Garrison Roots, a revered sculptor and longtime CU-Boulder professor, had public art installations in cities across
He led the charge and vision for the school’s Visual Arts Complex, even pitching in $5,000 of his own money for its construction. At the time of the $63.5 million building’s opening in 2010, Roots told the Boulder Camera that it was “a statement — from the university’s point of view — that the arts are important.”
Roots, 59, died of complications from pancreatic cancer on Dec. 21, 2011.
The Visual Arts Complex replaced the aged Sibell Wolle building. The complex houses the department of art and art history as well as the CU Art Museum, featuring state-of-the-art studios and climate-controlled exhibition galleries.
“Garrison spoke the language of construction and design,” College of Arts and Sciences dean Todd Gleeson says. “He often joked that he had his own hard hat and construction vest.”
Roots began teaching at CU in 1982. He leaves many concrete things behind, says Yumi Roth, chair of the art and art history department. His public art installations are in the Denver Justice Center, Miami International Airport and Dallas Convention Center, she says.
“I don’t think that I’ve ever really encountered a professor who has had such a lasting impact on so many people over such a long period of time,” Roth says. “As for me, I feel fortunate to have had Garrison as a mentor, close friend and colleague.”
He is survived by his son, Tyler Roots, and by his wife, Veronica Munive Alvarado, of Longmont, Colo.