Building the River

This short film, narrated by Wopo Holup, details the fabrication and installation process for the "River" project at the Shoal Creek Police Academy and Station. The Missouri River is mapped across the campus. It begins on an exterior patio, runs through the Academy lobby, along side the street entry and finally “to its headwaters” on the Station’s plaza. Along the way, eagles roost on benches, pedestals and exterior columns.

The Gold Star Project

During a series of events beginning October 15, 2006 and ending All Saints Sunday, November 5, 2006, individual gold stars – each signifying a life – were affixed to the pavement just inside the gate to Trinity Church. As the days progressed, the stars filled the space, formed new patterns, overlapped one another and finally formed a solid sheet of gold.

River Drawings

Drawings which expand upon the ecological ideas in the projects, have been shown in solo exhibitions around the United States.

Solo exhibitions include: “Art and the Environment”, Selden/Chrysler Gallery, Norfolk, VA; CUE Foundation, curated by Yvonne Jacquette, NY, NY; Mill Museum; NPS (National Park Service), Lowell, MA; and the Charles Schulz Gallery at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.

Group exhibitions include: American Academy of Arts and Letters Invitational, NY, NY; “Contemporary Cartographies”, Lehman College Gallery, Bronx, NY; “Rivers Alive” Washington Art Assoc. Washington, CT; Climate Change, a dialogue with Klaus Jacob, Soho 20 Gallery, NY, NY; Urban Culture Project in Kansas City, MO; the Center for Architecture, NY, NY; and a traveling exhibit for The Center for Creativity and Design, University of North Carolina.

Colorado River Drawings

“The Colorado River in a Glass Box” is an accurate aerial view of the Colorado River beginning at the river’s source in the Rocky Mountains and continuing to its final destination, the Gulf of California. A view from above is a relatively new perspective – the earth seen from an airplane window or a satellite image. Earth patterns, especially branching patterns such as rivers are especially intriguing. The shapes of rivers are dramatically modified with dams (Lake Mead and Lake Powell) and green oasis shapes appear in the desert with irrigation.

There are ten panel sections in ten Glass Boxes. Each draped paper section is ten feet long and three feet wide. These sections are gilded with aluminum and Japanese colored leaf showing snowy mountaintops or irrigation oasis. The river is colored with acrylic paint and graphite. The river contours are accurate, but north/south directions are not.

Wopo Holup

Artist's statement

Artworks can bring a public place into focus by linking its natural environment with the history that has played out over the land. Public art at its best, creates a work that stimulates reverie and affords us a fresh look at our surroundings. The art plays a supportive role to the community's experience of the place itself.

Our environment and the vast, inter-connecting structures that sustain it, are of great interest to me. Whether the scale is minute or monumental, the systems within nature that branch, divide, and repeat are infinitely fascinating.

Awards include 2013 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, New York City CAP, NEA Artist-in-Residence and New York State Artist-in-Residence.

Contact Wopo at wopoholup(at) or by phone at (212) 625-9890.

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Wopo Holup