The Wind Gate Art Suite by Rodrigo Nava, from Putney, VT, consists of three distinct sculpture arrays installed in Stapleton’s new neighborhood north of 56th Avenue. The arrays are: First Light, The Five, and Beyond the Plains.
First Light, a series of nine dramatic shapes striding to the east northeast is the first component of this public artwork commissioned for these new neighborhoods. Look for them between 56th Drive and 59th Place near Dallas Street. The largest of the sculpture arrays, “First Light” is composed of a series of 12- foot-high weathered steel sculptures that traverse a 100-foot long trajectory. They cut a bold swath across the landscape, bringing attention to the site. Installed in March, in spite of the “bomb cyclone,” First Light has already become a focal point for the site.
In order to accommodate soil conditions and weather constraints the installation of the second and third sculpture arrays occurred in June.
The Five, a series of five sculptures, each six feet tall and arranged in a semi-circle, support complex compositions of folded and expanded weathered steel forms. The grouping of shapes leaning upon one another evokes the notion of community, a core concept in Stapleton. The Five is sited in the The Bluffs north of 57th Drive.
Beyond the Plains in the North Commons lawn, north of 59th Place, features three six foot high zigzag forms that are composed as a herd. This grouping, by giving the impression of energy and motion alludes to the bison in the nearby Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
Each of the sculptures was welded together in Nava’s Vermont studio and then transported to Denver. Then, as indicated in the photos, the artist expanded the forms to achieve these robust shapes. The beautiful, multicolored patina characteristic of the weathered steel sculpture relates to the landscape in both obvious and subtle ways. Each of the three sculpture arrays features distinct geometries in form and composition at each site creating unique shadows within the landscape. The Wind Gate Art Suite is harmonious in the landscape, aptly enhancing the prairie identity of this location.
Park Creek Metropolitan District awarded the $300,000 commission for this artwork on the recommendation of an art selection committee composed of artists, engineers, landscape architects, representatives from Denver Parks and neighbors from this area. The funds for this commission come from the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Thanks also go to the many engineers, designers and architects who assisted Rodrigo with technical knowledge of this site and installation of the three components of sculpture arrays that comprise this unique artwork.
For more information about this sculpture or the Public Art Collection at Stapleton, please contact Barbara Neal, Public Art Consultant for Stapleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.