This new piece is funded by the Manitou Springs Urban Renewal Authority’s $250,000 commitment to public art within the Urban Overlay Zone, which stretches from the gateway entrance to Manitou Springs to the intersection of Manitou Avenue and US Highway 24.
This represents a small piece of the MSURA’s million dollar plus investment in the Avenue Action project, which has recently completed flood mitigation, road improvements and expansions to multimodal access to the area.
The newest sculpture in the five-piece “Spirit of Manitou” series is created by Monument-area sculptor Jodie Bliss. The sculpture depicts a 12-foot goddess sprung from the effervescent waters that are the lifeblood of Manitou Springs. In the forms of her body are hidden 12 different visual vignettes of significance to Manitou Springs ethos.
The highly textural and beautifully wrought vignettes showcase elements of Manitou Springs’ best known features like the multiple mineral springs, local musicians and dancers, the Incline, Rainbow Falls, Pikes Peak, Charles Rockey and the locally beloved and nationally recognized Carnivale Parade and Emma Crawford Coffin Races.
“I particularly admire how public art can be intertwined with a community. It can serve as a representation of our collective selves, celebrate our present time, honor history and inspire a community’s future,” says artist Jodie Bliss.
A Colorado Springs native, Jodie Bliss owns Bliss Studio & Gallery in Monument. She is a practicing blacksmith and metal fabricator, creating everything from fine art sculpture to custom commissioned work and large-scale public art. Jodie has more than 16 years’ experience creating, fabricating and installing custom fine art sculpture as well as large-scale public sculpture.
For more information about the Manitou Springs Urban Renewal Authority, please visit www.msura.org.