ARTIST SELECTION PROCESS:
The City of Pueblo Planning and Community Development Department facilitated the selection of the public art finalist Ken Williams Studios. The call for entry was made through CAFÉ, WESTAF Company, an online call for entry service where artists were able to submit their applications and sample of work for review by jury. The CAFÉ is used internationally by public agencies for public art projects. Twenty-eight artists submitted applications from the selected four corner states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona at the beginning of 2017. The four corner states were selected due to the southwest theme of the project. The jury went through two rounds of review and eliminations to narrow the finalists to four. The four semi-finalists that were selected were Ken Williams Studios from Pueblo, CO; Barbara Grygutis Sculptures from Tucson, AZ; Michael Clapper Studios from Denver, CO; and Demiurge, LLC from Denver, CO.
HOW WILL THE PROJECT CREATE A NEW SENSE OF IDENTITY FOR THE COMMUNITY?
The Gateway to the Southwest monumental sculptures will introduce a sense of identity and place to the traveler on I-25 and the region. The monumental sculptures will tower over the Interstate presenting a significant statement and image while
welcoming the visitor and traveler to Pueblo. It will identify Pueblo as an important place of commerce, culture, arts and history positioned as an oasis in a semi-arid landscape on the Arkansas River. The monumental sculptures will be a statement to the traveler that Pueblo is a great community embellishing its history in a new era serving as the Gateway to the Southwest.
Public Art is often site-specific, meaning it is created in response to the place and community in which it resides. It often interprets the history of the place, its people and perhaps addresses a social or environmental issue. – Americans for the Arts
The Gateway sculptures will bring a physical awareness to the beauty of the art and its ability to improve Pueblo's image and morale, support economic development efforts and in addition, create an online showcase for the creativity and innovation going on in Southeastern Colorado today.
We are close to branding Pueblo in its creative, diverse and cultural light, with colorful and towering Gateway to the Southwest sculptures. The funding is already halfway achieved and the wheels are moving quickly to take this vision to a physical reality.
Pueblo is a community of proud people with a strong generational working and family ethic. Those of us who work and live in Pueblo and all Southeastern Colorado are proud of the creativity, energy and opportunities that are abundant while still honoring our roots. The names of Steel City, Home of Heroes, Experience the Flavor and Pueblo Chilies will all be inclusive with the new branding. The old negative, tired, stereotyped images of Pueblo will be replaced by a new era of Pueblo’s identity as a significant city of the southwest and in the State of Colorado. Our image is often a result of people’s lack of understanding of the southwest culture that is Pueblo.
HOW WILL THE GATEWAY TO THE SOUTHWEST SCULPTURES REACH OUR COMMUNITY?
Other than the monumental sculptural presence at the north entrance to the City, there will be an online showcase which will be open to everyone and any age. It will highlight all forms of art (dance to quilting), business innovation, writing, problem solving, etc. On the project website we will link to the Pueblo Art in Public Places map and we will also use this forum to recognize the donors who are making this art installation possible.
Throughout the entire process of fundraising and installation, we will promote the website and Facebook page on all available media from billboards to news stories to paid online ads. A website will be created to help communicate the creative nature of Pueblo. Community members, including school children, can follow along as the project moves from this conceptual phase to the actual construction phase. The artist will give updates online that will help to reveal how his creative process works. Students will learn how large artwork is engineered for quality and safety in addition to being beautiful. This system will help us all know more about the sculptures, the creativity and innovation in our community and who is contributing to make the Gateway to the Southwest sculptures possible.
This website and social media platform will also allow for children, students, artists, engineers and business innovators to submit their work so that Pueblo and Southeastern Colorado can celebrate the vibrance and depth of our being, Public Art and so Much More.
Famous and successful people continue to come from Pueblo and to populate our area today. The occupations of outstanding people recognized internationally include sports, musicians, dance, artists, computer technologies, government, inventors, and entrepreneur.
HOW WILL THE DONOR’S RECOGNITION BE FULFILLED?
The donors will be recognized through the City’s web site and on Facebook and social media. Since the sculptures are located on top of the Dillon Drive bridge they can only be viewed from a distance or in a vehicle at a glance. There is no parking or pedestrian access provided. To properly recognize the artist and donors a reduced replica of the two sculptures is being proposed in downtown.