Public Art Exhibits
Public art plays an important role in the Town of Parker. We believe that the permanent placement of art in public places serves to enrich, stimulate and enhance the aesthetic experience in the Town of Parker. Public art also contributes to the Town’s economic draw and is an ongoing educational tool for the community that promotes public interest in art and increases community pride.
Spirit of Renewal
Introducing the newest addition to Parker’s permanent public art collection. “Spirit of Renewal” by Lorri Acott was installed in O’Brien Park along the newly landscaped Victoria Drive Wednesday, February 8, 2023. The sculpture was purchased through a partnership between the Town’s urban renewal authority P3 – Partnering for Parker’s Progress and Parker Arts and selected through an online community vote in November of 2022.
“All of my work has long legs. And the long legs are symbolic of rising above life’s challenges. I kind of figure that if my legs are long enough I can get over anything,” said Acott. “And then the butterflies are about hope and renewal and transformation.”
Acott and Adam Schultz of Dream Big Sculpture, a Colorado-based studio, specialize in the creation of large-scale sculptural installations throughout the Unites states. Both were present for the installation. Schultz was commissioned to create “Freedom Through Safety” (seen below) which stands in front of the Parker Police Department.
The first public art installation in Discovery Park is the larger than life, iconic “Jacks” by Christopher Weed, which act as a beacon and a gateway to Downtown Parker. This sculpture, like the Discovery Park itself, speak to a simpler time of connections to friends, family and community.
Following suit with the trend of combining utility with beauty, “ManEater” by Jim Choate, is a welded steel shark that doubles as a bike rack. ManEater was intended to give the viewer an up close and personal idea of the average size of a young adult Great White Shark. Please feel free to park and lock up your bike in the belly of this ocean predator before exploring Discovery Park.
Created by the Freenotes Company of Hesperus, Colorado, Harmony Park Musical Classroom is an interactive public art exhibition on the PACE Center’s East Patio. These outdoor wind and percussion instruments are weatherproof and designed to be played together easily because they are tuned to the pentatonic scale. There are no wrong notes; all of the sounds are harmonious, and knowledge of music, keys or scales is not necessary. The sounds are mellow and ethereal so as not to disturb others. All instruments are wheelchair accessible, and they can even be a tool for music therapy to improve cognitive ability, communication and motor skills.
“The Nucleus” by Tim Upham of Fort Collins, Colorado was installed in front of the PACE Center in May, 2012. The 24-foot tall multi-colored spiral fuses art with science and is lit by halogen and LED lights. As a creator of site-specific public art, Upham incorporated some of the leftover building materials from the PACE Center construction into this sculpture.
This sculpture by Lee Proctor is inspired by the springtime dance of the Sandhill Crane and is also a celebration of the incredible displays and rituals of all bird life. Beyond that, the sculpture symbolizes the art of dance in its myriad of forms, from ancient indigenous cultures dancing by the fire to modern-day ballet. The sculpture was a public favorite of the 2014-15 Art Encounters Exhibit and was purchased by Town Council in May of 2015. Its permanent home is the plaza on the west side of The Schoolhouse on Mainstreet.
Freedom Through Safety
In June 2010, artist Adam Schultz was commissioned to produce an innovative public art sculpture for the Town of Parker’s new Police Department. Schultz’s creation, “Freedom Through Safety,” features a life-sized bronze eagle in flight, held 14 feet in the air by two vertical stainless steel pillars. One pillar represents safety, and the other symbolizes strength. The base of the sculpture includes a “circle of hands” — tiles pressed with handprints of local community members from children to senior citizens, metaphorically representing the support and involvement of the community.
A bronze statue of Dr. Walter Heath, an integral character in Parker history, is displayed on the northeast corner of Mainstreet and Pikes Peak Place. Created by local artist Don Budy, this project was made possible by Parker Adventist Hospital, Dr. Heath’s grandchildren, Edward V. Heath and Clair Heath Fink, David A. Van Landschoot and Stevan Strain.
Somewhere Down The Lazy River
In 2015, artist Mario Miguel Echevarria won a commission to create a piece of public art for the Parker Recreation Center’s new indoor leisure pool. Inspired by kids’ love of animals and a desire to celebrate Colorado’s native aquatic species, Echevarria created a three-part piece in which “kid power” is amplified by the uniquely amazing skills of Colorado’s river and lake inhabitants. You’ll discover a boy flying with a Painted Turtle, a girl surfing with a Cutthroat Trout, and a girl riding on a Clark’s Grebe. Each work is crafted from ceramic tile and aluminum sheeting. As Echevarria says, “When people see a kid surfing on a fish the size of a VW Bug, they will never look at a trout the same way again!”
Denver artist Emmett Culligan donated his piece titled “Colid #7” to the PACE Center in 2013. The sculpture is placed on Pine Drive at the western entrance to the PACE Center. Culligan’s art often focuses on the manipulation of metal, wood, stone and glass, and references common forms found in everyday life. The artist explains, “Within my work, an emphasis is placed on the natural inherent qualities of materials interacting formally to access human emotion and spirituality.”
Created by Glenn Zweygardt and located in front of the PACE Center, Amber Eye is a stone sculpture made from Vermont Granite: marble from Vermont and a dark granite base from Pennsylvania. The amber eye is made of cast glass inside a bronze cast ring. Please feel free to touch the various surfaces!
I’m Dreaming With My Brain Awake
On display at the PACE Center lot, “I’m Dreaming With My Brain Awake” is a steel and powder coated sculpture by artist Sandy Friedman, whose work is influenced significantly by the environments of Colorado and the Southwest. In this sculpture, the colored spheres are depicting Father Sky, and the slightly patinated horizontals, along with the columns, represent Mother Earth. The horizontals also indicate the vastness of the land as seen in all directions, and the columns are the strength of the Earth and represent the mountains.
Long-time Parker resident and the original art teacher at Ponderosa High School, artist Greg Sweatt takes us on a journey through Parker’s past, present, and into the future using materials indigenous to the Parker area. Located in O’Brien Park, four massive pieces of flagstone act as ‘pages’ in the history book that is Timestones.
Nancy Gripman Sculpture
Parker Task Force founder, active community member, volunteer and avid gardener Nancy Gripman is memorialized in this beautiful bronze sculpture by artist Don Budy. The sculpture is aptly located in a flower bed just south of the gazebo in O’Brien Park.
Seen above: Bill Gripman stands with the statue of his late wife Nancy at the dedication ceremony in O’Brien Park. Gripman led everyone in attendance in a cheer of “hello, Nancy” to welcome the statue.
Run to Twenty Mile
Run to Twenty Mile by Ralph Crawford was installed March 20, 2000 at Living Wheel Park, located at the intersection of Mainstreet and Stage Run. The sculpture depicts a stagecoach with six horses, and driver in the likeness of Wild Bill Hickok. Riding shotgun is the sculptor himself with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill in the stagecoach.
Created by artist, Richard Young and his studio, Young Fine Arts, Inc. and donated by Ewan Gregory, this 36″ x 16″ x 16″ bronze sculpture sits on a pedestal at Living Wheel Park, a location created as a dedication to and remembrance of our veterans. The sculpture honors the ultimate service of our fallen heroes and calls the public’s attention to the lives they valued and the sacrifice they share.
Puppy Dog Tales
Funded by Friends of the Parker Library in 2000, Colorado artist Bobbie Carlyle created the bench sculpture “Puppy Dog Tales” in the likeness of her granddaughter at the age of four. The sculpture was created in Carlyle’s home studio in the Pinery and finished at the foundries in Loveland, CO, where she now lives and works. The sculpture can be seen in the small park/walking area west of Old Town Hall.
Self Made Man
On display at Living Wheel Park, this bronze sculpture by Colorado artist Bobbie Carlyle depicts a man carving himself out of a block of stone… carving his character, carving his future.
Christopher Romero is an artist and resident of Thornton Colorado who has several public pieces of art on display throughout Metro Denver. This stunning bronze statue of an American Bald Eagle entitled “Patient Warrior” is proudly displayed at Living Wheel Park.
Tatanka Ska is a one-of-a-kind direct metal sculpture by artist Jacob Novinger. The sculpture was purchased by the Town of Parker in 2022 and may be seen in its permanent location near the gazebo at O’Brien Park.