Springs

Colorado Springs artist creates secret garden in new exhibit | Arts & Entertainment

What lurks below a thriving garden might be even more beautiful.

Liz McCombs has spent months building a secret garden in her studio. What has emerged are ceramic and mixed-media humanlike sculptures all caught in the mysterious process of metamorphosis. Greenery sprouts up out of curled-up human figures; rootlike vegetables have grown heads sporting full lips and round eyes; and femalelike figures are given tangled roots for legs while lush gardens push up out of their skulls.


Popular ghost stories walking tours in Manitou Springs expanding this Halloween season

Her pieces start with kiln-fired ceramic to which she adds recycled materials, such as wood, bark and pieces of glass.

“A key element of the show was transformation from one thing to something else,” says the longtime Colorado Springs artist. “In the garden you have birth, death, one thing nourishing something else, all things that make life life. I incorporate those ideas into each of the pieces. Each one has a unique story. They all fall under the overreaching idea of transition.”

“Secret Garden” is open now at Bridge Gallery. You can see the show from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays through October. McCombs also will be working in the gallery throughout the month. Also on display will be a series of Halloween-inspired pieces, some influenced by the Day of the Dead Mexican holiday.

McCombs, an avid gardener, has always been fascinated by the cycle of life under the surface, and in this case, the garden. A simple seed is planted, watered and nourished with loving care and attention. How will that seed grow? What will it become? The possibilities are endless.

“It’s like the acorn turning into an oak tree,” she says. “I like the revealed and concealed idea. There are secrets inside all things and if given the right

Garden of the Gods receives donation for park advancement | Colorado Springs News

Improvements to the Garden of the Gods are on the horizon after the park received a hefty donation earlier in September, a city news release announced Wednesday.

The Garden of the Gods Foundation, a local nonprofit that oversees the betterment of the park by collecting money and distributing it to support the park’s needs, gave $367,826 to enhance public safety, visitor experience and restroom construction.

“This is such a great example of community organizations working together toward a common goal, which in this case, is enhancing and protecting Garden of the Gods Park for the enjoyment of generations to come,” Karen Palus, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director, said in the release.

A chunk of the donation, $102,000, will go toward the park ranger program such as staff salaries, John Stark, the parks manager said.

Park rangers are key to protecting the park and its environmental philosophy, Stark said, as well as providing educational programming and services for visitors.

Another portion of the donation will go toward restroom construction within the park, Stark said, although more fundraising is needed before construction can begin.

A bulk of funding came from the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, including money generated from the park gift shop and café, Stark said.

The visitors center was shut down from mid-March through May because of the coronavirus pandemic, but reopened to the public in June.

Despite the temporary closure, the nonprofit was still able to give back.

“We’re really fortunate to have the relationships with the Garden of the Gods Foundation,” Stark said. “They’re just such wonderful partners for the city.”

 

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