.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Watch for mountain lions

-A A +A
By Katy Korkos

Local residents should not be surprised to see a mountain lion perched on the roundabout on Diamond Drive this summer. The Arts in Public Places Board, which gets its budget for public art work from one percent of the county’s building projects and one-half percent of road projects, has chosen a bronze version of the big cat for the newly constructed roundabout.“Canyon Watch” by artist Kent Ullberg is a monumental bronze sculpture that shows a mountain lion perched on a weathered log. The sculptor’s website states that the piece is one of a limited edition of 20.  If the county council approves the purchase, the sculpture will be installed on a newly landscaped and contoured roundabout, and will be lit with solar-powered lights. The list price of the six-foot tall bronze is $42,900, and the sculpture has been put on reserve at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, pending council approval.Ullberg has been commissioned to create sculptures for many prominent locales, among them the Peking Exhibition Palace in China; the National Art Gallery in Botswana, Africa; and the Museum of Natural History in Gothenburg, Sweden. Closer to home, his work can be seen at the Colorado Springs Art Center and the Denver Museum of Natural History. A native of Sweden, Ullberg also lived in Botswana for seven years. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, studying wildlife for his sculpture, and now makes his home in Texas as well as maintaining a studio in Colorado.“This one has some beauty to it, some grace,” board member Stede Barber said.Councilor Nona Bowman, who serves as council liaison to the board throughout 2008, said,” I think it’s very nice – very appropriate for the area.”The purpose of the five-member board is “to encourage the integration of art into the architecture of municipal structures, and shall visually enhance the community,” according to the county code. The works of art selected by the board “must be located in a public place with public visibility and impact.”Arts in Public Places board members intend to develop a five-year plan, in addition to their annual work plan to be completed in the next month. “We want to improve the esthetics of the area, everywhere we can,” board chair John Hoffman said. “More art for White Rock is one of our priorities.”A copper sculpture for the White Rock Fire Station by California sculptor Archie Held is on order, and a sculpture for the triangle of land called “Entryway Park” can be installed after soil testing for the base has been completed. Hoffman said although most of the work the board has selected recently has been sculptural and destined for outdoor installation, they will also be looking at paintings in the coming months.The board will meet in a special session on Feb. 1 to finalize their annual work plan, which will cover the period from July 1-June 30, 2007. At the special meeting, the board may also discuss its five-year plan for prioritizing art purchases. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board is 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Mesa Public Library.There is one vacancy on the board. Interested residents can call the county administrator’s office at 662-8080 or visit the county’s website www.lac-nm.us for an application.