River Arch, 1999


Winnipeg, Manitoba. Stone, stainless steel, aluminum, gold leaf, concrete, 75.5 x 76 x 15 ft.; 23 x 23 x 4.5 m.

River Arch, installed in October 1999, in Winnipeg, Manitoba was commissioned by the City of Winnipeg to serve as a symbol of the city at its gateway where two new bridges span the Red River as you enter the downtown area. The asymmetrical parabolic arch made of stainless steel rises up out of the river to the shore between the bridges. It can be viewed from below on the river walk or from the river itself and is seen from many vantage points along the river and the roadways.

River Arch reflects the dynamic, modern Winnipeg in harmony with its past traditions and the natural world that surrounds the city. The textured concrete columns with stone bison bases and capitols rise up about 40 ft. and there are gold leafed wheat sheaves that appear to blow like golden flames on top. The arch itself is 60 ft. high from where it rises from the river. The image created from the stainless steel "pixels" is taken from a photograph of a harvested field with its parallel furrows that follow the contours of the land. Each of the images: the bison, the wheat and the plowed fields has been translated into standard two inch units, creating an urban, "digital" vocabulary for the natural world.


River Arch, 1999 description
© Catherine Widgery