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2,000 square-foot terrazzo map gives visitors rare bird's eye view of Colorado in new History Colorado Center
New history museum to show art work by Steven Weitzman
The impact of Colorado’s history, the beauty of art and the wonders of technology will converge with the official opening of the new History Colorado Center in Denver on April 28, 2012; and designer of urban spaces, sculptor and nationally acclaimed public artist, Steven Weitzman, has contributed to this exciting $110 million project by developing the Great Map of Colorado, a 40 x 60-foot terrazzo map of Colorado’s topography that is imbedded into the History Colorado Center’s atrium floor.
History Colorado commissioned Weitzman to construct the Great Map of Colorado, which iscompletely made from FOTERA® terrazzo tiles. The map is located in the History Colorado Center’s four-story atrium. Weitzman and his talented team handcrafted 234 tiles, each being 36 x 36 x 7/16 inches in size, with a tolerance of 5/1000 of an inch, and taking over 9,000 man-hours to install. The work forms a dramatic bird’s eye view of the state. Museum visitors will walk across the beautiful floor while getting acquainted with Colorado’s topographical landscape, as seen from 400 miles above the earth.
Replacing the former Colorado History Museum, the new and cutting-edge History Colorado Center is a 200,000-square foot museum that celebrates 10,000 years of Colorado and its people. The History Colorado Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate – one of only three organizations to achieve such an association in the state of Colorado. Opening exhibits that incorporate high-tech, multimedia experiences combined with historic collections both show and tell the rich story of the state, allowing the visitor to become part of the story.
Choosing Weitzman was an act of intertwining history and art in itself—the renowned artist began his career in the mid-70s in Colorado. In the 1980s, Steven Weitzman developed a unique process for casting terrazzo without metal dividers and invented FOTERA®. The durable material is workable for indoor or outdoor installations and can be used to create any image, with any colour, at any scale. Weitzman has employed this elegant process in numerous projects throughout the United States.
This innovative work of art is part of Colorado’s Art in Public Places programme and is an integral piece of the museum’s first phase of this programme. The Great Map of Colorado functions as both a public art piece and an interactive exhibition. Visitors will have an opportunity to push an H.G. Wells-inspired ‘time machine’ across 12 different zones on the map to activate place-based stories from Colorado’s past. Radio Frequency Identification tags-guided ‘hot spots’ will trigger the time machine to play a one-to-two minute programme that combines film, music, and still images relating to these stories.