Breckenridge Town Council voices concerns about proposed public art installation on Blue River |

Breckenridge Town Council voices concerns about proposed public art installation on Blue River

The Blue River near Breckenridge.
Elaine Collins / Summit Daily reader

BRECKENRIDGE — At Breckenridge Town Council’s work session Tuesday, members discussed a proposal by Breckenridge Creative Arts to put an art installation on the Breckenridge Riverwalk corridor for about four months next summer. According to minutes from the Oct. 2 Breckenridge Events Committee meeting, the art installation will consist of “crocheted material attached to steel infrastructure.”

Council members, particularly Mayor Eric Mamula, voiced concerns with the project as proposed.

The installation is proposed to be on display from May to Sept. 7, 2020. Some council members were concerned it was too long of a timeframe. Council member Wendy Wolfe discussed the necessity of some longer displays, but did not necessarily say she was in favor of the full four months.

“In art, some messages hit you between the eyes and some you have to sit there for a month to understand,” Wolfe said.

Other concerns about the project brought up by council included the size, scope and location of the art. Events committee minutes did not specify the size of the potential project but did indicate that Breckenridge Creative Arts is looking to position the art over the river in the “core of town.”

Council members noted that an installation like this could block the view of the river. 

“I’m totally fine with all these comments,” Mamula said. “We get veto, though. That’s all I’m saying. This is another troll. We’ve spent a ton of money on the river and the river is beautiful. This kind of stuff just annoys the s— out of me.”

Mamula also pointed out that the Town Council likely will be the group to receive complaints about an installation like this, not Breckenridge Creative Arts. He said this is one reason why Town Council gets to make the final decision on whether it will allow the installation.

Council member Gary Gallagher said council should provide suggestions if it is unhappy with the proposal.

“If you’re looking to have the veto power at the end of the process, I don’t think that’s the right way to do it,” Gallagher said.

Council member Erin Gigliello brought up how an installation like this would fit into the larger context of public art in Breckenridge. She pointed out that there is already a lot of public art installations along Riverwalk, including the “Toro” robot, “Gone Fishin’” and “A Miner’s Dream.” She brought up the idea of having future discussions regarding a larger design plan that would create more overall structure to public art installations. 

Breckenridge Creative Arts Senior Director of Arts and Programming Nicole Dial-Kay said it was too early in the process to talk specifics about the project.

“I have merely exchanged emails with the artists at this juncture,” she wrote in an email. “I have no contracted working relationship with them and no proposal for Breckenridge.”

The proposed installation will remain on the Town Council agenda for continued discussion.

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