Cultural Bytes, April 6: An Afternoon with Lauren Camp and Draping the Arkansas River

- April 6, 2012

"Christo (and Jeanne-Claude) won..."

Christo (and Jeanne-Claude) won!
After 16 years of effort, the conceptual artwork of Christo and his dearly departed wife and fellow artist, Jeanne-Claude, planned for the Arkansas River in Colorado, entitled, “Over the River,” will go forward. The project to drape a section of the Arkansas River in translucent silvery fabric has been approved by Colorado’s Fremont County Commission, the last step in a grueling permitting process, and will open in 2015.  

Christo is, obviously, a very patient person. He and Jeanne-Claude first envisioned "Over the River" in 1992, but only this week did the project get a temporary use permit to fulfill that vision – the installation of 5.9 miles of fabric over a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River. The Bureau of Land Management approved the project last November after environmental concerns were met by Christo’s team.

As always, Christo will fund the construction of the installation himself, but "Over the River" is also estimated to bring in $121 million in total economic impact throughout Colorado, as tourist interest translates into tourist dollars.

I have written about the project several times and continue to be interested in having a Santa Fe presence during the construction phase in the spring of 2015. Can’t you see it: an encampment of 40-50 Santa Feans, with, probably, 80 or so dogs – all of us cooking vegan burgers and drinking a New Mexico Pinot Grigio at the end of a day’s work and singing camp songs? Nah! It will probably be me and Miss Thea in our camper with our not-so-young-anymore dog and us with walkers with tennis balls on the feet. But, we WILL be there.

I’ll keep you posted.

The Need to Return: Four Writers on Family and Heritage
One of my favorite poets, Lauren Camp, is part of a special afternoon event on Sunday, April 15 (way better than filing your taxes). “The Need to Return” draws together four authors with compelling stories about their ancestors, family and heritage.

The afternoon event at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation location on West Barcelona will be part poetry, part storytelling. Share the cultures and experiences of Camp, Margaret Randall, Elaine Maria Upton and Richard Vargas. The event, from 3 to 4 p.m. is free, although a donation is requested.