For Over The River, there will be eight separate areas of fabric panels that highlight the contours of the banks of the river. Seen from underneath, the translucent fabric will enhance the contrast of the clouds, mountains and vegetation. These waves of fabric will play off the natural lighting throughout the day, transitioning from shimmering pink in the morning light, to shiny silver in the mid-day sun, to golden as the sun sets.
From the water level, rafters, kayakers and canoeists on the Arkansas River will view blue sky, white cloud formations and the undulating mountain skyline through the fabric. Those viewing the art from above on US-50 will see fabric panels that reflect the colors of the sky while moving with the wind like waves in the ocean.
The eight distinct areas will total 5.9 miles of fabric panels, varying in length from 0.3 to 2.5 miles. They will be suspended 8 to 25 feet above the water, depending on the height of the banks. Between the waves of fabric panels, there will be a total of 36.1 miles of interruptions, leaving those areas of the river and natural landscape untouched. Each pause between fabric panel sections will vary in length from 0.7 to 15.5 miles.
Over the course of three years in the early 1990s, the artists traveled 14,000 miles, visiting 89 rivers in seven Rocky Mountain States in search of the location for Over The River. They ultimately identified the Arkansas River between Salida and Cañon City as the location because it provides the following: an east/west orientation so the fabric panels capture the variety of contrasting sunlight from morning to evening; high river banks that allow for steel cables to be suspended; a road running continuously along the river to provide viewing; a nearby railroad that provides essential access as well as transportation for supplies, equipment and workers; and rafting conditions that create opportunities to view the work of art from the river.
Click here to download a printable fact sheet about Over The River.
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