This Snow Drawings piece was created with approximately 50 volunteer performers, who collaboratively recreated – in an abstracted sense – the original flow of the Yampa River and its 4 main tributaries within Routt County, CO. The river is now dammed and the valley is filled with water. In a 4-hour effort the groups of volunteers walked across the lake on snowshoes to create a pattern of a general stream as well as paying tribute to the moods of water, as its flow may be slow or fast, rough or smooth, straight or meandering, whirling in circles and racing down rapids. The piece was photographed from an airplane the day after the event.
This Snow Drawings piece concluded a 3-day seminar about water issues of the larger Colorado River system, the Western United States at large, and in particular the Yampa River in Northwestern Colorado. The seminar was held in Steamboat Springs in February 2014 and was initiated by the Legacy Education Fund; a non-profit organization that aims to promote and support public education in Routt County, CO. Speakers included experts on water as well as an education researcher about the importance of place-based education. .
With approximately 50 volunteers we created an artistic rendering of the water drainage system of the Routt County Yampa River segment on a frozen reservoir lake – created by a dam on that same river. Entering the lake from 4 different locations along the shoreline the snowshoe performers indicated the 4 main tributaries and would then congregate in the center of the lake to “flow” through the former river valley in commemoration of the course of the original river. Although flowing as one body of water each performer – like an individual drop of water – was asked to take into consideration how water moves, how it can be fast or slow, take a straight course or meander, bump up against rocks, whirl around obstacles, linger in puddles or race down rapids.
It took us about 4 hours to find our course through the valley to exit the lake on the far end. As with other Snow Drawings projects this piece was photographed from the air the morning after the performance took place.