Vine of Death: John Davenport
February 17 – March 5, 2023
Pirate Contemporary Art
Opening Reception: Friday, February 17, 6 – 1o pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 4, 2 pm
In Vine of Death, artist John Davenport addresses his father’s career at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and his role in producing chemical weapons of mass destruction. This is John Davenport’s second exhibition as a full Member of Pirate Contemporary Art.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) was a United States Army chemical weapons manufacturing and storage facility located in Commerce City, Colorado. The site was originally established in 1942 to produce chemical weapons and later expanded to include the production of pesticides and herbicides.
During its operation, the RMA produced a variety of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve gas. In addition to the production of chemical weapons, the site was also used for the storage and disposal of hazardous waste.
In the 1980s, concerns were raised about the environmental impact of the RMA, particularly the contamination of nearby water sources and soil. The site was eventually designated as a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1987, and a cleanup effort began.
The cleanup effort at the RMA was one of the largest and most complex in Superfund history, and it took nearly three decades to complete. The site was officially declared clean in 2010 and was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for use as a national wildlife refuge. - Chat GPT
His mixed media display was very interesting. I have spent lots of time at the Arsenal since it’s conversion to a wildlife sanctuary but we should not lose the history of what this once was.
I had a great chat with John about the many dangerous places in Colorado - The Arsenal, Rocky Flats Plutonium Plant, Cheyenne Mountain where NORAD was housed and was ground zero for any nuclear exchange with the Russians. All three have been decommissioned though the Rocky Flats is still highly contaminated underground.