It sounds like one of those tricks designed for the gullible: When you get to the "Welcome to Green Mountain Falls" sign, look up.
But sure enough, go to the small mountain town just past Manitou Springs, and you'll find rubbernecking spectators gawking at artist Sean McGinnis' spider web-like globe of string, elaborately suspended in a clearing across the street from the greeting post.
McGinnis' neon pink and golden orange sphere — constructed as part of the new, three-week-long Green Box Arts Festival — is, in his words, "a ghostly, ethereal, singular form."
"You don't really see the support structure," McGinnis says, "but as you drive by, it's hanging in the middle of the trees."
To achieve the effect, McGinnis accessed the trunks and branches with two rented industrial scaffolding lifts and a pair of tall, A-frame ladders. Employing parts of the landscape as anchors gives the installation an organic look and feel, he says, though the bright colors that weave amid browns and greens stand in stark, bold contrast.
McGinnis says the word "alchemy" is important to his approach. He's interested in "taking something ordinary and going so far with it that it's transformed."
And he's chosen one of the most ordinary materials as a medium. McGinnis grew up in Kansas and spent many childhood summers in Green Mountain Falls, but he honed his skill with string in Paris, where he's lived since 1997. "Crepuscule" (French for twilight) is his first sculpture in the wild, his first in the U.S., and the first that he has both executed in public and blogged about step-by-step.
Completing the creative process in public is like being naked in a crowd, he says. The payoff: "I think doing it in public allows people access to it."
Sid Kramer of Scottsdale, Ariz., included. When his summer trip to Yellowstone was suddenly cancelled, stranding him at his family's cabin nearby, he approached McGinnis and offered him a hand.
"Everyone else wants to know about it, or is asking questions," Kramer says.
With the help of other locals, relatives and friends, McGinnis completed his sphere in 18 days. It will hang as long as nature (and human nature) allows, testing the durability of the nylon mason's line and the flexibility of McGinnis' design.