Christo's Artistic Hurdle in Colorado


Not everyone working and living near the "Over the River" site is against the project. Andy Neinas runs Echo Canyon River Expeditions and says the Arkansas is a perfect place for a Christo installation.

"No matter how many times I run it, it's still unique," Neinas says, paddling a raft down the river.

Neinas supports the project, partly because he knows Christo could help drive thousands of tourists to his rafts when "Over the River" is complete. He insists, however, that it's not all about money.

"How fortunate we are, in rural Colorado, to have a world-class opportunity to share the reason we live here, why we love this area, with the rest of the world," he said.

Christo has already spent two decades and ten million dollars on something that still lives only on paper. He pays for the project by selling his artwork and is quick to note that he receives no taxpayer money.

He hopes his crew can begin building "Over the River" this coming winter and have it ready for its two-week run in 2015.

"For years, our work is making people thinking," Christo said. "Bad, against the project, good, for the project. But people are thinking about art. A work of art that does not yet exist. Already, that is a great accomplishment."

The worst thing for an artist, Christo says, is to have their work ignored. That so many are arguing over the merits of "Over the River" he says, has already made it a success.

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