Downtown flower pots focus of new Colorado Springs exhibit

By Jen Mulson Updated: February 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm • Published: February 3, 2017 0
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The giant flowerpots on Tejon Street in Colorado Springs are about to get a makeover.

Starting Friday, the Downtown Partnership will fill a dozen of the 3-foot planters between Boulder and Kiowa streets with playful, vibrant and abstract sculptures from artists in the Pikes Peak region.

"ArtSpot" will remain on display until spring planting begins, at which time the sculptures with bases designed to accommodate greenery will stay put and the rest will be stored away until next winter.

"It's my favorite way of allowing art to impact public infrastructure," said Claire Swinford, urban engagement manager for the Downtown Partnership. "The resulting cultural collateral remains publicly accessible and can be enjoyed for free by anybody."

The pieces include J. Miller Adam's "Pop," which looks like a giant popcorn kernel. Maureen Hearty's "Tiny House Reunion" features a tiny house with a staircase and gardeners. Yul Jorgensen's piece uses salvaged metal and train nails to represent botanical aspects of southern Colorado, including the columbine and Indian paintbrush.

A three-person jury whittled down the group of entries from 30 to 4p applications. The Downtown Partnership, supported by private donors, foundations and grants, bought each of the selected pieces for $500.

"Our intention was to spotlight Pikes Peak region artists," Swinford said. "It's a nice representation of the breadth of different artistic disciplines that represent our region."

Various art exhibits helped downtown Colorado Springs receive certification in 2014 as a Creative District in the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Creative District Program. CCI is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The Creative District Program was created in 2011 to attract artists and creative entrepreneurs to the state and enhance economic and civic capital of communities.

"It's important for all people to feel welcome downtown and discover something new," Swinford said.

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