“Art on the Streets celebrates the power of art in public places, turning the streets of downtown Colorado Springs into a year-long outdoor sculpture gallery,” according to a Downtown Partnership news release.
The 2014-15 exhibition was kicked off during a launch party Thursday evening at the City Auditorium, which featured a preview of one of the installations — former Colorado Springs resident Atomic Elroy’s “The Art Officials in Empty Space,” a performance-based work.
“For the first time ever in the 16 years of the program, we are kicking it off with a free launch party open to the entire public,” said Susan Edmondson, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership.
The 11 installations, chosen from applications submitted by 65 artists, include two by local artists: Andrew Tirado and Sandy Friedman. The pieces will be on display for a year, at the end of which they will be available for purchase.
The program was developed by Community Ventures Inc. and is facilitated by the Downtown Partnership with support from U.S. Bank, GE Johnson Construction Co., H. Chase Stone Trust, Insurance Technologies, Nor’wood Development Group and more than 70 individual donors.
The installations were chosen by a four-person panel: Lara Garritano, creative district director for the Downtown Partnership; Blake Milteer, museum director at the Fine Arts Center; Michael Collins, a local architect; and Jimmy Descant, an artist from Salida whose piece “Reverse Prometheus” was accepted into last year’s program.
The Downtown Partnership provided the following information about the installations (compiled from applications):
1. “Result (Bomb),” aluminum, by James Murray of South Portland, Maine. The piece, incorporating bones from a human skeleton model, is designed in the form of a warhead and is meant to address issues related to time and relativity. Purchase price: $6,120.11.
“I think of my surroundings as they transition from atomic to molecular through the cosmic scale,” according to Murray. “My artistic goal is to depict time, space, and how all of the smaller parts around us make up the bigger picture.”
2. “Inclusive,” wood and raffia rope, by Adina Vomisescu and Juliana Morar of Toronto and Montreal, Canada. The piece uses cut-outs and other elements to reflect the concepts of inclusivity and diversity in North America. Purchase price: $15,000.
“We invite visitors to take a moment and reflect upon the way water and land are connecting our society from the far North to the urban dwellings, making us equals in the face of the Nature,” according to the artists.
3. “Structure MMII,” steel, by Timothy Cassidy of New York Mills, Minn. This piece, along with much of Cassidy’s work, examines steel’s role in structure and industry. Purchase price: $10,700.
“My Structure series focuses on precise welds, while exploring weight, symmetry, line, geometric shapes and structural integrity,” according to Cassidy.
4. “I’m dreaming with my brain awake,” steel, by Sandy Friedman of Colorado Springs. This piece transforms Friedman’s Southwestern ceramic works into a large steel installation. Purchase price: $3,900.
“The energy of totems and the interaction of the negative spaces created by the sculpture’s shapes stylize the environment in Colorado,” according to Friedman. “This sculpture depicts what I feel, living in Colorado Springs.”
5. “Hydrostatic,” stoneware with steel, by Suzanne Kane of Las Cruces, N.M. This piece plants Kane’s floral forms in urban environments, questioning water usage. Purchase price: $6,000.
“I live in the Chihuahua Desert. This land amazes me; despite a harsh climate and severe drought the landscape is filled with weird and wonderful growing things,” according to Kane.
6. “Thrust from the Earth,” recycled scrap metal, by Steven Huffman of Ottumwa, Iowa. Using recycled materials, Huffman lets “found condition” inform his work. Purchase price: $14,500.
“Recycled scrap metal is already becoming art before I even touch it — bent, twisted, cut, torn or crushed,” according to Huffman.
7. “Two Rings, 8′ Diameter, 4′ Square,” corten steel, by Dee Briggs of Pittsburgh, Pa. This piece conveys a sense of “geometry, symmetry and rhythm” commonly found in chemical and biological structures. Purchase price: $125,000.
“I am interested in the resulting relationships of line and plane and the way in which each composition describes or implies space,” according to Briggs. “Although my work often appears chaotic and whimsical, it is, in fact, highly ordered.”
8. “eXe,” stainless steel (formed, welded and polished), by Michael Shewmaker of Hilo, Hawaii. This piece is a recreation of a one-foot wooden sculpture Shewmaker created in his minimalist style. Purchase price: $35,000.
“Public sculpture is a passion,” according to Shewmaker. “A good friend introduced me to Calder’s ‘stabiles’ when I was in high school and they hit me hard. I was stunned that such massive and whimsical art was a possibility.”
9. “Lacuna,” reclaimed redwood, steel and paint, by Andrew Tirado of Colorado Springs. The Colorado College employee created the massive humanoid arm from a torn-down deck on campus. Purchase price: $75,000.
“After decades of utilitarian use an outdoor deck sitting adjacent to art studios, the wood has now begun its ‘second life’ — third, if you count the years it spent growing in a Northwestern forest — as a medium for artistic expression,” according to Tirado.
10. “Crescent,” steel and glass, by Steven Durow of Fruitland, Md. The large circular piece reflects sunlight at different angles throughout the day to create a changing and dynamic effect. Purchase price: $27,000.
“I love the presence and dichotomy created through the use of glass, as a material that is at once visually light but physically dense,” according to Durow.
11. “The Art Officials in Empty Space,” a performance by Atomic Elroy of Petaluma, Calif. The Colorado Springs native created the video performance installation to address the ways that artists juxtapose empty space and objects to create art. Purchase price: $2,500.
“Drawing influence from early 20th century Dadaists, mid-20th century avant garde theater, and postmodern conceptualism, my work is deeply rooted in the notion of time,” according to Elroy. “The most important recurring concept in my work is the feeling of anticipation and waiting, for action to transpire or … not!” nCSBJ