Basalt River Park to ‘Stay Human’ with new sculptures |

Basalt River Park to ‘Stay Human’ with new sculptures

A mock-up of the "Stay Human" by Gail Folwell art installation to come at Basalt River Park.
Credit Gail Folwell

The Basalt River Park will soon be home to new public-art installations meant to capture the spirit town. 

The Basalt Town Council approved an agreement for professional services Tuesday to contract local artist Gail Folwell to create and install her “Stay Human” project in Basalt. 

The project comprises bronze sculptures ranging in height from 5 to 6’8” tall and mounted on steel poles, depicting people in movement. The sculptures are designed to spin, either by wind or hand. 

Sara Nadolny is a senior planner with the town, and she helped lead the search for an artist to contribute to Basalt River Park. 

“(The Basalt Public Arts Commission) really was attracted to the playfulness of these sculptures. They liked that there was some ability to have a little bit of motion with them, they have that lightness, there’s a dancing element to it,” she said. “And I think that the height really stood out.”

Folwell is a Basalt resident and accomplished artist with installations and work in galleries across the country. Her submission beat out five other applicants to the town’s August Call to Artists for an art installation in the park. 

In her submission packet, she wrote: “I would be honored to configure and create this lively piece about wellness, active lifestyles, connection, and community for this incredible town and home to my studio and art practice at Willits Bend.”

In January, she and town staff presented the Arts Commission’s selection process and the “Stay Human” project. 

Gail Folwell’s work “Stay Human” will continue with an installation in Basalt River Park, which is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.

The agreement states that the town will pay Folwell $100,000 for the project. 

Nadolny said that Arts Commission will use this process as a launchpad to welcome more public art in Basalt in the future.

“It provides a sense of place, you know, it acts as a node. And it really just kind of provides a little bit of excitement. We’re hoping to have not just sculptures in the River Park, but BPAC is looking to have sculptures throughout town,” she said. “Not at this scale, but we’re hoping to have some temporary art, maybe permanent art. We just think it’s going to really enliven a lot of these public spaces.”

She said that Folwell’s timeline is six to eight months, and the town hopes for project completion by late summer, early fall at the latest.