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It’s time to get ‘Common Threads’ installed

It’s time Durango honors the work of hundreds of adults and children who, over the course of almost two years, created an artwork that symbolically addresses our love of this community.

“Common Threads,” made possible with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Durango Public Art Commission, consists of 20 laser-cut steel panels that were to be installed as a gateway to Durango on a median north of the U.S. Highway 550/160 intersection.

Between May 2018 and August 2019, artists Allison Leigh Smith and Bryce Pettit held approximately 27 workshops at schools, local businesses and events, where as many as 400 young and old alike helped identify and draw meaningful symbols as part of this project.

Through the generous donation of the late Mark McWhirter, a Durango resident and president of Pacific Metal Cutting, this input was turned into the panels. In the fall of 2019 the project was delayed, in part over engineering questions concerning installation in the median. Then the pandemic hit, costs rose, and it became questionable whether “Common Threads” would ever see the light of day.

Other local art endeavors have since received financial support from the city. City Council may soon be asked to help cover the "cost chasm" that prevents those who participated in “Common Threads” from ever seeing their efforts on display in honor of their hard work.

Don’t let down those who helped make this a reality. See it through as intended. Visit DurangoCommonThreads.com to learn more.

Carol Diver

Durango