Heart

Submitted by Eileen Gay

1+

Client: Colorado Springs, CO

Location: Colorado Springs, CO, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $43,000

Project Team

Landscape Architect

David Deitemeyer

City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources

Public Art Agent

Matt Mayberry

Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department, City of Colorado Springs

Art Consultant

Nora Gledich

Artist

Eileen Gay

Overview

For the Waldo Canyon Fire Memorial, I envisioned a form with scale and materials that represent a large tree; split, blackened and hollowed out by fire and yet, as a symbol of its strong heart, still reaching for the sky with a new growth of green. “Heart” represents an old growth tree twisting upward from its 4 x 6 foot girth to its 12 foot height.

Installation took place November 19 – 21, 2014 in beautiful, balmy weather, with the dedication ceremony on November 22, 2014.

Goals

I worked with the landscape architect, David Deitemeyer, on the overall harmony between the plaza design. It was important to keep the memorial scale and positioning proper to ensure that we created a place that worked with one goal in mind - the quiet introspection of the visitor while at the site.

Process

For the Waldo Canyon Fire Memorial I worked with Mountain Shadows Community Association Chairperson Nora Gledich to assimilate the community input for the project. Matt Mayberry, with the city of Colorado Springs was instrumental in overseeing the financial and contract management on the project. We all worked together as a team to ensure a successful project that was embraced by the community.

Additional Information

I did not experience the Waldo Canyon Fire nor the aftermath. Instead, I experienced the Waldo Canyon Fire as a foundation of hope, of neighbors helping neighbors, of losses turned into new beginnings and of strong hearts working together to rebuild. My thanks to the Colorado Springs community for allowing me the honor to create a work of art that I hope reflects that story of strength of heart that this community and all of us have, when we need it, to start anew.