The Salt Lake City Public Art Program is proud to announce that four different locations along the Jordan River—ranging from Glendale to Rose Park—will welcome new large-scale public art installations next year as part of a multi-site project aimed at connecting recreational users of this natural tributary with their environment. These artworks will be created by internationally renowned artist Colette Hosmer (she/her/hers), whose site-specific art installations seek to “transform the environment into an experience” and “surround viewers as they engage with the work.”
Hosmer, who is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been tasked with creating artwork for four newly built or soon-to-be upgraded non-motorized boat ramps along the Jordan River. These boat ramps are located along Salt Lake City’s meandering, tree-lined section of the Jordan River, which is arguably the most enjoyable section of flat water for paddlers anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley, and perhaps northern Utah. From north to south, the location of these boat ramps and homes to Hosmer’s artworks are:
- Riverview – Redwood Road ramp (1800 North and Redwood Road)
- Gadsby – North Temple ramp (1223 West and North Temple)
- Fisher Mansion – 200 South ramp (1200 West and 200 South)
- Glendale – 1700 South ramp (1700 South and approximately 1100 West).
Hosmer is a contemporary naturalist who is celebrated for her monumental outdoor sculptures and site-specific work utilizing organic materials. “My long art career has evolved to include large scale, environmental installations,” says Hosmer. “I have placed a half-dozen, site-specific works across the world that have been created to exist with bodies of water. And now, Salt Lake City has given me the rare opportunity to work with a major tributary––the historic Jordan River.”
Hosmer’s site-specific project on the Jordan River will consist of 25 different steel sculptures of trout emerging from the ground, each at 8 feet tall. River enthusiasts—from pedestrians and cyclists enjoying the bankside’s trailway to paddle users canoeing and kayaking on the river itself— will encounter the artwork in four different sections, each containing a school ranging from 3 (Fisher Mansion ramp) to 11 (Riverview ramp) fish. The Jordan River continues to be the ecological, environmental, and recreational heart of the west side of Salt Lake City and these sculptures, Hosmer states, “will point the way to a balanced river ecology.”
One sculpture within each school of fish has been designed to be painted in a different color than the rest—green, blue, red, and white—visually linking all four sites across the river and functioning as a wayfinding element and marking for each ramp. “Using the river as a guide,” states Hosmer on her artwork for the Jordan River, “will connect to the next as one flowing sculpture. Like the Jordan River, the artwork is intended to evolve and change as it flows through the city.”
Colette Hosmer’s proposal was recommended by the Salt Lake Art Design Board earlier this summer and was subsequently approved for commission by Mayor Erin Mendenhall. Hosmer’s proposal was selected following a regional ‘request for qualifications’ process that was open to professional artists and/or artist-led teams residing in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming. Hosmer’s sculpture installation will be fabricated at the artist’s studio in New Mexico this winter and will be installed at the Jordan River in the spring of 2022.
We invite you to follow us on Instagram at @slc_publicartprogram for updates on this and the many other different projects we sponsor throughout Utah’s capital city. The Public Art Program is a service of the Salt Lake City Arts Council. You can learn more about what we do at www.saltlakearts.org and www.saltlakepublicart.org.