Flying a Cable (detail)

Flying a Cable (detail)

Art of Construction

Paintings of the I-35W Bridge Project

It's not often that a major, urban bridge is built over the Mississippi River. This one triggered a lot of conflicting emotions. The senseless tragedy that necessitated it — the 2007 rush-hour collapse that killed 13 people — is now a part of this city's identity, as is the efficient rebuilding of the span within 14 months of the collapse. It's amazing what can be achieved with teamwork, commitment, and resources. Anyone who visited the construction site was enthralled with the scene. As an artist, I saw angles, atmosphere, perspective, color, and scale—all begging to be painted.

The full series, shown below, was exhibited in August 2008 at the Trivent Financial art gallery, a few blocks from the bridge site.