While in Telluride this week, I walked down Colorado Avenue to pay a visit to Mr. Moneybags himself, Ursa Ravus.
The 15-foot sculpture of a bear, created by Lisa and Robert Ferguson, otherwise known as Mr & Mrs Ferguson Art, is built of 187,000 pennies embedded in concrete.
The bear’s innards are made of carved Styrofoam and steel tubing, and it took the Fergusons – Lisa is a cinematographer; Robert is a welder – four months to make. (They had help from a few assistants.)
The Penny Bear resides at the end of East Colorado Avenue, where it stands tall with one paw raised in greeting. Visitors are encouraged to admire and touch it. I’ve seen the giant bear before, but never with a sprinkling of snow on its fur.
The Fergusons have also created installations for Burning Man Festival and are making another penny bear for Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Judy and Steven Gluckstern commissioned the piece as public art in Telluride.