4

Alfie gives Boulder something to crow about

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Denver has Sun Spot, a giant dog sculpture created out of dog tags outside the new municipal animal shelter. Now Boulder has Alfie, a huge rooster made out of more than 3,000 pieces of old farm equipment by longtime local artist Robert Bellows.

The sculpture was dedicated this past weekend at Alfalfa's, the resurrected store in Boulder. "We consider this our gift to the community," pronounced Mark Retzloff, Alfalfa's CEO and co-founder. "We've long admired Robert's work and first talked to him a year ago when we were remodeling the store to bring Alfalfa's back to Boulder. Boulder is known for its unique sculptures scattered around town. We collaborated with Robert to create our rooster, Alfie, as an iconic addition to Boulder's eclectic sculpture collection."

Bellows spent close to eleven months turning the used farm equipment into art. He used 1,200 plow sweeps for the rooster's chest feathers; 30 three-pound cultivator blades became the wings; the back feathers were hand-welded from 36 industrial water-heater flues. And 462 individual sickle blade guards, 800 feet of 5/8" steel bar and 2,500 steel plugs were connected to form Alfie's legs, talons, crest and support for the 5,000-pound piece.

"Alfie is doing his job, establishing his territory, building his nest," explained Bellows at the unveiling. "He is powerful yet gentle. There was a moment while constructing the rooster that I realized he needed a heart, so I built him a heart using more than 200 steel plugs. Much like Alfalfa's, he is here for the community."

Alfalfa's was initially founded in 1979 as the Pearl Street Market, then grew to be one of the country's leading natural-products retailers before it was acquired by Wild Oats Markets in 1996. Fifteen years later, Retzloff and his partners -- Barney Feinblum, Hugo van Seenus and Jimmy Searcy -- resurrected the Alfalfa's name on the $10 million store they opened this past April at 1651 Broadway, where Alfalfa's had first opened back in 1983. But even as they were introducing Alfie to Boulder, the owners were ruffling more than a few feathers by announcing that they were laying off up to 35 workers.

Follow us on Twitter!

Like us on Facebook!

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.