Downtown Colorado Springs is getting another round of colorful public art installations with the 21st annual Art on the Streets program—but with a new twist. Murals have been added to this year’s exhibit in addition to the usual sculptures. “We decided to raise the bar and thought this could be more than about sculpture, so let’s start to open the doors to bring exemplary murals to the heart of the city,” says Claire Swinford, director of urban engagement for Downtown Partnership.
Swinford says part of the motivation was to create platforms to increase appreciation for local artists in Southern Colorado. “We invited local artists who were curious about what it means to do a mural to actually serve as apprentices on the projects with artists from out of town,” she says. “So in turn, we are building up the knowledge capsule locally.”
The exhibit launches Friday, June 7 with a scavenger hunt party and a guided walking tour to the locations of the latest works. But the art will be on display for the next year. Here is a preview of some of the new murals you’ll see, as well as of events and tours of the collection.
Maxentius in His Defeat of Various Fruit
Artist: SCOTCH! of Manitou Springs
The Springs is getting a new style in town with this stencil mural. “… a combination of Baroque and glitchy patterns which are made from hand cut stencils.” SCOTCH! says in his artist statement. The scene parodies a 17th century work by Peter Paul Rubens. Instead of being defeated by Constantine, this Roman emperor Maxentius is overtaken by colorful fruit.
Location: The west side of South Nevada Avenue between East Cucharras Street and East Vermijo Avenue. (West wall of the former CSHP building, 209 S. Nevada Ave.)
Urban BioSphere Fragmented
Artist: Kim Carlino of Easthampton, Massachusetts
This painted mural blends constructed geometry with natural freedom in both the lines and color. “I abstract the pure essence and fundamental building blocks of nature, reconfigure and rebuild them into new constructed landscapes that are playful, bold and improvisational,” Carlino says in her artist statement.
Location: The east side of North Tejon Street between Kiowa and Pikes Peak Avenue. (The south and east walls of the building at 19 N. Tejon St.)
Fire in My Sol
Artist: Mauricio Ramirez of Berwyn, Illinois
This blocky yet flowing, colorful mural gives a mood of transition and movement through its geometric abstraction. “I create artwork that crosses borders and boundaries. … My more personal artwork is a contribution to the community; frequently a cultural icon that transcends rich intersecting historical and popular culture references that speak to the complex diaspora of the United States,” Ramirez says in his artist statement. “I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of how the visibility of culture can lead to not only the growth of confidence, but also care within our communities.”
Location: The west side of North Cascade Avenue between Kiowa Street and Pikes Peak Avenue. (The south retaining wall of surface parking lot at Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.)
The works listed below were installed in previous years and will be included in the 2019-20 exhibit by a purchase through the new fund dedicated to founder of Art on the Streets, Judy Noyes:
Iscariot by Trace O’Connor of Fort Collins. Read more here
The Strength of the Sky by Jimmy Descant of Salida
Madame Eroshenko by Yoshitomo Saito of Denver
21st Anniversary Events
June 7, 5-8 p.m.
Participants can register for free and must do so to get their scavenger hunt map and passport. Giveaways, samples and other goods are included in the hunt as the adventure goes through the 12 new sculpture and mural locations.
A $10 is suggested to support Art on the Streets. Tickets are required for all participants ages 5 and up. Information and registration is available at DowtownCS.com
Guided Walking Tours
July 6 and Sept. 7, 10-11:15 a.m.
Get firsthand insight to the sculptures and murals on these tours. To register, visit downtowncs.com/tours
Self-Guided Audio Tours
Download the app by Downtown Ventures for your own tour to more than 30 art installations in the Springs. The app will guide you with GPS and show icons of the whole art collection throughout the city. Get more information here.