Public art is often site specific, meaning that it is created in response to the place and community in which it resides. The many blue tabs that span the North Branch of the Winooski River, which are designed to reflect the water and move with the wind, are an excellent example of a public art installation right here in Montpelier. If you haven’t seen the installation, it is best viewed from the State Street bridge and is certainly worth a visit. At first glance, the installation may appear simple, but with 12 strands of wire spanning the water, and 1200 painted blue tabs attached to the wires, it is an impressive and enjoyable addition to the waterfront. Rivers in Montpelier are often overlooked and under-appreciated. Art installations and other unique sites that draw the eye to the river and enhance the entrance to the City are always welcome improvements.
Whatever the form, public art instills meaning to a greater sense of identity in, and an enhanced understanding of where we live, work and visit, thus creating memorable experiences for all. Knowing that these types of public installations will be viewed by hundreds of people – many accidentally – always brings me joy. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal installation, and it will be removed in October, but I look forward to enjoying it again next spring and am pleased to know that hundreds of others will have the same change.