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Animas Inspiration Wheel a repository for community’s feelings, ideas and wishes

Ceramic pots installed along river trail in north Durango
Kim Adams places a written note into the Animas Inspiration Wheel, a sculpture she created, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, in north Durango. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)

The newest addition to Durango’s growing public art collection features a stack of five ceramic pots that spin with a slight nudge.

The Animas Inspiration Wheel was installed earlier this month along the Animas River near 29th Street in north Durango.

Next to the sculpture is a small box with pencil and paper. Anyone can write a note to the universe – maybe a poem, a wish, a prayer, an idea or an intention – and slip it into one of the top two pots and give it a spin, according to the sculpture’s artist, Kim Adams.

The concept is similar to another public art project Adams did for the city located in the botanic gardens at the Durango Public Library. That installment has been a huge success at capturing authentic messages, she said.

People have expressed their ideas, feelings and secret wishes: to find strength, to become a unicorn, that the school year end early, that more people care for nature, just to name a few.

People also left jokes. One person practiced a marriage proposal.

Adams said she usually collects messages about once a month. She has collected 891 comments from the inspiration wheel at the botanic gardens, which was installed in June 2022. She tends to keep them private, but decided to share some of the comments with the community because they were so positive.

One social media user implied the Animas Inspiration Wheel may contain treasure inside, but the city of Durango worked quickly to knock down that rumor.

“There is no treasure in the jars!!!!!!” the city posted on Facebook.

Adams said there is no treasure inside the sculpture that she’s aware of, “just people’s creativity inside.”


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