“LandMark” art in Lakewood parks

Published on April 14, 2021

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 In “LandMark,” 10 art installations in Lakewood parks draw attention to the environment and human connections

Free outdoor exhibition on display April 17-Oct. 18

The outdoor exhibition “LandMark” features the work of 10 accomplished Colorado artists, many of whom live or work in Lakewood. The site-specific artworks installed in parks throughout Lakewood address environmental issues. Some of the pieces consider how the land has changed. Others highlight a previously overlooked aspect of the location. In a time that is marked by widespread isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these works provide a direct connection between the artists and park visitors, fostering a sense of discovery, community and environmental awareness. 

“LandMark” curators and artists Kalliopi Monoyios and Anna Kaye found inspiration for the exhibition during the early months of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders caused street noise to quiet and the air to clear. They wondered what changes “this unprecedented global pause” created in homes, neighborhoods and natural areas worldwide and how it affected our relationship to those places. The resulting exhibition encourages both environmental reflection and engagement.

Community members are invited to listen to an audio tour; register for the Artists' Talk via Zoom on June 3, and attend the Rock Painting Community Event on June 5. Details will be announced at Lakewood.org/LandMark. Follow the Instagram account @landmarkexhibit to see more and use #landmarkexhibit to share experiences.

The artists featured in “LandMark” are listed below by artwork location.

  • Aviation Park, 1900 Teller St., Scottie Burgess, "Sky Vessel," cast iron, upcycled dead tree and paint.
  • Bear Creek Greenbelt Park, 2800 S. Estes St.
    • Nicole Banowetz, "Respire," fabric.
    • Tiffany Matheson, "Caught," reclaimed ghost net, plastic bottles, wire and paint.
    • Jaime Molina, "Sunlaps," mixed media.
  • Belmar Park, 801 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
    • Anna Kaye, "Preserve," tree stumps, miniature scenery and resin birds.
    • Kalliopi Monoyios, "Knot," single-use plastic packaging, HDPE house wrap, polypropylene landscaping fabric and polyester thread.
  • Chester-Portsmouth Park, 12555 W. 27th Ave., Tobias Fike, "Make Broken," burned and dead tree limbs, wood, found objects, plaster, plastic bags, zip ties, rope and metal hardware.
  • Coyote Gulch Park, 2501 S. Gladiola Way, Mia Mulvey, "Albedo," ceramic, wood and pigment.
  • Forsberg Park, 14800 W. Alameda Parkway, Jason Mehl, "Spoor of the Anthropocene," CNC Plywood.
  • Kendrick Lake Park, 9351 W. Jewell Ave., Eileen Roscina, "Shelter," willow.

In the online audio tour, each artist narrates a brief description about their artwork and provides insight into their inspiration and creative process. Mia Mulvey describes her wood and ceramic sculpture “Albedo” as addressing the loss of glacial ice through melting, a process she initially hoped would be tempered by a decrease in pollution during COVID-related shutdowns. Instead, 2020 brought continued climate change, permafrost fires and a historic year for wildfires in the western United States. The Colorado wildfires of 2020 are also incorporated into “Preserve” by Anna Kaye and “Make Broken” by Tobias Fike, which use charred trees to show the devastation experienced by the state, but also the hopefulness of repair and adaptation after natural disasters.

Plastic and its impacts on the environment are highlighted in the installations by Tiffany Matheson, Kalliopi Monoyios and Tobias Fike. "Caught," by Matheson, uses ghost nets, which are abandoned or lost plastic fishing nets, to illustrate their effects on wildlife and coral reefs. Monoyios’ installation, “Knot,” prevents natural growth using the sun-blocking quality of plastics typically used in packaging, housing construction and landscaping. The plastic shopping bags in Fike’s work might call to mind discarded bags blowing alongside a roadway.

The shoreline work “Respire” by Nicole Banowetz focuses on the microscopic diatoms found in Bear Creek, revealing life hidden from the bare eye. Shifting to an expansive viewpoint, Scottie Burgess directs our attention to the limitless sky discovered by looking through his work “Sky Vessel.” Jason Mehl’s work reveals a more ambiguous experience with our natural world in his work “Spoor of the Anthropocene” that is inspired by natural fragments and patterns that generate nostalgia for a particular place or moment.

Eileen Roscina harvested and wove her work “Shelter,” which considers what home has meant for us during the pandemic and whether it was a place of safety, insecurity or confinement. A hopeful reference to something incubating and growing is found within her sculpture. Jaime Molina’s work “Sunlaps” is installed at the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a short distance from his childhood home, and considers a wider theme of “home” in neighborhoods and parks. Molina felt a sense of wonder and safety while discovering nature and playing in the park as a child, and he selected his installation location within the woods to reflect that type of innocent and excited exploration.

“In the past year, due to indoor capacity limitations, people have spent more time in Lakewood parks than ever before,” said Laine Godsey, Lakewood arts programming curator. “We are excited to bring more art outdoors for our community to safely access and enjoy.” In addition to “LandMark” in Lakewood, other local artists will have work on display in City of Arvada parks.

“LandMark” in Lakewood is sponsored by the City of Lakewood through a partnership between its Heritage, Culture & the Arts Division and Parks Division; and the SCFD.

For more information, call 303-987-7844 or email LaiGod@Lakewood.org.