What’s the Deal with the Giant Yellow Door in Downtown El Paso?
Oversized anything is always an attention grabber and the oversized yellow door on the roundabout by the Plaza Hotel and Paso del Norte Hotel certainly got mine. I mean, how can you not do a double-take at something that looks like it's straight out of Toon Town or a Dr. Suess book, or some kind of homage to the Monsters Inc. movie. And, what's the deal with that thing, anyway? Why is it even there to begin with?
As cartoonish as it looks, the giant yellow door is the latest public art piece in downtown El Paso.
According to a post on the City of El Paso Public Art Program Facebook, the brightly-colored steel structure is a “30-foot open door greeting visitors traveling up from the international Stanton Bridge through the Paseo de las Luces and into the Downtown Arts District.”
It’s like a symbolic 'welcome' gesture, in other words. The piece is titled “Bienvenido” and was created by Philadelphia native Christopher Weed. He’s the same guy who did the sculptures on Airway that look like (a.) a martini glass with purple olives, or (b.) baskets filled with purple grapes or marbles. Yeah, this Weed guy loves him the giant art work.
While eye catching and certainly photo and selfie-worthy, it’s not original to El Paso.
Weed has done the same big-door concept in other cities. In Grand Rapids, Michigan the big door is named “Portal” and sits in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “Portal,” I understand, "is a metaphor of the doors that are opened in one's mind."
And in Colorado Springs, it’s named “Opening Doors.” Those are at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and represents “the doors that are opened in our subconscious when people challenge themselves through higher education.”