Richard Kallweit, one of the artists who built Drop City in El Moro in 1965, recently visited Trinidad. Drop City was a geodesic dome arts colony that existed for only 10 years but garnered international fame; attracted artists, tourists and media attention; and inspired rural communes throughout the region and beyond.
Kallweit, who lives in Connecticut, was in Trinidad to meet wit the Drop City Counterculture Committee. Marilyn Leuszler, Doug Holdread, Tom Lang, and Paula Manini were honored when Kallweit said the Drop City “living legends are passing on our legacy to you.” He also shared stories about cutting and shaping recycled car tops and how they “wall papered” the interior with art, and he shed some light on the fate of The Ultimate Painting.
The committee, which also includes Joe Tarabino and Ric Lassiter, formed in 2014 to plan events for Drop City’s 50th anniversary. The group continues to plan toward an eventual innovative and interactive project that would feature Drop City, including a replica of the first iconic colorful car-top dome. Other personalities, stories, and topics that are part of Trinidad’s fascinating Counterculture legacy would be included to create an authentic, relevant, and exciting experience.
Kallweit also dropped by the Space to Create complex, which he follows on social media, that is under development on West Main Street. Shawn Grigsby, superintendent for Gibbs Construction, of New Orleans, LA, was available to answer questions about the project, and also talked about the joys and challenges of working on historic buildings.
The original dropper also met Paul Rich in the geodesic dome he is building below the historic Drop City site, and visited Art Cartopia in Trinidad and the Museum of Friends in Walsenburg, where two of his geometric art pieces are displayed. Kallweit has also donated Drop City home movies to the Carnegie Public Library, in Trinidad, which is home to the Drop City Archives.