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'Endurance' sculpture to mark USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Nine members of Durango’s Artwork Selection Panel awarded Josh Wiener, a Boulder-based artist, $25,000 on Friday to create “Endurance,” a steel sculpture of five bicyclists streaking toward an invisible finish line.
By August, the sculpture will be installed in the roundabout on Florida Road near Chapman Hill to commemorate this summer’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Durango is hosting the start of the opening stage Aug. 20. The event will bring some of the world’s top road cyclists to Colorado for the seven-day stage race that will end in Denver on Aug. 26.
(Stage 5 of the race ends in downtown Colorado Springs on Aug. 24.)
The panel’s decision marks the end of a competition that elicited 16 proposals in just two weeks.
“I think they have great taste. I’m ecstatic, just delighted,” said Wiener, whose proposal beat out Durangoan Shan Wells’ “Gearflakes” and Mimbres, N.M., resident Mary Anne Baker’s “Game On!” in the final round of competition.
“I love Durango, and it’s a good opportunity to create a work of art for that town – it just means a ton to me,” Wiener said. “I lived on Florida Road for almost 10 years. I would walk or ride my bike – to the Strater, the train – all the different places I worked. At least twice a day I’d cross that spot.”
Entries were judged on four criteria – a design’s originality, appropriateness, clarity and how well it captured Durango’s cycling legacy.
Models of the finalists’ proposals were displayed for the public, and Durangoans seized the opportunity to critique the designs.
Though the panel was not bound to act in accordance with public feedback, John Dowling, president of Bank of Colorado in Durango – which envisioned, championed and funded the design competition – said “one thing that was really positive about it was that most people made comments that were in line with the panel.”
The public frequently complained that Wiener’s design – which is composed of five bicyclists – featured no women.
Dugdale said the panel communicated this concern to Wiener in his final interview. Wiener assured the panel that his design could be modified to depict forms that were more explicitly female.
Read more about the sculpture and locals' reaction to it.