Birds in Aspen

Submitted by Mettje Swift

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Client: Upper Rio Grande Schools

Location: Del Norte, CO, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $30,000

Project Team

Artist

Mettje Swift

Banner Art Studio

Fabricator

Aaron Noller

Banner Art Studio

Client

Upper Rio Grande School District

Banner Art Studio

Overview

The new Upper Rio Grande School district chose Banner Art Studio to create hanging suspended fabric art in the atrium of the new school. The goal was community pride in the new school of the Upper Rio Grande and in the natural beauty of their geography. The staff wanted something light and airy. The theme of the suspended installation is “Birds in Aspen.” The Aspen are in all the colors of the seasons from spring through late fall. The staff of the school chose their favorite Colorado birds: western tanager, hummingbird and blue jay.
The sculpture connects easily to the ceiling and is lightweight and effortless to handle. The maintenance personnel were happy to learn that the pieces do not absorb dirt and can be easily dusted with air should they need it. The armature is stainless steel tubing, bent and welded into the forms. The forms (armature) are covered in a “tapestry” of light translucent fabric.

Goals

The goal was to celebrate the new Upper Rio Grande school. The old campus had buildings as old as 100 years. The new school engendered community pride. The goal was to express the pride that came from a lot of hard work, a community that passed a tax increase for funding and the students who looked forward to a modern building.

Process

Banner Art Studio was contacted by the president of the school board who knew of our unique work with suspended, colorful, kinetic sculptures.
The Superintendent, the elementary school principal and three art teachers formed the group that worked with artist Mettje Swift on the project.