- Thursday, May 31, 2007, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs Hard hats will safeguard the craniums of countless construction workers during this summer's building boom in downtown Steamboat Springs, but Tracy Barnett is concerned about keeping the creative juices flowing in the heads of the people who will pass the construction sites daily.
"Everybody's saying, 'What's going to happen? What's it going to be like? Will it be ugly?'" said Barnett, the program manger for Main Street Steamboat Springs. "We wanted to put a positive spin on what's happening downtown."
That spin involves hard hats donated by local construction companies and customized and decorated by local artists.
"I've been surprised and amazed with what's been created - one is a lamp filled with glass buttons in all these intricately-drilled holes," Barnett said Tuesday while hanging the first 18 hard hats for display at the Steamboat Art Museum. Decorated hats will be displayed there until Thursday, when they will be moved to the Routt County Courthouse lawn for the Construction Kick-Off Party. The event, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., will feature live music and a 6 p.m. auction for the artsy hard hats.
The auctioned hard hats are part of Main Street's themed "Downtown Renaissance." To freshen the industrial canvas of orange cones and metal fencing, Barnett said volunteers will adorn the pedestrian tunnels near the Howelsen Place and Alpenglow redevelopment projects with decorated 4- by 8-foot panels.
"It's everything," Barnett said about the painted panels' imagery. "Children can paint whatever they want, we let them be creative. We have one that says, 'The Artist's Way' at the beginning of the tunnel."
Barnett also said 21 "sophisticated and fun" colored light pole banners we be hung along the light poles lining Lincoln Avenue.
The beneficiary for the hard hat auction is the Steamboat Art Musuem, which will receive half the proceeds plus whatever is left after the event is paid for.
"It was Main Street's idea, but we fully embraced the wonderful idea to highlight the construction, but also to point out we can see the humor and to provide both entertainment and provide a benefit for the museum," said museum board member Rod Hanna. "It's a neat collaboration and a fun thing to do to engage artists in town."
Barnett said three hats still need to be decorated and can be purchased by artists for a $10 entry fee. Stop by the Main Street office at 751 Yampa Ave.
Those interested in decorating panels should call the Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym at 870-0384. Barnett urged decorators to hurry, because the hats already are being voted on at the museum.