Colorado is well known for it’s fifty-four 14,000-foot peaks, its wild, rushing rivers, its endless natural beauty, and the highest per-capita beer production in the United States. Maybe not the last one, but it is certainly known for the outdoors. Colorado also has Denver, a teeming city with business prospects, major sports teams, and a burgeoning arts scene that is becoming well known in its own right. A combination of those factors led environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to develop a controversial plan, dubbed “Over the River,” that would temporarily suspend nearly six miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado. After years of research (begun in 1985), the duo decided upon the section of the Arkansas due to its high banks, which would allow recreational rafters to enjoy the art as they passed through the stretch and rode through the bubbling waters. The art installation itself is only slated to last for two weeks in August of 2015, and there has been an enormous amount of pressure on both sides to allow, and disallow, the Arkansas River project. The proponents are from many sectors, including Governor Hickenlooper, and have argued that there will be tourist-generated revenue (344,000 expected to view), a focus on Colorado as an artistic hub, and the project will create hundreds of temporary jobs. Opponents argue that the project will visually reduce the landscape, cause major delays on highways, and damage the river eco-system. Christo is determined to finish the project that was his late wife’s dream, and is contributing 100% of the associated costs of the project, funding coming primarily through the sale of his original works of art. According to the website, there is no public subsidy or taxpayer fees involved because he himself has never asked for money to view his projects. The issue brings to mind a fascinating TEDTalk on moving sculpture, from American artist Jent Echelman, entitled: “Taking Imagination Seriously.” Photo credit: Wolfgang Volz, photograph of a 1992 drawing from Christo Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, Colorado What are your thoughts and comments on the art installation? Is it good for Colorado?