Over The River

Project for the Arkansas River
State of Colorado

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s vision for Over The River was conceived in 1992 and included 5.9 miles (9.5 kilometers) of silvery, luminous fabric panels to be suspended clear of and high above the water in eight distinct areas along a 42-mile (67.6 kilometer) stretch of the Arkansas River between Cañon City and Salida in south-central Colorado.

In August 1992, 1993 and 1994, in search of a site for the project, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and their team traveled 14,000 miles (22,530 kilometers) in the Rocky Mountains in the United States. On those trips, the team prospected eighty-nine rivers, in seven states, and six possible locations were found. After visiting the six sites again in the summer of 1996, the Arkansas River in Colorado was selected.

Christo received all federal, state and local permits necessary to realize Over The River in 2011, when the US Department of the Interior announced its Record of Decision. This federal action was the final step of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is usually reserved for major infrastructures such as bridges, highways, dams and airports. The EIS for Over The River, the first ever completed for a work of art, began in the spring of 2009 and was prepared by the Bureau of Land Management, Royal Gorge Field Office, resulting in a 1,686 page comprehensive analysis.

In 2012, a local group opposed to this temporary work of art filed lawsuits against Colorado State Parks in State Court and against the United States Federal Government, Bureau of Land Management, in U.S. Federal Court. In January 2017, after pursuing Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado for 20 years and going through five years of legal arguments, Christo decided to no longer wait on the outcome and devote all of his energy, time and resources into the realization of The Mastaba, Project for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The River (Project)
Christo
The River (Project)
Drawing 1992
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon and cardboard
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1992 Christo
The River (Project)
Christo
The River (Project)
Drawing 1992
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, ballpoint pen and cardboard
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1992 Christo
At a public meeting, Christo and Jeanne-Claude introduce the Over The River project to the local community and answer questions from the audience, April 1997
At a public meeting, Christo and Jeanne-Claude introduce the Over The River project to the local community and answer questions from the audience, April 1997
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Arkansas River working on the Over The River project, August 2000
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Arkansas River working on the Over The River project, August 2000
Photo: Sylvia Volz
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Collage 2007
17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, wax crayon, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph with topographic elevations, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2007 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Collage 2007
17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, wax crayon, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph with topographic elevations, fabric sample and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2007 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Collage 2009
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, fabric sample, aerial photograph with topographic elevations and tape on tan board
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2009 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Collage 2009
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, fabric sample, aerial photograph with topographic elevations and tape on tan board
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2009 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2010
13 7/8 x 15 1/4" (35.2 x 38.7 cm)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal and wax crayon
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2010 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2010
13 7/8 x 15 1/4" (35.2 x 38.7 cm)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal and wax crayon
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2010 Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2010 in two parts
96 x 42" and 96 x 15" (244 x 106.6 cm and 244 x 28 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, charcoal, pastel, enamel paint, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map, technical data and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2010 Christo
Ref. # 37
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2010 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, wash, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map and technical data
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2010 Christo
Ref. # 78
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2011 in two parts
15 x 65" and 42 x 65" (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, aerial photograph with topographic elevations and fabric sample
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2011 Christo
Ref. # 35
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2012 in two parts
15 x 65" and 42 x 65" (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, aerial photograph with topographic elevations and fabric sample
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2012 Christo
Ref. # 58
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Christo
Over The River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
Drawing 2013 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, fabric sample and aerial photographs with topographic elevations
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2013 Christo
Ref. # 39