Home Sculptor News Use horse sense to decide ‘Equinox’ future – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Use horse sense to decide ‘Equinox’ future – Loveland Reporter-Herald

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For five years, three blue horses towered over Interstate 25, greeting motorists as they took the U.S. 34 interchange into Loveland.

Those behind city’s Art in Public Places program wanted a gateway piece to Loveland and the mountains, and commissioned the sculpture.

And though theoretically the Interstate 25-U.S. 34 interchange, the main entrance to Loveland, offered a spot where a million or more people might see the piece, many found it hard to view and appreciate the work there.

Now the city has announced the sculpture will be coming down to allow work on the I-25 Express Lanes project to take place.

The monumental sculpture by Loveland artists Jack Kreutzer, Doug Erion and Doug Rutledge incorporates railroad tracks to recognize the Colorado Central Railroad that came to Loveland in 1877, horses as a nod to the “ledger art” of the Arapaho and Southern Cheyenne tribes, and symbols on the horses that include a hand, for community and volunteerism in Loveland; sugar beet and cherry symbols for Loveland’s agricultural past; and a heart for the Sweetheart City.

When Loveland’s Visual Arts Commission asked artists for designs for the piece 143 applications came in, 12 were chosen as semifinalists and five as finalists.

The Loveland Museum displayed models of the finalists for six weeks, garnering 367 comments.

In November 2013, the city’s Visual Arts Commission picked “Equinox.” The huge piece went up in September 2014, and has been drawing reactions ever since.

Not many places that could hold the monumental piece — at 50 feet tall and 96 feet long it is Loveland’s largest public art commission. But it deserves to have a spot where it’s easier for people to view.

Some people disdain the artwork so much that they say they would rather see it go to the landfill that be placed at a new site.

But the sculpture is too expensive (it originally cost $225,000 — $163,000 from a Colorado Department of Transportation System Enhancement grant and $62,000 from Loveland’s Art in Public Places fund, derived from the city’s program that since 1985 has dedicated 1% of the construction cost of each city project for public art) and too meaningful to scrap. Besides, under city policy pieces in the public art collection can only be destroyed if they are deteriorated or damaged so badly that they are beyond reasonably priced repair.

“Equinox” should not be hidden away either, like the city did with “Triangle” when it moved the controversial bronze sculpture to a spot behind bushes and trees at Benson Sculpture Garden.

As in 2013, city policy still gives art critics a chance to have their say about possible acquisitions, and a public comment period is underway now for two proposed additions to Benson Sculpture Garden.

The High Plains Arts Council has offered two bronze sculptures for the collection: Jason Millward’s “Sharing Strength,” and a bighorn sheep in James Marsico’s “Mountain Royalty.” The city will take input on the pieces through Jan. 31 by email to Suzanne Janssen at Suzanne.Janssen@cityofloveland.org. See photos of the sculptures at http://bit.ly/2FZ7vmp.

The city should propose a new location for “Equinox” and take comment on that as well.
What’s needed is a bit of horse sense. Let’s not let “Equinox” ride out on a rail.



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