There’s more art on the local streets thanks to the new collection of Art on the Streets installations. Over the next year, visitors and residents can take a virtual or in-person tour of the annual downtown street art exhibit, which offers spectators a variety of life-size—or larger—sculptures to peruse on their way to work or on a stroll to their favorite coffee shop.
This is one of the only opportunities in this region to see international world-class works of art for free, says Claire Swinford, urban engagement manager for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.
“You’re getting pieces from all over the world with a variety of different aesthetic influences and disciplines,” Swinford says. “And you’re getting them in an environment where you can enjoy them no matter what your background is, your age, your means, your ability status—there’s not even a language barrier, because you’re experiencing something that’s accessible 24/7 on the streets of downtown.”
To highlight some of the 11 new sculptures of the 19th-annual Art on the Streets exhibit, we used the free Otocast app to locate and to hear the inspiration behind each piece of art. Take a walk during the day or go after dark to see the art light up, and be sure to stop by the Launch Party in Acacia Park on Friday, July 7 from 5-8 p.m. and take a guided tour through the exhibit.
Love Is the Answer
Artist: Sandy Friedman
To pay tribute to first responders who took action in the 2015 Planned Parenthood shooting, Friedman created a blue post with three red hearts on top, and in the center of these hearts are six steel bullets. Shadows cast by the sculpture change during the day to represent different moments in time.
Location: Southwest corner of N. Nevada Ave. and E. Kiowa St., in front of Kiowa Street Parking Garage (127 E. Kiowa St.)
Artist: Joan Benefiel
You may recognize this New York artist’s work since Benefiel’s art has been selected for Art on the Streets before. It’s hard to miss this striking 11-foot sculpture, as its hand-tinted cast translucent resin material glows red. The female form arches back and stretches her arms skyward, appearing to catch fire from the shifting sunlight. “I like to imagine that my figures look as if they could actually be modeled directly in light,” Benefiel says.
Location: Corner of S. Tejon St. and E. Moreno Ave., in front of the recently closed Southside Johnny’s
Artist: Mitchell Dillman
In memory of the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest Fires, Springs native and visual artist, woodworker and welder Dillman created his sculpture out of welded steel and two old-growth ponderosa trees from the Black Forest Fire. The sculpture stands tall with four geometric arms attached to its four sides to show that life can truly come from death.
Location: Tejon St between Boulder and Platte Ave., in front of Odyssey Gastropub (311 N. Tejon St.)
Artist: Timothy Flood
Visit this piece of art when you need to be reminded that you are strong, important, beautiful, noble or anything else. Flood created the Affirmation Station, which won the Juror Award, with 124 scrolling words of encouragement and 241 enthusiastic audio messages that play when the “Press button for ?” button is pushed.
Location: Kiowa St. between N. Tejon St. and N. Nevada Ave., beside Kiowa Street Parking Garage (127 E. Kiowa St.)
I have been dreaming to be a tree
Artist: Byeong Doo Moon
The stainless steel deer whose antlers blend in with the trees was created by international artist Moon. “In Korea, the deer is a divine creature that connects the earth to the universe,” Moon says. “To me, it is a symbol of the frail nature of man, yet with the immense potential of understanding the universe. With this piece, I hope to create and encourage discourse on the nature of man.”
Location: Median at S. Cascade Ave. and Colorado Ave., near Saigon Cafe
The Conference Table
Artist: Frank Morbillo
While most conference tables are used for work meetings, this table exemplifies the rhythms, textures and lines of Southwest landscapes. Placed in front of the El Paso County courthouse, Morbillo’s bronze table splits apart to reveal what looks like rock formations exposed from the rain to evoke the power and importance of water in this area.
Location: S. Tejon St. in front of El Paso County Combined Courts (282 S. Tejon St.)
Prickly Pear in Bloom
Artist: Tiffany Matheson
To keep Colorado’s natural beauty in the forefront of the viewer’s mind, the Denver-based artist created a green aluminum, open-frame metal cactus with seven pink-and-orange acrylic flowers. With the energy collected through a solar panel, these flowers add to the city lights with their glow in the dark.
Location: In the median of S. Nevada Ave. at Pikes Peak Ave., across from The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa
What’s better than First Fridays? The monthly art events with the Art on the Streets Launch Party in Acacia Park. Celebrate to the sounds of the Springs Contemporary Jazz Big Band, and join guided tours of this year’s collection of street art, sculptures and installations.
Friday, July 7
Acacia Park, 15 E. Platte Ave.
COS: Art Center
Colorado Springs’ state-certified Downtown Creative District contains over 120 works of public street art, including statues, sculptures, murals, architectural features, fountains and decorated traffic signal boxes.