New art lines Carbondale streets | PostIndependent.com

New art lines Carbondale streets

Carla Jean Whitley
cj@postindependent.com

Many Carbondale visitors comment on the number of sculptures that dot the town. Come May of each year, the exact number and shape of those sculptures change.

More than 100 people strolled the town Thursday during the annual Art aRound Town Art Walk, the public introduction to the new sculptures. Several artists were on hand for the Carbondale Public Art Commission event, and CPAC’s Sarah Moore read artist statements for those who were unable to be present.

Artist Russ Connell was among those, but his statement offered perspective on the value of public art:

“Every day, somebody new gets to view the work and derive meaning from it,” he said.

The 14 sculptures will remain on display until next May, and all are available for purchase. The event also kicks off a weekend of art in Carbondale, which holds its monthly First Friday gathering tonight. Read more about it and other weekend activities on page B2.

Three Roaring Fork Valley artists are included in the 2018 sculpture collection, and each of them shared insight into their work Thursday.

“Rack & Pinion” by Chester Haring

Located on the Rio Grande Trail

Carbondale-based artist Haring drew inspiration from the historic mill site in Marble, and it shows in his piece “Rack & Pinion.”

“I think it’s neat when you can illustrate that stuff in stone, which is a medium you don’t make those things out of. I find that very interesting,” he said.

The pinion stretches toward the sky like a ladder, and the gear appears to climb toward the heavens using what the artist dubbed “friendly magic.” As the viewer circles the work, Haring’s obsession with clean lines and detail become clear.

“Stuffed on Sushi” by Brian Howard

Located on the Rio Grande Trail

As the Thursday crowd approached Howard’s “Stuffed on Sushi,” he quickly made an announcement: The sculpture is meant to be climbed on.

Several children then clambered onto the bronze bear, which is shown prostrate, just before dining on a fish.

“I make art to smile the soul,” said Howard, an Aspen resident. He explained the influential views of other artists. “[They] essentially maintain that in order to be an artist, one had to view the world through the eyes of a child. The moment you stop viewing the world through the eyes of a child, you were no longer an artist. That hit home to me.”

Howard said he holds on to that perspective by continuing to learn. In working on this piece, he discovered that bears in some areas will catch fish but only eat the skin, because there’s so much meat around that they focus on that with high-fat content. “Stuffed on Sushi” is his attempt to capture the moment just before the animal crosses from satisfaction to gluttony.

“Bayne” by Wallace Graham

Located at Snowmass and Main

Graham’s 30 years in the Roaring Fork Valley have provided plenty of inspiration. The Carbondale resident seeks art in the world around him, including the found metal he incorporated into this sculpture. Graham is a newer artist and used this project to learn welding.

“This horse was really fun to make. It was a project that didn’t have much planning at all. I could equate it more to throwing paint on a canvas,” he said. Each piece he added would alter the horse’s form, he said, depending on the angle from which the viewer approached the work.

“I took one stick at a time and kept going. That made it a lot of fun. There are a lot of challenges with that theory, but it ended up working out in the end and making it really fun to do.”