Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I'm not just an artist. I consider myself a bit of an instigator and advocate. Two of my most prominent passions; Animal Welfare with an emphasis on wildlife, and a voice for artists - no matter what their medium.
A while back ago, our little area of Colorado had the honor of several visits from world-renown artists Christo and Jeanne Claude, but they weren't exactly greeted with wide open arms.
It's (Over The River project|Project for Arkansas River|State of Colorado) has been quite a controversy here and folks are very divided and some quite angry!
The issue is Christo's wanting to drape the Arkansas River with special translucent fabric panels for a period of 14 days, in which time they will of course gather tons of photos that I'm sure they plan to market.
The area, to be exact, is Big Horn Sheep Canyon, and is home to a fair sized herd of Big Horn Sheep as well as huge tourist attractions; the Royal Gorge Canyon and Bridge as well as one of the best areas for white water rafting.
"...The project is planned as a two-week summer display affecting as much as 45 miles of the river between Salida and Cañon City. Estimates indicate the project won't be through the permit process until summer 2011 at the earliest..." Jason Starr, Staff Writer of the Mountain Mail reported.
ROAR(Rags Over the Arkansas River) objects to the artists' plans pointing out that the impact of the project might affect wildlife, vegetation, and tourism for some years to come.
As I studied this project I came to the realization that at first glance this seems to be very easy to put down - I was against it because of the potential wildlife habitat risk, until I actually became more familiar with the facts.
The artists have went to great lengths to secure everything, from worker's meals to trash removal. Everything's been covered, and my impression is that they care a great deal for the environment, the people impacted, and especially the wildlife and local residents.
They do, on the other hand, stand to garner a great deal of profit from this project as well.
If you are interested in learning more about the "Over the River Project" please click on these links to be presented with both sides of the debate:
Condensed Summary of Christo’s Over the River (OTR) Plan1
So the time-honored question lives; is it art?
What do you think about this; art/not art, yes/no on project?
Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"