A Ute Indian's Story: Greeley, Colorado


Many thanks to the installation team and Ken Musil.  What a nice thing to see the sculpture up and spinning.

Parts are Ready for Color

The spinning parts have been assembled and leaving this morning for the powder coater's, Colorado Powder Coating, Inc. 

As more progress information: the Support is completed and ready for installation.  The bearing assembly is completed and ready for assembly.  Progress!  Progress!

Support Pole

The support is ready to go to powder coat vendors.  I made the decision to modify the point of attachment for the boom truck lift.  The City asked that an eye-bolt be installed at the top of the tree for installation.  After losing too much sleep, trying to figure out this would be possible since the kinetic unit would have to support the weight of the enormous trunk.  It would potentially destroy the bearings during the installation.

I determined if I added two eye bolts to the support pole, then the support pole would be able to be moved separately.  The upper portion of the kinetic unit would be installed thereafter.

The two upper shafts as part of the kinetic unit have been cut and sanded.  Their respective center spacers have been cut and ready to weld to their interior.


The arms are starting to take shape.  I have to learn to understand the intricacy of a new tool -- a hydraulic pipe bender.  I've been working the lengths to figure out how to not to warp the pipe.  However, some of the texture created by the bender will be an interesting shape.  It's suppose to resemble a wooden bow shaft.

Building the Support

It's where the sculpture has to start, cutting the support pole to length, fabricating the bearing housing for machining, cutting the base plate and cathedral joints.  Here's an image of the design for this bearing unit and the bearings.  They are rather large bearing.

The kinetic design is being changed from the original model due to the mere weight of the specified 6" O.D. center pole.  The upper bearing unit will have two moving sections instead of one.  In this way, the amount of wind pressure will be reduced significantly to encourage the kinetic motion.

Today, all the parts for machining the bearing housing is going to the machine shop of Ron Grob.  The bearings are supplied by Whistler Bearing, and the steel is supplied by K&K Surplus Steel Supply.

All great vendors to work with... making ART happen!!


The Model

Topher helps with the scale.

A new start on a new concept.

A new commission coming on board.  I'm excited about this one.

A written Letter of Intent which includes the following information:
    a. Description of the expected design approach and type of materials that would be used in the artist’s anticipated work product.

    The sculptor proposes to create a kinetic tree giving historical reference to the Ute tribe that once inhabited the Greeley area.  Through the image of arrows, the tree highlights the meaning and importance of the arrow to the Native American culture in a visual context.  For a Ute Indian, the arrow signifies the hunt, defense and personal identity.

    Created in mild steel and finished in a high-quality powder coat, the sculptor will construct the arrows around the proposed 6" O.D. center pole.  The proposed sculpture meets all the requirements set forth in the RFQ prospectus.
    b. An understanding of the physical setting and context of the 8th Ave. corridor.

    Greeley has a unique history, different than other Front Range communities.  It’s blend of college students, agriculture and transportation hub gives the city a wonderful mix of activities.  Over the past decade, the sculptor has participated in the “Art on Loan” program and has added two sculptures to the city’s permanent collection.  This gives her a good understanding of the uniqueness of the city’s contemporary culture.

    For the 8th Avenue corridor, the gentrification of the downtown areas has been an ongoing improvement.  Along with the construction and redevelopment, many modern elements of brick and fixtures have created a location to entice more visitors to gather and travel through the corridor.  For this proposal, the sculptor seeks to remind visitors of the past and deepest roots.

    Due to the fact that the location is a corridor, the wind currents will be directed in a most linear fashion.  The proposed sculpture’s kinetic motion is designed to capture linear motion as opposed to the more irregular motions of her existing works.
    c. Any experience with similar project design, construction and installation.

    The sculptor has been creating works for the public since 1989.  She has successfully completed commissions and temporary art on loan programs throughout the country, including New York’s Long Island, Napa, CA and just about everywhere on the Front Range.

    Ms. Swanson has experience collaborating with architects, engineers, art committees, local residents and others interested in creating art.  She has a deep philosophical belief to always create “the most art for the dollar”.  To date, she has never missed an installation deadline or budget.

    For more information about the sculptor, please visit her website www.revenswanson.com.  More details about her current projects be reviewed on her blog, www.revenswansonsculpture.blogspot.com

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