Bob Brown, president of the Downtown Development Authority, gave a presentation to the council about three works created by sculptor Vic Payne that could be installed if the deal is finalized.
“We don’t have everything nailed down, but we want to see if we can find a basis for this project,” Brown said.
The sculptures are valued at about $1 million, he said, and the only costs to the city would be for installation and insurance.
“We would have a long-term agreement, a guarantee of five years,” Brown said. “It would have an immediate impact on the revitalization and attraction efforts by the city and DDA, and there would like be an expansion of the project if it is successful at all.”
Brown said that the owner of the sculptures would like to move the sculptures here soon, even if it means installing them later.
“We need to have an agreement, but we’re still in negotiations,” he said.
Brown suggested the three sculptures could be at Demaret Park at the corner of Townsend Avenue and Main Street, by a bulb-out at the corner of Uncompahgre Avenue and Main Street, and a third one on private property in the downtown area.
The owner of the sculptures is from this area, Brown said, and each sculpture has a retail value of between $300,000 and $500,000.
One of the sculptures, titled Bad Decision, depicts a cowboy roping a struggling deer, which stands 15 feet high, is 13 feet wide and 7 feet deep. A second sculpture titled Where Eagles Dare shows a bear that just caught a salmon with her cubs, and eagles swooping in to try to steal the fish. The sculpture is 18 feet high, 11 feet wide and 7 feet deep. The third sculpture, titled Memories, is 12 feet high by 12 feet wide with a 7.5 foot base.
If a buyer happened to come along for one of the pieces, Brown said part of the agreement with the owner is that another piece would be cast from the same mold and donated to the city. The owner would pay for transportation and initial placement of the pieces, Brown said.
The Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism and the DDA are working together to cover the costs of creating concrete pads to install the sculptures, Brown said, but he asked the city to provide about $2,000 per year to cover insurance.
Councilmember Gail Marvel said she was concerned about “stepping on the toes” of the Montrose Public Art eXperience, or PAX, so Brown brought Michele Young, president of PAX, to the podium. Young said she was in full support of the sculptures being placed downtown.
“We would love to have a signature piece for Montrose, very much like the chrome buffalo in Grand Junction,” Young said. “Demaret Park would be a great place to have it, and I am very much for it.”
Brown said the cost of insurance would be about $2,000 and was something that the DDA might be able to absorb in the future.
The council voted unanimously to pay the insurance, which Brown said would let him go back to the owner and start work aimed at completing the deal, which he said would help show that Montrose is a center for the arts.
“This could become a Colorado Creative District, which comes with some minor grant money,” he said. “Our program is as strong as any in the state in looking for those kinds of funds, and I think it’s a significant step forward.”