The north landing site along Sixth Street where the “Tubing on the Colorado” statue will reside.
Matthew Bennett/Post Independent

Since May, artist Madeline Wiener has sculpted a 24,000 pound piece of Yule Marble into a 10,000-plus pound sculpture titled, “Tubing on the Colorado.”

The sculpture will reside permanently on the north landing site along Sixth Street where the former Grand Avenue Bridge once touched down in Glenwood Springs.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, the city will host a dedication ceremony for the sculpture at the north landing site.

According to a news release, the event, which is open to the public will include light refreshments and activities for children.

Wiener, whose work is featured across the country from the Denver Botanic Gardens to Ocean Springs, Mississippi oftentimes invites people to interact with her sculptures.

“It has a multitude of climbing possibilities for any little kid,” Wiener said of the sculpture. “And, any adult that were to come by would feel they could sit on the [sculpture’s] feet.”

Sculpted out of Yule Marble from Colorado Stone Quarries, Wiener said “Tubing on the Colorado” was approximately four feet tall, six feet long and five feet wide.

Following public input meetings, Wiener said several ideas were discussed for the sculpture including a Ute tribal chief, farmers, ranchers, miners, skiers, explorers and more.

“They started narrowing down the field of interests and one area, of course, was the river. The river is Glenwood,” Wiener said. “But, the bottom line that it came down to was family. No matter the background of all of these people, family seemed to be at the top of the list.”

Wiener described the sculpture as a mother and her son tubing down the river having fun.

According to Wiener one side of the sculpture looks “quite calm,” while the other side appears “wild.”

“It’s offering all of the things that the river has to offer,” Wiener said. “The energy and the movement.”

The public art project was made possible thanks to a National Endowment for the Arts grant, which was awarded to the city last year.

Wiener described the sculpture’s color as “the white side of gray.”

“They were looking for something functional, interactive, engaging and welcoming,” Wiener said. “I think I fulfilled that mission.”

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