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Blue Gorilla reigns over Santa Fe’s Railyard Park


Brandon Soder, left, helps artist Don Kennell, right, install a 13-foot sculpture called “Blue Gorilla” in the Railyard Park on Friday. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — A gorilla has invaded Santa Fe’s Railyard Park. A big one. A big, blue one.

“Blue Gorilla,” 13 feet tall and 8 feet wide, is a sculpture by Don Kennell made from steel and sheet metal harvested from old cars. The Railyard Stewards brought the ape to the corner of Guadalupe Street and Cerrillos Road, where it will remain until mid-March, when it will take off for the Philadelphia Zoo. That zoo commissioned the piece to draw attention to the endangered status of lowland gorillas from habitat loss and climate change.

Kennell also created the Yard Dog sculpture that was displayed in the park in 2011.

But the big guy needs a name. The Railyard Stewards and Railyard Art Committee will give $250 to the elementary school classroom that comes up with the best one. One entry per classroom will be accepted. It should be sent to or on the Railyard Stewards Facebook page.And while it looks like he’s holding onto a purse when you do a quick drive by, that’s actually a car door. Maybe he tore it off the vehicle of someone who was speeding past or running a red light.