Artist: Ben Sweitzer
Location: Along the Lupine Trail
Medium: Metal, Powder coating
There is a piece of public art on the outskirts of Crested Butte that takes some effort to get to. Whether you walk or bike, the reward is great. Not only are the vistas of the Slate River Valley, Town of Crested Butte, Crested Butte Mountain and beyond inspiring, but once you get there you can stop and relax.
In the summer of 2016 Ben Sweitzer, part owner of Ace Hardware and hobbyist furniture maker, saw an ad from the Crested Butte Creative District soliciting a bench to be placed on the then quite new Lupine Trail. The Lupine Trail runs across conserved lands and trail easements from the Saddle Ridge subdivision to the Slate River Valley. Ben won the bid for a creative, artsy bench and set to work (roughly 20-30 hours of it) to create a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing place to sit. Made of laser-cut metal and powder-coated with colors meant to represent the local wildflowers’ bounty. Ben and six friends eventually lugged numerous heavy pieces to the bench’s current location. Constructed on site, its colorful design beckons passersby to stop, sit, and breathe. It’s well worth the journey. Once rested you can continue on, enjoying the preserved open space or, as mentioned before, you might want to keep interacting with the public art until you’re ready to return the way you came!
Sidenote: the Lupine Trail is located just to the north of Crested Butte. There are two access points, one from Slate River Road and one from Gothic Road as you head towards Mt. Crested Butte. Please note there is NO parking at the Gothic Road entrance (in the Saddle Ridge subdivision)! Thanks for respecting private property!