Carbondale’s Art Walk is tonight |

Carbondale’s Art Walk is tonight

Carla Jean Whitley

Carbondale’s 15th-annual Art aRound Town public art program introduces a new element: a self-guided audio tour of the 15 sculptures, which will be on display for one year. But tonight, visitors can learn about the work the old-fashioned way: through an art walk with artist commentary.

The Carbondale Public Art Commission hosts the events, which begins at town hall at 5:30 p.m. Artists will be on hand, including five from the Roaring Fork Valley. CPAC member Sarah Moore said this is the highest ratio of local artists the program has seen.

ART receives an average of 85 entries annually, and then a jury selects the art through a blind selection process. That involves three stages and concludes each February.

“Part of that is saying, ‘Laurie, can you guys install this?’ ” Moore said. Laurie Lindberg of the town’s public works department is the CPAC liaison.

Come May, public works employees dedicate themselves to removing the past year’s work and installing the current year’s. The CPAC board considers size and how a piece will look at a specific location before they assign each artwork its spot.

“The crane operators (Myers & Company) are artists themselves,” Lindberg said.

The town support is essential for the project, Moore and Lindberg agreed.

In addition to the staff’s installation effort, the trustees, town manager and director of public works are key supporters. CPAC also receives assistance from community entities, often donated or discounted. For example, in 2015 Colorado Stone Quarries donated 45 tons of marble that now serve as permanent bases for the rotating art collection. That helped brand and define the program, Lindberg said.

“(The art is) part of the community, for sure,” Lindberg said.

“It always creates a conversation,” Moore added. “My kids talk about the sculpture all the time, how it inspires them.”

The pieces are for sale, and over the years several have been purchased and donated back to Carbondale.

Although one third of 2017’s artists are from the Roaring Fork Valley, the program receives applications from international artists. Those don’t always work out, often because of logistics — the art must be transported to Carbondale, after all, and then installed. This year’s farthest-away artist is Kimber Fiebiger of Minneapolis, whose sculpture sits atop a fence outside the Carbondale branch library. But distance isn’t always a deterrent.

Moore said, “We must do something right in the way we treat them because we get repeat submissions.”

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