El Paso, Texas – A bright yellow 30-foot gate in the heart of downtown El Paso is catching the eye of many.
“Bienvenido” is one of two art installations by Colorado metal sculptor Christopher Weed.
“The door is very symbolic and usually when a door opens one closes, but when you open the door you walk through the door, usually what’s on the other side is better,” Weed said.
Weed has been a metal sculptor for over 20 years and although he is originally from Colorado, he is no stranger to the frontier.
“I’ve been coming to this town for four and a half years already and it’s a very inclusive people regardless of race, religion, gender and they welcome me as one of their own,” Weed said.
It was this feeling of welcome that El Paso showed him that sparked the idea for his latest sculpture, “Bienvenido”, which sits directly across from the Hotel Paso Del Norte on El Paso Street in the center. -city of El Paso.
“The client basically gives you this blank slate and tells you to find something,” Weed said, “I just thought as a walkway installation, a larger-than-life abstract doorway was the perfect piece. The one that was open to the city of El Paso and testifies to the close relationship with Juarez and El Paso.
The 7-ton door sculpture took Weed and his team eight to ten months to complete and install. The larger-than-life piece is hard for drivers to miss due to its bright yellow color.
“Yellow is basically the happiest of all colors in North America, and it’s inviting and uplifting,” Weed said.
Once the sun goes down, color-changing lights illuminate the doorway.
“So it turns green and red and orange and all these other different colors speak to other nations around us,” Weed explained.
“Bienvenido” is Weed’s second art installation for the El Paso Department of Museums and Cultural Affairs. He hopes the sculptor will bring more people to downtown El Paso to enjoy our city’s culture.
“I abstracted the door so it would stop people in their tracks,” Weed explained, “When you look at it, something is wrong with the door. It’s twisted and it’s to keep curiosity viewers that it is important that it grabs their attention.