"Over the River" wins out against Rags Over the Arkansas River

As someone who has long been a champion for art in Colorado, you can imagine how delighted I was when, on July 16, the Bureau of Land Management greenlighted — with many required changes and provisos — the building of Christo's "Over the River" along the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City. The conceptual environmental piece involves stretching canopies from bank to bank intermittently along the river's course. The canopies will be covered in silvery fabric that will be translucent so that people underneath them will be able to see the sky. "Over the River" marks the second time that Christo — along with his wife, the late Jeanne-Claude — chose Colorado as a site for one of his pieces, the first having been "Valley Curtain," created in the early 1970s near the town of Rifle.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude came up with the idea of "Over the River" nearly two decades ago, and, after considering more than twenty rivers around the world, selected this stretch of the Arkansas. They made this choice for a number of reasons, but chief among them was the fact that a highway runs along the river, so that viewers will be able to take in the miles-long piece during the two short weeks in 2014 that it will be up.

There are still some hurdles for Christo to jump, however — notably, a lawsuit filed by the opposition group Rags Over the Arkansas River and others against the Colorado Parks and Wildlife board, which had previously granted an okay. And while there are some among the project's detractors who have a genuine interest in environmental protection (despite the pre-existing highway and rail line), I think most are simply art-haters.

My opinion on this is based on the group's materials. After all, if you begin by naming your organization "Rags Over the Arkansas River," you have no interest in civil discourse. That ROAR crowd, as they've nicknamed themselves, strike me as the anti-art cousins of the right-wing teabaggers from the political realm. And, come to think of it, that's a mighty conservative area down there.

 
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5 comments
vintago
vintago

And again the environmental impact on the resident Big Horn Sheep population is being ignored. Added stress increases lung diseases in these animals. More traffic, dust, and noise can decimate the herd. This is, has been, and always will be a very bad idea. Begin to build it and the local 'red necks' will be ready to put things in perspective....GO AWAY.....

chromefan
chromefan

Enjoyed this article on the Christo art project but as usual with all of you guys---you have to slam a group of people that you do not know--------TOLERANT, aren't ya?

TLJr
TLJr

Contrary to the authors perspective on "art-hating", I see this as an extension of the failed post-industrial notion that it is the chief folly of mankind to delude itself into believing that any man or woman has the capacity, capability, or depth of understanding to be able to improve on natures design. That delusion, along with magical thinking, has brought the world to the brink. Call it art if you like. For me, it's just more of the same.

wrap a landfill instead
wrap a landfill instead

Since there is a pre-existing highway and railroad, we might as well just strip mine the canyon while we are at it. Clearly it is no longer worthy of protecting. I think this author simply hates the environment. And clearly he doesn't respect the wishes of the people living in the area, so by his logic he too must be a right-wing teabagger.

 
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