^
Keep Westword Free
4

Christo's "Over the River" is coming to a head

Three weeks and change after Colorado State Parks issued its long-awaited approval of the artist Christo's proposed "Over the River" (not to mention several more years of infighting and bureaucratic hoop-jumping), the project, which would suspend some 5.9 miles of fabric panels over a stretch of the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City, is still hanging by a figurative thread; though most systems are go at this point, the Federal Bureau of Land Management is taking its sweet time deciding whether or not it wants to give its final go-ahead. And for a project clamored for by nearly every person of artistic note in the state -- plus Governor Hickenlooper, who "unequivocally supports" it -- it's been a whole lot of dawdling around.

It actually would not be the first massive project the artist primarily known for massive projects has mounted in Colorado; back in '70s, when he and his late wife and longtime collaborator Jean-Claude were making their name in the immense installation business, the two managed to pull off "Valley Curtain," a 400-meter cloth stretched across Rifle Gap. It was almost immediately destroyed by wind and rocks, but while it was up there, it was pretty epic.

It's been a long time since then, though, and no doubt that although Jean-Claude died a couple of years ago, the man has the chops to pull off "Over the River" for its proposed two weeks of duration.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

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

In any case, he'll be back in Colorado whether his project is or not tomorrow for a lecture at the Vail Symposium, where perhaps he'll be able to swing the pendulum of public opinion a little further in his favor. But even if we don't get to have "Over the River," we'll at least get to imagine it. And our imaginings will be aided, we daresay, by Christo's beautiful sketches. Keep paging down for more.

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.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.