Colorado Springs loves its public art. That’s evident every year in the Art on the Streets exhibition, which turns the streets of downtown Colorado Springs into a yearlong outdoor sculpture gallery. But that’s only the beginning. You can find public art in all corners of Colorado Springs.
“Not only does public art beautify a city, it provokes dialogue and engagement among people and adds a spark to day-to-day life,” says Susan Edmondson, CEO of the Downtown Partnership, which manages the annual Art on the Streets program. “But, most important, a healthy public art scene sends a message about a community’s values and vision. I hear all the time that when people visit downtown Colorado Springs for the first time, what they notice most is the abundance and quality of the public art.”
We highlighted 10 public sculptures around Colorado Springs in our Summer print edition. Here are another dozen local public works to explore.
Get out and see them. Go find your own—you can also use this guide from PeakRadar.com. Then snap a sculpture selfie and post it on your social media with hashtag #cospringsmag. We’ll be watching for you.
Eventide Rhythm and Origin are among the 11 pieces in the 2016-2017 Art on the Streets, the 18-year-old, privately funded program that brings new art to downtown streets every year. Join the free public launch party July 1 at Acacia Park for live music and dancing.
Acacia Park, 225 N. Nevada Ave.
Big School Desk (2006)
A Colorado College student, Thompson made this chair-desk combo for a 3-D art class in the early ’90s. Although he had only three or four days to fabricate and build it, he did so with astounding accuracy, including the seat, which was steamed and laminated to replicate the curves of the original, with a wad of gum pressed to the underside. Before being installed at the art center, it had a home at CC’s Tutt Library.
Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave.
Somewhere-Everyday (Firefighter’s Memorial) (1986)
A centerpiece of this monument-heavy park, this 20-foot work pays tribute to the bravery of firefighters everywhere. The statue, which shows a firefighter descending a ladder with a child cradled in one arm, is one of two firefighter sculptures by Coulter in the Springs.
Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Follow the Setting Sun (2005)
Lee’s tribute to the adage “Go West, young man,” is a whopping 16-feet-tall and 28-feet-wide pyramid. About 6,000 pounds of stainless steel was used in its making. Step close, and you’ll see stories about Springs historical figures, places and events depicted on the sides.
Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St.
Briargate Mustangs (1988)
Commissioned by Briargate founder John Venezia in 1987, this large bronze of a group of horses is a tribute to wild mustangs, as well as the free spirit of Colorado.
Southeast corner of the intersection of State Highway 83 and Briargate Parkway
Flight: Butterflies (since 2008)
A project of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs, local artists paint or otherwise embellish metal butterfly forms, which are then installed around town in the months before a fall auction of the work. Nearly $800,000 has gone to school arts programs and the club’s foundation since 2008.
University Village Colorado, Pikes Peak Center and other locations throughout Colorado Springs. Find a map at csflight.org
Bear Creek Park Overlook
Boasting a 280-degree view, this ornate bench is decorated with colored glass and quotes from members of the non-profit group, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson, the Band, the Talmud and other sources.
Bear Creek Park, 21st Street and Argus Road. Follow the Regional Trail a quarter-mile west from the pavilion and athletic fields.
Spring Bouquet (c. 2005)
Gene Adcock and Jeanie Renchard
Pass this corner often and you may wonder about the story behind this festive bronze bouquet of roses. The work is a memorial to attorney Norm Palermo, who died in 2003. Palermo played a significant role in Springs life, including in the Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the El Paso County Republican Party and county government.
Corner of Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue
Blota Hunka and Bison (1980, 1981)
Don Green and Charles Green
Purchased in 2000, these steel sculptures of a bison and an American Indian on horseback stand watch near the entrance of the Colorado Springs Airport. The construction—plate steel welded to an armature of steel rod—and rusty patina are emblematic of the Greens’ work. The style can also be seen in Don Green’s 12-foot Rearing Horse, which resides at El Paso County’s Centennial Hall in downtown Colorado Springs. Blota Hunka, which means “warrior of the Plains,” was blessed by Chief Talltree, a member of the Sioux Nation.
Colorado Springs Airport, 7770 Milton E Proby Parkway
Rites of Spring (1993)
You may need to put on your sunglasses when you see Rites of Spring, a nearly 14-foot stainless steel on stone work on loan from the FAC. The pair of cranes, which shimmer brilliantly in the sun, are but one of the Swedish artist’s many tributes to wildlife. Watching the cranes rise through the mist in his adopted home in Padre Island, Texas, he says, is “unforgettable.” The title is a nod to Igor Stravinsky’s “Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).”
624 N. Cascade Avenue
Art Bench Project
Woodland Park Arts Alliance
Wander through Woodland Park, and you’re likely to see some of these painted benches in public right of ways. They are sponsored by businesses and private citizens and painted by local artists.
Various locations around Woodland Park
Explore More Public Art
Get social—and possibly educated—with these public art tours and events.
Artful Downtown Walking Tours
Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 S. Tejon Ave.; $10, 17 and under free. Space is limited. Register at downtowncs.com.
• “Artistic Places: Art on the Streets,” July 9, Oct. 8
• “Historic Faces: Downtown Bronzes,” Aug. 13, Nov. 12
• “Creative Spaces: The Art & Facts of Business,” led by Pioneer Museum staff, Sept. 10, Dec. 10
First Friday Art Walk
Downtown from 5-8 p.m., including the Fine Arts Center and Colorado College’s IDEA Space. Some events include a guided walking tour.
First Friday Art Walk
Old Colorado City, 5-8 p.m., along Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th Streets
Third Friday Art Walk
Manitou Springs, 5-8 p.m.
Third Thursday Small Town Art Hop
Monument, through 8 p.m.
—by T.D. Mobley-Martinez