The Manitou Springs Arts Council is proud to present Jodie Bliss’s sculpture as the 2020 Legacy Art for the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) area. The City government will not have to use any general funds or significant staff time to make this happen. The exact art placement of where in the URA area, is still being negotiated, but we do have options. In general, the 6-foot by 6-foot cement pads that hold the sculptures will be on private land with a permanent public easement. The sculpture will be approximately 12-feet tall and set to compliment the surrounding space.

About the Project

The Spirit of Manitou sculpture is a goddess sprung from the effervescent waters that are the lifeblood of Manitou Springs. In the forms of her body are hidden 12 vignettes significant to Manitou Springs. Some of those vignettes might include: the mineral springs, musicians, the Incline, Carnivale parade, dancers, George Dulco or other military-themed representation, an Indian petroglyph, a busker under the Penny Arcade sign, Charles H. Rockey, the coffin races, a deer and tree, Rainbow Falls, Pikes Peak, Greenstone Bridge, and a Covid-19 face-mask warrior.

Artist Statement

From the artist:

My name is Jodie Bliss and I am the owner of Bliss Studio & Gallery in Monument, Colorado. I am a practicing blacksmith, metal fabricator and glass artist. I create everything from fine art sculpture to custom commissioned work and large scale public art.

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, I spent many wonderful days in our neighboring Manitou Springs. Manitou is a place unlike any other, which includes a loving and diverse community. I would be honored to have the opportunity to work with the Manitou Springs Urban Renewal Authority and the Manitou Springs Arts Council to provide a unique sculpture that highlights The Spirit of Manitou.

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. I have over 16 years experience creating, fabricating and installing custom fine art sculpture as well as large scale public sculpture.

My artistic purpose has evolved throughout the years, as I think any good practice should. In my early career I focused on creating work inspired by my own emotions, expressions, and journeys of people closest to me. While I create work that expresses my personal goals as an artist, I particularly enjoy working with others to help them realize their own creative vision. I believe my purpose at this moment in my life is communication. What began as a general interest in human psychology and led to the study of tribal culture (specifically ceremony and masking), my practice has evolved into large scale public art and private commissions that focus on the state of the individual, community and culture.

Public Feedback Process

Which motifs suggested above do you particularly like? What other motif would you like to suggest? Do you like the concept of the art project? Do you have concerns with the project? We will take all the public feedback to the Manitou Springs City Council, hopefully in May, as part of the required art community engagement process.

You may provide comments and feedback to Shanti Toll at [719] 321-5354 or via email at manitouspringsartscouncil1@gmail.com.