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In Praise of the Poudre

Andy Dufford, Chevo Studios
Willow and Linden Sts.

Artist Andrew Dufford of Chevo Studios worked with the City of Fort Collins Engineering and Utilities Departments as part of the Art in Public Places Program to develop a series of sculptures that will enliven the plaza and educate visitors about water quality and natural water systems in Fort Collins. Four undulating granite columns feature relief carvings of the plants, animals, insects and landforms found around, within, and below the Cache la Poudre River – celebrating the elements of a healthy river ecosystem.

The four sculptural columns range in height from 8’ to 15’ and are carved from Carnelian granite, a beautiful red-toned stone. For each stone column, the artists hand carved and removed almost half the original weight to create the beautiful undulating forms, which echo the many rhythms and textures of the Poudre River. The largest column arrived at the artists’ studio weighing 30,000 lbs., and after carving weighed about 16,000 lbs. In addition to the relief imagery depicting riparian ecology and geology, each stone column has an illuminated surface that evokes reflections on the surface of water.

Chevo Studios has also created integrated art for three seating areas along Willow Street. The sculptures represent the conveyance of water by canyon, mill race, and modern utility systems.