Willow

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Client: RTD - Regional Transportation District - Denver, Colorado

Location: Lone Tree, CO, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $130,000

Project Team

Artist

Curtis Pittman

Pittman Design LLC

Fabricator

Harold Combs

Nite Owl Hal LLC

Owner - Client

RTD - Regional Transportation District - Denver, Colorado

RTD

Overview

Lone Tree, Colorado is a thriving suburban city located about 30 miles SE of Denver. This rolling hill country is covered in prairie grasses that was once home to numerous cattle ranches founded by settlers in the mid-1800’s. It was important to me that my work honor this historical way of life and encompass a spirit through the art that pays homage to the western cattle ranch aesthetic. It was also important that the aesthetic of the art compliment the surrounding botanical and ecological landscape. The irony to Lone Tree is that it is an area with few little trees. In some ways, “Willow” is the lone tree of which the City’s name depicts.

In working with RTD on this project, it was important that visitors who frequent this final stop recognize “Willow” as the crowning icon to the City of Lone Tree’s new light rail station. This western sculpture takes aesthetic clues from the
surrounding prairie grasses, the quaking aspens found in the Colorado foothills, and the “ranch life” of the settlers from the mid to late 1800’s. Designed as a wayfinding device for the surrounding community, the sculpture serves to engage and invigorate the urban experience.

Goals

Thus far, the foundation of my work has been realized through iconic, placemaking designs. RTD has an amazing collection of artwork at over 45 stations throughout the Denver metro area. The sculpture is located at the end of their purple line, and is meant to serve as an iconic bookend to their light rail network. The height and scale of my work fits nicely into these desires. At nearly 26' tall, the urban prominence and graceful presence of the piece creates a memorable experience to the passerby.

Another goal was for the work to have a cultural significance. My ability to present a design solution that harness' the natural, cultural, and contextual qualities specific to this project, surely aided in being selected for the job.

Process

My implementation process for an art project of this magnitude is highly efficient, as I am intimately involved with all facets of my design, fabrication, and installation. I work with a highly qualified team of consultants and oversee the production of all structural engineering and shop drawings for fabrication. I also have a close-nit relationship with my steel fabricator, whom is my father-in-law. This ensures an artwork that is of utmost quality and craftsmanship.

I collaborated with staff from RTD as well as a local landscape architect to integrate the design into the elevated rail station platform. It was important that the artwork have an urban prominence from both the street level and at the elevated platform level from which passengers enter and exit the train.