Civic Area

55 Degrees

by Adam Kuby (Portland, OR)

corten steel

Three monolithic frames transpose the exact angle of repose and the geographic orientation of Boulder’s nearby Flatirons, a geologic formation, directly into the heart of the city.





Images courtesy of Adam Kuby and the City of Boulder Office of Arts + Culture

Installed in Boulder’s Civic Area in November 2020, this artwork is the result of extensive research and engagement. The work was fabricated by Living Design Studios, Inc. in Erie, CO.

Project Background

From 2016 – 2017, the Civic Area’s core green space underwent a transformation which resulted in an intentionally-designed, flexible park space: restoration of the natural creek corridor; introduction of a new bridge and corridor that unites University Hill (to the south) and Pearl Street (to the north) to the Civic Area. The inclusion of site-specific public art in the Civic Area was a priority of the City. This artwork aligns with the City of Boulder Sustainability and Resiliency Framework in the following areas: Safe, Healthy and Socially Thriving, Accessible and Connected, and Environmentally Sustainable.

Selection Process

In 2017, 280 qualified applications were reviewed by a community selection panel which included arts professionals, artists, community members, and a member of the Arts Commission. Adam Kuby was one of five artists invited to propose a concept and received a majority vote. This project was included in twelve community events throughout its design process.

Desired project goals:

+ Signature artwork: a meeting place on a civic scale, highly visible and serving as a destination
+ Gateway or threshold system to announce your arrival and experience within the Civic Area
+ A unique, one-of-a-kind artwork that complements the character and uses of the park
+ Connection to place and intention; compliments park design and bridge
+ Can be appreciated and utilized by all ages and abilities
+ Interactive from multiple uses

Additional thank you to the following entities who were a part of this commission:

  • Nixcavating – Longmont, CO
  • Firm Foundations – Broomfield, CO
  • ProLift Crane – Longmont, CO
  • Flatirons Surveying – Boulder, CO
  • D & B Engineering – Wheat Ridge, CO
  • JVA Consulting Engineers – Boulder, CO
  • Anderson Consulting Engineers – Fort Collins, CO
  • LandTech Landscape Consultants – Aurora, CO
  • Ground Engineering Consultants – Commerce City, CO
  • Sam Cikauskas – Boulder, CO