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Breckenridge Town Council Votes to Deinstall Isak Heartstone

At their Tuesday, November 13, meeting the Breckenridge Town Council voted to deinstall the temporary art piece, Isak Heartstone, as soon as logistically possible.

Post Date:11/13/2018 5:17 PM

For Immediate Release:                                                                                                                              

November 13, 2018



Haley Littleton, Communications and Marketing Coordinator



Breckenridge Town Council Votes to Deinstall Isak Heartstone

At their Tuesday, November 13, meeting the Breckenridge Town Council voted to deinstall the temporary art piece, Isak Heartstone, as soon as logistically possible.




On November 13, 2018, The Breckenridge Town Council and Breckenridge Creative Arts re-evaluated site access, increased public safety concerns with winter weather conditions, the structural and aesthetic integrity of the artwork, trail degradation due to the volume of visitation, and town resources moving into the high-traffic winter season and determined that the best course of action was the deinstallation of the temporary art piece, Isak Heartstone.


Taking into consideration deinstallation logistics and the upcoming winter weather forecast, Town of Breckenridge officials agreed immediate action was necessary. The sculpture will be de-installed as soon as logistically possible and dependent upon weather.


Isak Heartstone was a temporary art experience that was created for the 2018 Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) and was not intended to be a permanent installation or part of the Town's public art collection. Artworks in the Town's permanent collection are vetted through the Breckenridge Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), which includes calls for proposals, community presentations and public input. 


There were many unexpected outcomes due to the placement of the sculpture and its popularity. The Town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Creative Arts are sensitive to those negatively affected, have taken steps to mitigate the impacts, and will take the lessons learned from this temporary installation and incorporate moving forward.


Previous mitigation efforts by BreckCreate and Town staff included distributing a flyer about the troll with bus route and parking directions, as well as redirecting parking and reconfiguring the bus drop off and pick off. Staff installed road signs to discourage public parking in the Wellington Neighborhood private, permit-only parking areas. The Town increased the police presence, especially during weekends and installed signage along the trail to assist with trail-based wayfinding. Staff also constructed fencing to discourage trespassing on private property.  


While the Town did notice the benefits of the mitigation efforts, there continued to be concerns in terms of winter operations, safety in winter conditions, and staffing levels. Current staffing had mitigated many of the issues but staff are transitioning to other roles and operations during the winter season. 


The artist who created the sculpture, Thomas Dambo, is aware of the challenges that have arisen due to the unexpected popularity of his artwork, and feels the work has already accomplished great success in its current lifespan. “It was a great run and we are happy that thousands of people were able to enjoy Isak,” commented Robb Woulfe, President of Breckenridge Creative Arts. “We are glad that the installation was able to remain on view for several months, both during BIFA and beyond. We’re now deep into planning future installations in Breckenridge, and are excited for what comes next."


“This installation has been amazing on several different levels,” commented Mayor Eric Mamula. “People have come to visit the troll and stimulated the core of Town. BreckCreate did an incredible job of bringing this experience to town, but I believe the sculpture has reached the end of its lifespan. I would love to have the artist come back and create a new piece in a different Town location in the future.”


The Town of Breckenridge is continually committed to arts and culture as it strives to be a world-class creative destination. Town officials are encouraged by the popularity of Mr. Dambo's sculpture and the public’s engagement with it. Breckenridge hopes future artistic and creative experiences, including next year's WAVE: Light + Water + Sound, May 30-June 2, 2019, and the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) August 9-18, 2019, will continue to inspire and engage locals and guests.





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