Remember Colorado’s Famous Orange Valley Curtain?
Colorado is known for its beautiful scenery, including stunning snow-capped mountains and dense forests filled with greenery. And for a brief 28 hours back in 1972, another colorful object lined the landscape off of Colorado State Highway 325 in the town of Rifle.
In the early 1970s, the famous late artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude had a vision of creating an eye-catching installation piece that would be constructed in Colorado.
After more than two years of hard labor the couple's artistic idea finally came to life. On August 10, 1972, locals gathered nearby the Rifle Gap to witness the unveiling of the "Valley Curtain."
Valley Curtain consisted of 200,200 square feet of orange nylon fabric that was woven together and stretched across a quarter-mile span between the valley walls of the Grand Hogback Mountain Range.
Many hands went into creating the piece and nearly 100 individuals, including college students and construction workers, helped to carefully hang it on that memorable August day. The crew carefully balanced on cables that were suspended high above the ground and used 27 ropes to secure the billowing curtain.
Despite their efforts, Valley Curtain only hung for a total of 28 hours. On August 11, winds reaching speeds of approximately 60 miles per hour whipped through the area and caused the fabric to shred almost immediately.
The creation was taken down after that and all that remains at the location between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs are some of the anchors that are still bolted to the rock. Although it was temporary, the hubbub around the giant orange curtain lives on in the memory of many Coloradans.
Colorado's Valley Curtain was one of Christo's earlier pieces. He went on to create several other large art installations before passing away on May 31, 2020, at the age of 84 years old.