If you’re taking the Route 3 bus into Manitou Springs, or the free Route 33 shuttle to the Incline or Pikes Peak Cog Railway, you’ll get to expertise a brand new set of Manitou-funded paintings on the japanese fringe of the city’s Memorial Park. Colorado Springs’ Mountain Metro Transit (MMT) not too long ago unveiled the pair of re-dressed bus stops with conservation-themed murals and textual content by Manitou Springs artist Brenda Biondo.
Biondo, an artist and photographer, moved to Manitou Springs in 1999. She was born and raised in New York City however spent a decade in Washington, D.C., the place she didn’t wish to spend the remainder of her life. Biondo holds a B.A. in communication arts with a focus in journalism from James Madison University and wrote professionally about environmental and conservation points. “When I switched to photography full-time, I knew I wanted to keep some focus on conservation issues. I didn’t want to be a photojournalist [or] a documentary photographer.” She checked out a wide range of locations round the nation earlier than discovering Manitou, even settling in Boulder for a short while. “I’m addicted to blue sky and open space, and so when I saw the landscape here and the light and how charming Manitou was, I fell in love immediately.”
The bus stops are Biondo’s third public paintings and whereas she doesn’t use public transportation, she helps it. “I wanted to give the people that were using [it] some art to look at. I see how many people have been using [the stops] lately… and I knew that with all the festivals we have in the park that there were tons of people here.”
The new murals have been funded by MACH, the Manitou Springs Arts, Culture, and Heritage initiative, a .3 % gross sales tax to advertise arts and tradition on the town permitted by voters in 2018. When MACH put out a name for 2022 pitches, Biondo responded by taking images of the present bus cease shelters and mocking up the murals and textual content. On the recommendation of Becca Sickbert, government director of the Manitou Springs Arts District, she bought pre-approval from MMT since they owned the cease. MMT permitted, Manitou voters permitted and the venture went ahead.
For the quartet of murals, Biondo leaned on her love of stained glass and the way the home windows of church buildings and cathedrals encourage a way of awe and reverence for faith. “I thought it would be nice to create artwork that also inspired a sense of reverence and awe for nature,” she says. The animals have been a mixture of endangered and non-threatened in addition to local and worldwide. Each piece, a mix of pictures and digital paintings, took between 10 and 50 hours to supply. They have been then printed on double-sided vinyl by way of a collaboration she constructed with the local Creative Consortium, identified for their customized purposes. The accompanying textual content she wrote enlists her expertise as a journalist and keenness as a conservationist.
What’s subsequent for Biondo? She laughs. “I’m looking for anything I can wrap now!”
Steel City: 1980-2004
Learn about Pueblo steelworkers’ historic combat for labor rights by way of the new Steel City: 1980-2004 exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum. “[E]xplore the evolution and history of a steel-making community in the late 20th century, as the mill and the city survived downsizing and corporate raiding but endured with solidarity and grit.” 301 N. Union Ave., Pueblo; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day; see historycolorado.org/el-pueblo-history-museum for ticket costs and extra information.
The Pikes Peak Peanut Pusher
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 9, a man named Bob Salem will embark on a check of endurance as he makes an attempt to push a peanut up Barr Trail to the summit of Pikes Peak. Yes, it’s been finished 3 times earlier than in the previous 150 years, however not by Bob, who’s accepted the problem as a part of Manitou Springs’ sesquicentennial celebration. Cheer him on at the Barr Trail trailhead in Manitou. More information at tinyurl.com/bob-and-the-peanut.
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