Artist: Sean Guerrero
Location: Crested Butte Town Park (near the entrance of Town)
There is perhaps no more iconic piece of public art in Crested Butte than the gleaming chrome sculpture that greets residents and visitors as they descend the hill of Highway 135 into town. A brave knight is locked in perpetual battle with an aggressive dragon…the ultimate metaphor for good versus evil; small versus big; the battle of light over darkness. The artist, Sean Guerrero, encourages all to make of it what you will in regards to small-town Crested Butte coping with corporate influences or dealing with growing pains due to being ‘over-loved’ by the larger world, but the sculpture’s origins are somewhat removed from that.
The ’80s were the early years of Sean’s chromatic creations. As he worked with chrome bumpers (much easier to come by back then), the phrase ‘in shining armor’ occurred to him, and the Knight was born. However, Sean soon felt that the medieval soldier was ‘plain Jane’ without an adversary, so he created the Dragon and the two have been linked ever since. They dueled in Beverly Hills, and then Palm Springs, where kids from the local school would field trip to their location and write stories about them. They were relocated to the roof of a film studio in LA, where they oversaw the 1992 riots. They eventually made their way to Gunnison, where they sat in a field for a while until working their way up valley. For many years they fought majestically on a hillside beneath the southern flanks of Mt. Crested Butte, until one-too-many drunk visitors tried to be a part of their battle and the property owner had enough. Fortunately, the Town of Crested Butte provided the current field for their drama to continue to unfold. Toddlers from the neighboring preschool play in their shadows and they’ve been the subject of countless photos. Indeed, it seems there is something eternally relevant about their conflict that resonates with everyone who passes by!
Learn more about Sean Guerrero here.