Asking folks why they live in Colorado Springs often elicits an instinctive glance to the west and the inevitable answers “Pikes Peak,” “Garden of the Gods” or a favorite open space.
The people at Palmer Land Trust will highlight the Pikes Peak region’s natural beauty with the monthlong, citywide art exhibit “Forever Yours, The Land.” It launches Friday during First Friday Art Walk downtown and continues through the end of the month and into September in some locations.
“We all know why we live here,” said Palmer Land Trust Executive Director Rebecca Jewett. “Often we take it for granted. Our hope is to raise awareness by meeting people where they are in their urban lives and remind them of the amazing beauty of this place we call home.”
Seventy-five artists, including Deb Komitor, Michael Baum, Mitchell Dillman, Karen Standridge and Jack Malloch, will exhibit works featuring the state’s wild beauty at 60 venues in the Springs, Manitou Springs and Monument, including The Machine Shop, Pikes Peak Market, Manitou Art Center, Tap Traders and Summerland Gardens.
Baum will display oil landscapes of Mueller State Park, Colorado National Monument and more at Manitou’s Red Dog Coffee & Cafe. He became familiar with the land trust a few years ago when he toured some of its conservancies.
“Being a painter, I want to see these things as pristine as can be,” he said. “It’s a really worthy cause.”
The nonprofit’s mission is to protect southern Colorado lands. The organization has been around for four decades and has helped conserve 135,000 acres throughout the region, including Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Ute Valley and Stratton Open Space. That means permanent protection through conservation easements, which are contracts ensuring the spaces will be conserved forever.
“The whole goal is to raise awareness, which is a powerful thing, and continue to build on this awareness. Because as a community, we need to tackle big conservation questions, like park funding,” Jewett said. “As it comes down the pike with a potential TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks ordinance) renewal, we hope to create an army of advocates to support land conservation as important issues are brought to us.”
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