The sculpture called “Arc of History” that was chosen for placement at the reconstructed interchange of U.S. highways 160 and 550 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Durango is turning heads.
Whether that’s a good thing to entertain drivers caught in construction delays or a distraction at a busy and complicated intersection is a matter for some debate.
The piece, by Tom Holmes, consists of flat stones threaded into a boomerang-shaped steel frame. The stone is native to Southwest Colorado. Holmes traveled to Durango to work with local fabricators and select the stones to be used in the piece. Holmes, who received a $25,000 commission for “Arc of History,” lives and works in Greeley, Pennsylvania.
The art project brought 26 proposals from around the country, a record for a public-art commission by the city of Durango. The three finalists included two local teams: Gunnar Anderson and Ann Christensen; and Kelly Hurford, Walker Christensen and Craig Stoffell.
The Durango Public Arts Commission selected the piece after receiving input from the community.
Artists were asked to create a piece appropriate for display in a public space and one that would complement the “Historic Durango” sign located 250 feet to the northeast of the island where the sculpture is installed.
Holmes’ background isn’t as a sculptor, but as a musician. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music theory, composition and performance from the Crane School of Music at Potsdsam, New York. He has studied instrument construction for the past 15 years with Ben Hume of New York City. Hume is the world’s leading authority on Central Asian musical instruments dating from before 1200 A.D.