably wouldn’t like it for too long if it was around my house, but if it was around your house …”

Mayor Eric Mamula said he favors doing the installation for a shorter period of time in a more central location of the Blue River during the four-day WAVE festival. 

“If they want to do it at the same time as WAVE, then do it wherever you want,” Mamula said. “Personally, I’d rather have it shorter and done.”

Council member Gary Gallagher agreed the project should be part of WAVE.

“I’d rather see it featured as part of WAVE even if it’s a shorter duration,” Gallagher said. “I think it should be longer than four days. I’ll go for a shorter duration but have it in a premier location.”

Council member Erin Gigliello said she would prefer the installation last for two weekends. 

“I think there’s something beautiful about having something that’s great and for a short period of time,” Gigliello said. “I think we lose some of the specialness when you have it live here for too long. I worry about having too many art installations in a small area.”

Council members Wendy Wolfe and Dick Carleton said they prefer the installation to last for a longer time in a less central location. Wolfe remarked that she likes the idea of having something for people to come into town to look at during non-festival times. 

“I actually like the longer period,” Carleton agreed. “June is the softer period of the summer. Soon after the Fourth of July, it would probably come down.”

But he added, “I’m fine with shorter, too.”

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