In May of 2018, a lengthy process to select Golden’s next piece of public art concluded with the installation of a new sculpture series that depicted children running when viewed from one side and hawks flying when viewed from the other on the west side of Highway 93 near Pine Ridge Road.
But while the city’s Public Art Commission loved the new sculptures, titled “Run and Fly” by Joe Norman, which residents chose from several designs, there was one problem that quickly became apparent.
“It was just way too small for that site,” said Kristie Brice, the chair of Golden’s Public Art Commission. “It just really didn’t work.”
So earlier this year, the Public Art Commission decided to look for a new location where the sculpture could be better appreciated as it was intended. Brice said that there were two other criteria for the site in addition to better visibility for the statue: that it be located on the north side of town as resident said they wanted it to stay there, and that it be on city property.
The commission only had to look down the road to find such a site on the east side of Highway 93 near its intersection with Washington Avenue.
“We decided that was a good sight for it because you could see it so well from Highway 93 and the traffic was slower and it didn’t get lost in the beautiful foothills where the other one got lost,” said Brice.
So last week, city staff moved and reinstalled the sculpture at its new location.
Norman, who visited five different potential new sites with members of the art commission, said he was also thrilled with the new spot.
“I think more people will see it and be able to get that there are two sides to it where before you could only see it if you were on the North Table Mountain trailhead or walking along the side of the highway,” he said.
He is also hopeful more people will be able to appreciate the intent of the sculpture, which was inspired by spending a day in Golden and seeing his kids play while hawks flew above them. Norman said the sculpture is meant to portray the unique relationship between Golden and nature.
When the city announced the move in a Facebook post, many residents expressed appreciation for the decision in the comments.
“I loved the art but always had a hard time seeing it on its last spot on 93,” commented Maggie Reichel.
Craig Champlin called the move “good, proactive thinking.”
“We had to go find the old pedestals to make sure we weren’t crazy,” he wrote. “They are still there on the west side of Highway 93.”
Brice said the new location also offers one other key advantage: there is a walkway nearby.
“We wanted pedestrians to be able to check it out too,” she said.