Basalt to celebrate ‘Motio 2.0’ sculpture unveilings with Public Art Day
IF YOU GO …
What: ‘Motio 2.0” grand opening, presented by Basalt Public Arts Commission
Where: Lions Park, downtown Basalt, Triangle Park, Willits
When: Saturday, June 10, 2-5 p.m.
How much: Free
More info: Face-painting and bike decoration begins at 2 p.m. Performances by The Higher Octave, Aspen Dance Connection and Dance Progressions begin at 4 p.m. in Lions Park. Ongoing events include sculpture tours, lectures, children’s art projects and in-school presentations. www.basaltpublicartscommission.com
ALSO IN AND AROUND BASALT ON SATURDAY …
The Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy will host its annual Education River Float, starting at Coryell Ranch in Carbondale at 8 a.m. This is the 13th annual fun float and barbecue.
The popular Motors on Midland classic-car show will be held on Midland Avenue from 5 to 8 p.m. The event keeps growing and will feature 45 classic cars this year. There will be live music and a beer garden in a roughly one-block section of Midland Avenue that will be shut down for the event. Viewers will be able to check out the sweet rides while enjoying a frosty one.
Topping off the night will be a screening of “Singin’ in the Rain” in Lions Park after dusk. There will be food vendors, drinks and popcorn available for the outdoor screening. It will be the first showing in the town’s Saturday Cinema in the Park series.
Basalt will commemorate the installation of Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr.’s Motio 2.0 sculptures with an official public art day on Saturday.
Premiering Friday during the Basalt Art Walk, the aluminum grid sculptures are beginning a two-year-long stay at five locations spread across the town — spanning from downtown to Willits and Emma, from the east entrance on Two Rivers Road to Southside near Basalt High School. On Saturday, the town is toasting Buzzell’s work with an afternoon of family-friendly festivities and live performance.
Motio 2.0 is something of a repurposed sequel to Buzzell’s Motio, which stood for five months last year on the plaza outside the Denver Art Museum. While the Denver piece was one large and intricate 100-foot-long sculpture, Basalt’s Motio 2.0 is split into five sections placed in separate locations. In all, they’re made up of about 1,000 aluminum pieces — crafted with a CNC router — and painted in 10 vibrant hues.
The aesthetic unity of the five sculptures is in keeping with the Basalt Public Arts Commission’s stated goal of using the town’s first public art initiative to unite Basalt across its rivers and its highway and from its historic downtown to the annexed Willits development.
“Breaking them into these five parts was representative of those five different parts of Basalt — the idea is that it’s the spine that connects different parts of town,” Buzzell said in a recent public interview with Art Base director Genna Moe.
Buzzell is an artist and architect who serves as chief designer at the Denver-based sculptural fabrication studio Demiurge. In his day job there, Buzzell often assists artists with carrying out their visions for public art projects. The Basalt commission’s call for Colorado artists to “discover what connects us” inspired Buzzell to throw his own hat in the ring.
“When we saw the call for artists in Basalt, we saw this as a way for Motio to have its next life, its next chapter,” he said.
Buzzell responded quite literally to the commission’s desire to unite the people in Basalt’s distinct neighborhoods through art. The five pieces of Motio 2.0 include (by Buzzell’s count) 84 abstracted human figures — look closely and you’ll see their combinations of stick-figure-like legs, torsos, arms and hands.
The works beckon viewers to interact with, touch and go inside of them. A blue piece. titled Back Flip, for instance, begins as a functional bench on one side and morphs gradually over its length into a doorway on the other. Other pieces of Motio 2.0 invite viewers to walk through their arched passageways and step into their enclosed spaces.
“I want people to be able to get inside it,” Buzzell explained. “It’s not just a statue on a pedestal. It’s something that you can get engaged with and even sometimes get inside.”
Motio 2.0 will be on view through May 2019. It is the first of three temporary public art installations planned to go up in Basalt over the next six years. The arts commission — appointed by the Basalt Town Council — selected Motio 2.0 from 49 submissions.