La Veleta / The Weathervane
What People Are Saying
7 people say Hidden Gem
6 people say Love it
3 people say Family Friendly
1 people say Photogenic
About This Piece
“La Veleta / The Weathervane” is a playful depiction of seven animal faces composed of colorful mosaic tiles stacked nearly forty feet high, much like a totem pole. The seven animals; a bear, a lynx, a fox, a mountain lion, an owl, a ram and a snake, symbolize the diverse ecosystems found in Colorado as well as the diversity found in the surrounding neighborhoods. This artwork is meant to “watch” over and protect the communities that surround it. “La Veleta” means “weathervane” in Spanish and this piece is also meant to track the weather from the four directions.
Denver Artist Jaime Molina and Tres Birds collaborated to design, build, and install the 36-foot tall mosaic totem pole in Barnum Park, Denver.
Jaime provided the concept behind the artwork, animal design, and carefully tiled each animal head in house at the Tres Birds workshop.
“These animals represent the diverse cultures and people of Colorado and all of the histories that come with them. Despite the brutal nature of predators and prey, these native creatures live in harmony with each other, coexisting within a bigger ecosystem where everything stays in balance…This totem pole serves as a gauge of our ability to survive ourselves. I think of it as a reminder of which way the wind is blowing.”- Jaime Molina
Tres Birds designed and fabricated the totem, engineered its structural system, material integration, managed the site work and installation for the project. Material and structural detailing were key to providing a solid and long-lasting canvas for Jaime to work with. The use of waterproof epoxy-based grout, polystyrene formwork, and a steel structural system that places no stress on the tile work, was all designed by Tres Birds to ensure this sculpture lasts hundreds of years. Tres Birds installation of the heads took from dawn to dusk on December 14, 2019.
“Collaborating on the creation of these animal beings in our workshop has had a deep impact on me. I have loved coming to work every day and seeing these animal spirits come alive. We built this totem to last for at least seven generations for Denver’s people” – Michael M. Moore