"Water Circles" celebrates connectedness & community while supporting COVID-19 social distancing

1. Pick up your hoop

2. Create your artwork

3. Post Pics or video

4. Return by Friday, August 28



Photo: Joel Newmiller and K8e Orr
Example hoop art assemblage
Photo: Joel Newmiller and K8e Orr

How to Get Involved

1. Pick Up Your Hoop
Mask-wearing participants can pick up their free, 36″ sterilized art hoop Thursday, July 30 from 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Seven Minute Park through contactless registration or afterwards at the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau at 354 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs. 
2. Create Your Artwork
Participants will have a week to create an art hoop using recycled, repurposed, or new materials.

To represent the Sacred Water in Manitou Springs we encourage participants to incorporate cool colors, including some shades of blue, in their designs. The weaving needs to be self-contained and have some gaps with the weaving and design to allow wind to pass through. The weaving should also not extend more than 2 inches beyond the frame of the hoop.

Materials: Upcycled materials, textiles, twine, and yarn are great materials to use when designing your circle. Please avoid materials that will become damaged in Colorado’s weather like paper. Several examples will be provided below and on the Creative District’s Facebook page in our free online instructional videos. 

For more inspiration, you can also browse this Pinterest board.

Please do not put your name on your personal hoop – instead one hoop will be made listing names artist and donors to the projects for participants who would like to have their names acknowledged in the project.

3. Post Pictures or Video to #WaterCircles and #ManitouSprings
Take photos and/or video to share your art with the community on the social media platform of your choice. We’ll follow the #WaterCircles and #ManitouSprings hashtags!
4. Return Your Hoop By 5 p.m. August 7 to the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce
Completed hoops may be dropped off at the Chamber’s offices by 5 p.m. Friday, August 7 so our artists can begin their hoopstallation effort. Finished hoops will be sterilized and assembled by our creative team to achieve social distancing panels.


About the Project

Inspired by circles of friendship, sacred waters, and the ripples of individual action that connect us all, “Water Circles” is a community art project presented by the Manitou Springs Creative District and Chamber of Commerce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of this ongoing challenge and disruption, we ask the community to join us in weaving together threads of individual creative expression into one statement of unity by using blue or cool colors in creating their artwork. 
Not only is this project a visual representation of our community’s strength and connectedness, the “Water Circles” project is also intended to provide a protective barrier for our community and small businesses by evoking two of our most sacred resources – our People and our Water. 
From lead artist K8e Orr: “Using handmade hoops we fabricated at the Manitou Art Center, our circular frames have no beginning or end — each one representing an individual in our community — but they come together to represent unity and completeness.” Orr added, “Individual circles are joined to form bonds, representing the connections that individuals share with each other and the greater community. The fiber art in our Circles represent the Sacred Water of Manitou Springs and symbolize life, healing, and energy.”
Artists leading this project are K8e Orr, Joel Newmiller and Becky Pontz. They have a combined 45 years of experience making community art and teaching projects in Manitou Springs. The team will curate and install the community-built hoops to help beautify and define spaces for social distancing.  
These barriers will be distributed to our local businesses during outbreaks to expand their outdoor seating areas, as part of a system of measures to help our businesses to continue to safely operate while flattening the curve of COVID-19 in our community. 

about the artists

K8e Orr

K8e Orr is a Native American Colorado artist. She has been teaching community art for 15 years. Her artistic Journey started as a young child, continuing through out her educational Journey. She is a Renaissance artist who uses a variety of different mediums to express herself through ART, making one of a kind Jewelry and series of paintings.  She currently operates Jibwa, her own shop/studio located inside of the Manitou Art Center. You can find her work in local Galleries, farmers markets, numerous stores, and in public art installations all throughout Colorado. 

Joel Newmiller

In 2008 Joel Newmiller began teaching art in Colorado Springs as a painting instructor for the Club of Arts. In 2011 he started volunteering for Concrete Couch, which developed into teaching and leadership roles that spanned more than a decade. Joel has led and facilitated numerous Community Art projects throughout Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Pueblo. He has given presentations on Community Art for Colorado Creative Industries (Denver), Colorado College, and the United States Air Force Academy. His personal artwork explores a variety of mediums and subject matter. He is currently co-authoring a book about designing, making, and innovating percussion instruments using gourds.

Thank you, community partners!