Four out of six statues staying in Golden

City commission rules on creekside public art

Posted 11/29/16

Goldenites Micah, 11, and Matt, 8, Zahn like the statue of the two deer located near the Golden History Center along the Clear Creek path.

“They show all the nature here in Golden,” Micah said, and Matt added, “It's cool how they match the …

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Four out of six statues staying in Golden

City commission rules on creekside public art

Posted

Goldenites Micah, 11, and Matt, 8, Zahn like the statue of the two deer located near the Golden History Center along the Clear Creek path.

“They show all the nature here in Golden,” Micah said, and Matt added, “It's cool how they match the setting.”

On Nov. 3, Golden's Public Art Commission voted to keep four of the six statues that were under consideration for removal.

Two Deer, Brother and Sister at the Rodeo, Eddie at Bat and Victorian Dress-Up were donated to the city and will remain in the collection. The other two pieces — Kids Sledding and Bear and Two Cubs — were on loan, and will be returned to the owner. All are located along Clear Creek's streamside walking path in downtown Golden.

The decision is final, and does not require further action by city council. However, the decision is scheduled for review in 10 years, or beforehand if a piece is damaged or destroyed.

“The City of Golden has relied on the generosity of others to build its public art collection,” said commission member Aleah Menefee. “Without the support of these individuals, the public art collection would not have been implemented. Golden's citizens and visitors, as well as the Public Art Commission, are forever grateful for the donors of the public art that contributes to the cultural landscape of the community.”

The seven-member Public Art Commission — appointed by city council—was formally established in 2013 to manage and add to the city's collection of public art. One of the commission's responsibilities, Menefee said, is to evaluate the collection and consider the removal of pieces, if warranted, every few years. The official term for removing a work of art from a public collection is known as deaccession.

In June 2015, the Public Art Commission published its first biannual inspection report, which included evaluating maintenance and the condition of all of the public art in city's collection. It was discovered that the six statues are inauthentic — meaning they are not unique or are replicas of original art — and/or could have been made with less-than-desirable materials, such as lead Chinese casting. Adhering to the commission's adopted policy handbook, this warranted them for potential removal and sale/return. The handbook is available on the Public Art Commission's page of the city's website: www.cityofgolden.net.

Marv and Julie Krueger, Golden residents since 1994, pay a lot of attention to the statues in Golden, especially the ones along Clear Creek because they walk the path often.

Although the couple enjoys the statues for the uniqueness and cultural personality they bring to the city, the Kruegers also believe it's important to have authentic art in the city.

It's not so much a matter of having replicas, Marv Krueger said, it's more about the artists receiving credit for their work.

“Whoever created the originals ought to be compensated a fair royalty for all copies made,” he said.

But that goes for any work of art, he added, not just the ones in Golden.

The Public Art Commission sought professional advice regarding potential copyright infringement, and potential city liability if challenged by an artist claiming the reproduction of their original art work was not authorized, Menefee said.

“In the end, the PAC felt that respecting the intentions and good faith efforts of the donors, and the love of all of the collection by the community, far outweighed any potential legal concerns,” Menefee said.

Every time that Judy Fyffe of Washington visits her daughter Janice Hodge, who has lived in Golden for four years, she requests that the two take a run or walk along Clear Creek.

“Golden has great personality and a good feel,” Fyffe said. And “the statues are fun to look at.”

Fyffe said she likes the statues location, and that they are more realistic and not abstract, such as what she sees a lot of in Seattle.

“They mix the outdoors with the fine arts,” Fyffe said. “It's a really nice blend.”

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