Carbondale Arts receives federal grant for Youth Art Park sculpture


Rendering of the “Unity / Unidad” sculpture at Carbondale Youth Art Park.
Courtesy photo / re: LAND

Donations from the Federal Grants in the Project Awards Fund are only part of the “collage” of carbondale’s youth art park funding, but they are a source of inspiration and verification for project leaders.

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Carbondale Arts $ 15,000 for the construction of a sculpture in the next park that will be built along the Rio Grande Trail at the Carbondale Recreation Center. The grant is for the “Unity / Unidad” sculptures built by the Carbondale Landscape Architecture Group re: LAND. The company’s principals and owners, as well as the project’s principal designer, Nicholas Diffrank, said the value of the grant was primarily a verification of the project.

“Communities receiving these grants can show not only the need, but also the thoughtfulness and awareness, not only in the presentation of the project, but also in the project genus itself,” said Difflan. .. “The actual DNA of the project needs to have a very good foundation for it, but it also needs a very transparent process. I use the word” good intentions “. “

The sculptures covered by the grant are concrete silhouettes of Mount Sopris, aligned from a certain angle. At one end of the sculpture is a cutout of the word “Unity” and its Spanish translation “Unidard”.

At the other end is a smooth concrete “canvas”, where new murals are painted each year by local senior classes. In the release from Carbondale Arts, the sculpture was called “the backbone of the Youth Art Park in the heart of the Carbondale Creative District.”

“It was definitely the focus of Carbondale Arts and the Carbondale Creative District,” said Kerin Wardel, Operations and Development Manager, Carbondale Arts. “We wanted to create another place where people could come, connect, play and learn outside.”

The Art Park is the third installment payment for the Rio Grande Artway, which joins Deler Park on Colorado Highway 133 and the Latin Folk Art Garden on Seventh Street. In addition to sculptures, the park’s final products will include rock climbing walls, slides and outdoor auditoriums, Wardell said.

According to this release, the project was created as “a landing site for all, a place that balances a healthy mind and body and provides a connection between art and play.”

The design of the park was born out of a collaboration between DiFrank, a local artist and students from the Carbondale Middle School.

Approximately seven years after the park’s idea was invented, construction of its centerpiece is scheduled to begin in late spring, following a pandemic-related delay.

“We already love Carbondale so much — so many people,” Difflan said. “I think (the park) is instilling more creativity and the belief that people get together for the common good. That’s just part of the puzzle.”

Wardell predicted that the park would be completed in the fall of 2023, but warned of increased delays due to continued price increases in materials and labor.

Reporter Rich Allen can be contacted at 970-384-9131 or [email protected]..


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