Public art project coming to Panorama Park thanks to new federal grant

COLORADO — Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services is receiving a $40,000 grant to support an art project in Panorama Park. It will be art made by the community for the community.

“I think it’s amazing. I feel like art is such an important component to tell who people are as a culture, who we are as a city,” said Jeresneyka Rose. Rose lives in the area and is a local artist and activist who’s excited to be involved with the project. You might see her around town as ArtByRizzo.

It will be the first city-owned public art installation on the southeast side of town. The goal is to bring creative artwork that reflects the community’s identity into the park’s new design.

Colorado Springs was one of 16 cities chosen across Colorado for the Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“They’re going to get a lot of firsts. We’ve never done anything like this before with a park. So to be able to bring in public art at this level is quite amazing and to have something that is going to be resident driven,” said Tilah Larson, analyst with Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

The art installation will be built around the community’s vision. That’s why the first step is getting neighbors involved. And those living here say they want the art to reflect the diverse community.

“When you think about the southeast in a city standpoint, it’s not always great things you hear about it. But we are a phenomonal place and we don’t always get that light shining. So I definitely want people to see and know that through whatever art is created,” said Rose.

This art installation will be built around the community’s vision and neighbors will be involved throughout the creative process. The city says an expert panel will create a “call for artists” process later this month. A community committee made of up representatives from neighborhood associations, local schools and the city will also be forming.

The art display is part of a bigger city project, renovating this park into the first ever community center and outdoor space for this neighborhood.

You can learn more about the city’s Panorama Park Renovation project and see the approved plan here.

Panorama Park is set to receive the largest neighborhood park renovation in city history. Construction on the 13.5 acre area is expected to begin in spring 2021.  

“It’s a little destitute. It’s not visually appealing yet the kids come here and play. We don’t have many city resources in this neighborhood to go to. I’m ready for it to be transformed to match our energy,” said Rose.

“It is a part of our community that we really need to be intentional about including at the table and bringing them the amenities they deserve to have,” said Larson.

Adding an art display at the park lines up with a recommendation from the recently adopted Public Art master plan to integrate public art into future city projects and initiatives.

“It’s a beautiful place. And a beautiful city. And we’re beautiful people and I just want the art to reflect that,” said Rose.

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