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Dying art

 In 1984, Fort Collins paid local artist, Richard Scorpio, $2000 to transform a dead tree in front of City Hall into a contemporary statue. Dance formation was here to “demonstrate the concept of art in public places.”  Ceremonies followed.

20 years later, however, the piece moved into a patch of weeds at Martinez Park. I don’t think there was a ceremony.

At first, I thought, this could be a great opportunity for Lost Fort Collins to make recommendations for other statues we might like to see relocated …

Relocated running man

Then, I changed my mind.

When I visited to take pictures, something happened. I decided that as it decays, Danceformation is the most moving piece of public art I have ever seen.

These doomed partners aren’t going to be with us for long, and it’s like they know it.

You can visit them between the bike trail and the playground at Martinez Park. I recommend you get up close. 

 Danceformation at Martinez Park 


TWO city departments mobilized so I could write this post. Local Archives dug through all their Fort Collins history materials looking for a younger picture of Danceformation. We never could find one.

The City Clerk retrieved all of the City’s official correspondence about the statue, made me copies, and never even asked why I wanted them!

Then there was a guy named Chris, sitting with the codgers in front of the Northern, who first suggested that Dancefomration was a carved cottonwood. That’s not the first time I’ve drawn from the collective memory of the Northern Hotel crowd.

Fort Collins rocks!

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