The first public workshop to gather ideas for the art project at the U.S. Highway 550/160 intersection will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave.
The workshop will be led by Durango artists Allison Leigh Smith and Bryce Pettit, who were selected in late February to decide what would be installed at the intersection. The art piece, titled “Common Threads,” will feature 15 to 30 large, laser-cut metal panels with textile-like patterns determined by the community from input received during a series of workshops, which begin Saturday.
Those who attend the workshop will discuss what makes Durango special, learn how to turn ideas into simple drawings and create single or patterned stamps using a linocut-printmaking technique.
Because tools with sharp blades will be used, children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult. The workshop will involve permanent ink, and it is suggested that participants wear art-making clothes.
Leigh Smith and Pettit were selected by an online survey that gathered nearly 2,000 responses from residents, which was most participation Durango’s virtual city hall website had ever seen, said Colleen O’Brien, business development and redevelopment coordinator. The selection process differed from past decisions, which were determined by the city’s Public Art Commission.
The city received a $25,000 matching grant from National Endowment for the Arts to fund the installation, which it plans to match with an additional $25,000 from cash and in-kind contributions. The city also plans to apply for another $25,000 grant from NEA that, if received, would also be matched to bring the total potential budget to $100,000.
The first in a series of public workshops and classes, Saturday’s event is free, open to all and will be limited to 20 participants at a time based on a first-come, first-served basis. Community members can arrive any time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to contribute.
The panels are scheduled to be installed during fall 2019 to allow time for the artists to work with the community.
For more information, call 375-4855 or visit www.durangogov.org.