A 3,000 pound hummingbird made its way to Golden and landed permanently at the roundabout on South Golden Road at Ulysses Street.
“We wanted to expand the collection in new and diverse ways,” said Emilie Lewis, the chair of the City of …
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“We wanted to expand the collection in new and diverse ways,” said Emilie Lewis, the chair of the City of Golden’s Public Art Commission. “We love our bronzes, but we wanted something that was new and fresh.”
Rocky Mountain Hummer is the city’s first large-scale sculpture that is not bronze, Lewis said. It cost $40,000, and was paid for out of the Public Art Commission’s budget, which is approved by city council each year. A portion was paid for in 2016 and the remainder in 2017.
It was commissioned to Don Kennell, a metal sculptor of Santa Fe who grew up in Lakewood. Kennell, 53, is recognized for his work that makes use of public space and sculptures that provides audience interaction, animals — birds in particular — and use of recycled materials.
He has work featured in cities across the U.S., including a 1,600-pound blue gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo, and has done a number of pieces for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.
“Public art has a way of integrating itself into our everyday life,” Kennell said at an artist meet-and-greet event on April 19 at the Foothills Art Center. “As an artist, you get a gut feeling — when it feels right, it usually means the results will resonate with people.”
Rocky Mountain Hummer is about 15 feet tall on its pedestal in the roundabout, and is made of a patchwork of blue, green and purple sheets of steel and about 20 upcycled car hoods.
Kennell brought a team of four with him from Santa Fe for the installation, which took place in the morning of April 20.
The roundabout where Rocky Mountain Hummer is located is a high-traffic entryway into Golden, so it was one of the priority areas for art, Lewis said. And the commission selected Kennell for a number of reasons, she added.
Commission members were impressed with his portfolio, for one, Lewis said, but also liked the fact that Kennell is a regional, Western artist.
Hummingbirds have quite the presence in Colorado because it’s on their migratory path, Lewis said. And people love to listen to them while out on walks, or sit on their back porches and watch them as they flutter around their hummingbird feeders.
“It just seemed like a very good fit,” she said.
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