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Photos: James Surls Sculpture Installed In Carbondale Roundabout

Nov 20, 2014

Artist James Surls’ sculpture “Sewing the Future” was installed in Carbondale Thursday. It took more than a hour to truck in different parts of the sculpture, stand them up and bolt them down in the middle of the Highway 133 roundabout. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

People began gathering around the roundabout early in the morning, when it was still chilly. Carbondale resident Noah Davis was bundled up and handing out doughnuts. He says he’s excited to see the sculpture go up.

"To have this focal piece when you first come into town, with the sculpture surrounded by flowers in the spring, will really be something to see. I can’t wait to see it at night, in the snow, in the sunshine and in all the different environments it will be visible in."

The sculpture features elements like a thread, needles, a flower and a tree coming out of a long, green vase. A marble platform was first to be installed. Next a crane pulled the sculpture up into the air.

Sue Edelstein is involved with the Carbondale Public Arts Commission and was the liaison between the Commission and the artist. To say this moment is exciting, she says, is an understatement.

"It’s more than exciting. It’s something that’s been rattling around for about seven years in my head and to see it really happening is really wonderful."

Artist James Surls is recognized around the world for his sculptures, drawings and prints that feature natural images and human forms. The 71-year-old was actively involved in yesterday’s installation. He says he’s particularly proud of this piece.

"I mean the weather’s perfect. It has warmed up, it’s tolerable, it’s good. The stone went on perfectly, the sculpture’s fixed to go in. It’s a very good day, it’s a very good day," he says.

After moving slowly through the air, the sculpture was lowered gingerly onto the platform. And Surls threw his hat into the air.

Surls donated the work to the town and community members raised $200,000 to pay him back for his materials. Surls expects the sculpture to be in its position at the roundabout for the next 100 years.