Image from @kc.spencer
I remember a time in the recent history of Colorado Springs that along a main road of the Old North End, you could see two insect sculptures in the front yard of some old home. They were built of colorful metal and as tall as the house they guarded.
For some reason it was the praying mantis that retained vivid detail in my mind. The curved arms and stick-like legs poking holes in the grass, the buggy eyes high in the car window as I peeked through. It was a curious and novel aspect of my trips to downtown Colorado Springs, something that felt special if not a little weird.
We all know those eclectic neighbors who like to decorate their yard in their own style, whether it fits the neighborhood or not. Statement pieces that tell a story, speak to regionality, make declarations, do more than fill a space.
Have you seen the field along highway 24 west of Colorado Springs that’s occupied with probably a hundred American flags? Referred to as “Sgt. Mike’s Sculpture Garden” by it’s owner, the worn flags tell the story of a marine who earned the purple heart, but left the military with many scars.
What about Starr Kempf Kinetic Sculptures? The towering steel figures in Cheyenne Canon were designed to interact with the wind and dance gracefully, reacting to Colorado weather.
Though there’s controversy around some of these larger statement pieces, they are also treasures of a place. Folkscapes of all kinds give voice to something important to their owners. They give dimension and offer conversation to a city.
There are plenty of milder folkscapes to be found in our city. Take a walk and explore what conversation your neighbors are inviting you into!
Looking for other folkscapes in Colorado? Check out Bishop’s Castle!