Planet Walk Colorado Springs has submitted space-themed, student artwork to the Commonwheel Artist Coop juried art show called Space “an exploration of out of this world art”. The Commonwheel, located in Manitou Springs will display and sell this art as part of its current gallery event. With the help of Academy Art & Frame who donated all of the beautiful, professional framing, Planet Walk worked with its partners, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR) and the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs to solicit and submit these amazing works of art.
These artistic works were originally part of the Space Art contest and free solar system tour, sponsored in part by COPPeR. The contest was held this past October as part of the annual Planet Walk event in America the Beautiful Park during Arts Month.
The student artists ranged in age from 10 to 17 and represented schools from Fountain to Monument. The artists hail from: Howbert Elementary, Lewis Palmer Middle School, The da Vinci Academy, Taylor Elementary, Lewis Palmer High School, and Fountain Fort Carson High School in addition to one home-schooled student. Planet Walk’s Artistic director, Elli Collette was impressed with the quality of the art submitted by the students. “The amount of talent and dedication shown in these works gives me great optimism for the future of art and the creative process” If you would like to view these youthful interpretations of space along with work by many other artists, simply visit the Commonwheel Artist Co-op at 101 Canon Avenue in Manitou Springs. The Space Art show will continue through the end of March.
For further information call 719-649-9550 or visit https://www.commonwheel.com/space.html and www.planetwalkcs.org.
Here are comments by the students involved in the show, along with their artwork.
"Carter Grizzle, age 13
My name is Carter Grizzle and I am a 13-year old student at Lewis Palmer Middle School in Monument, Colorado. My painting "Planet in Dark Space" took first place in my age group at the Planet Walk Art contest sponsored by Planet Walk Colorado Springs, the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs and the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region’s Art Month initiative
Adelie Tillman, age 10
Adelie Tillman has loved creating art since she could put fingerpaint to paper, but she has been taking formal art lessons from Adrienne Sommers for the last three years, since third grade. Her current interests include drawing still lifes, splatter art, and abstract styles. She feels that art is a way of expressing ideas in visual form, and Adelie draws inspiration from the world around her, other artists, and listening to music. She particularly enjoyed making this piece for the Planet Walk art contest, in hopes of bringing awareness to this exciting local project.
Andres Sanchez age 10
My name is Andres and I was born in Colorado’s second biggest city. Colorado Springs and I am loved by my family and went on numerous trips to California to Utah and maybe some day Mexico. I am ten now and have five brothers and two sisters. We have some good times and some times some bad times.
The reason why I came into art was. Because in fifth grade I was entered in my school’s gifted and talented program. For a project we did the Colorado Springs planet walk. Our assignment was to create a poem or 3 d art or a painting all about space. I did my work and submitted my work and named it “Earth’s Reflection.” Why I like art is because I enjoy creating art and do it for a hobby. Maybe in the future make art for a job. That is why I like art and came across making art.
Ember Higgins, age 11
When I was 4 years old, I used to sit and watch my dad do spray painting art. I wanted to do spray painting art with him but my hands were too small to hold the can. I have always loved art and my favorite kind of art is to draw animated art. Art makes me feel good about myself and confident in my talents. For this piece, I chose to work with acrylics. I like how acrylics glide smoothly on paper and mix well together. I hope people see the beauty of the colors in space in my “Two Universes” and feel at peace when looking at my painting. ~Ember Higgins, 11 years old, Howbert Elementary School.
Tieler Turner age 10,
Howbert Elementary School
I started to do art projects about two years ago. Being an artist runs in my family. My grandmother gave me drawing materials for Christmas one year and she always helped me with my drawing. I find myself drawing things when I need to calm down and it helps me to concentrate. I was inspired to do “Space Cake” by all the colors that I have seen of pictures of space. I chose to use acrylics, colored markers, and colored pencils. When people look at this art piece, I want them to think of Earth as a happy place, like a cherry on top of a cake, and to think about the bigger picture of who we are in the universe, especially during this difficult time we are going through.
Grace Kohl, 1981 Shuttle Bear, Age 14,
I like art because I can create my own characters, outfits and designs. I have been doing art for a really long time.
I like making art because I can express myself and it is fun to do.
For this show I make a bear in space. I used water colors, posca pen, construction paper, holographic paper and colored pencils.
I wanted to draw a bear so I found some inspirational pictures of bears in the wild. I also found an older original astronaut suit that I drew the bear in.
I want people to wonder how the bear got in space.
Rylee Elmore, age 12
My name is Rylee Elmore, I am 12 years old and am from Colorado. I have always been interested in art, but found my passion after going to art camp when I was 10. Since then, I have enjoyed painting on canvas and drawing. Art to me is a way of expressing my imagination and emotions. Art has become a calming and soothing distraction when I become overwhelmed. My inspiration for this piece was my love for Colorado. I love spending time in the mountains, and on the lake.
I started this piece by outlining the mountains, and then moved on to the lake and trees. For the trees I chose a unique pattern, for the lake I blended colors and added white stripes for the waves. I then moved back to the mountains, where I chose to finger paint, I added glitter to the snow caps to make them glitter. Planet Walk of Colorado Springs inspired me to do the galaxy theme in the sky, where I blended colors and added texture.
With this piece I am hoping the public sees a piece of Colorado and how calming and serene it can be. My work is not currently for sale anywhere else, but I am hoping to have my work in local shops and my own website one day.
Jocelyn Heer, age 17
My name is Jocelyn Heer, I am 17 years old, and I have been painting for 1 year. I have always loved art, but when I tried watercolors I fell in love! Creating art is a way to express myself and is my creative outlet. Space was a new theme and challenge for me. I was trying to come up with an idea involving space, and I didn't want to just do a normal painting of the galaxy. I had many ideas run through my head like an astronaut looking back at earth, constellations making the shape of a woman, etc. While I was thinking about this piece the song Cassiopeia by Sara Bareilles started playing and the idea for my painting came to me. I imagined a woman whose head was full of thoughts of space. My mind went through different hairstyles and an afro stood out to me as the perfect image. I hope when people look at this piece they see the beauty in space as well as the woman. This is one of my favorite paintings I have created thus far. I hope someone enjoys it as much as I do. My work can be found on my Instagram account @artandbtsiguess.
Andrew Bailey, age 16
A good photo in my opinion is the most powerful form of art. It has the power to show reality in its most raw and powerful state. This rawness can come from anything such as the candid that captures the emotion and plight of some tired and lonely man walking down the street, all the way to a pristine landscape void of people that, but still full of soul and story. In my short time as a student photographer I have always tried to capture the soul of what was in front of my camera and present my pieces with a story that is apparent and clear to the viewer.
My piece “Starscape” on display here was meant to show the serenity of the night and evoke a calming feeling in the viewer. I arrived at the Paint Mines down in Calhan when it was already dark with a dim half-moon above on a crisp autumn night. I stumbled through the park looking for any natural composition that looked appealing. I came upon these small cliff sides and knew immediately that this was the spot to capture the stars at.
I took several painting and fine art classes in college while working towards my graphic design degree. Right after graduation I was hired into my first graphic design job but after 16 years of working in that field, I realized that working on a computer was no longer creatively fulfilling and I needed to make art with my own hands for the enjoyment of the process. I took up painting and drawing again and eventually discovered the art of pyrography which is something I’ve been experimenting with for the past 3 years.
The theme for this show was my inspiration [for the work I submitted]. I’ve been working on my pyrography shading and combining pyrography with acrylic paint accents lately and as soon as I saw the theme for this show I knew I wanted to burn a moon and challenge myself with the shading it would require.
’ve recently been experimenting painting with alcohol inks and I’m loving the lack of control you have with them because it forces you to let go of expectations of what it should look like and just get into that flow state. For my “Nebula of the Heart” painting I looked at several photos of nebulas to get the feel for the colors and patterns that naturally occur with nebulas and then let the alcohol inks take on a life of their own as they flowed on the paper. I used a straw to blow the inks into some of the shapes that I was looking for and then used a small paintbrush to “dot” on some alcohol to create a halo of light around the stars that I eventually painted on with an acrylic paint marker.
I am a “look at the moon” type of person and seek it out almost every single night because it stirs such a sense of awe and wonder as well as a connection to others, knowing that I can be far away from someone but still taking in the same sight. I hope my “La Luna” piece stirs the same sense of wonder. And I hope that people get lost in the colors, patterns and depths of “Nebula of the Heart”.
“Nebula of the Heart” is my favorite piece that I’ve entered into this show. I love that abstract art is open for interpretation and the colors and depth in this piece really give the eye a lot to get lost in.
In college, my best friend caught me red-handed when she came to my house and saw the India Ink bottles lined up on my desk. Before that, I never told people that I made art or thought I was any good. My friend lovingly, but firmly convinced me to share my work and I have been enjoying the journey so far. I am self-taught. I started very young as a way to relax by attempting to capture the beauty I saw in the everyday.
Making art is amazing. As I said before, it’s my way of bringing peace into my life. I find something in life that is beautiful, my imagination makes it something fantastical, and I try to capture it for myself and others to see.
Space has always been extremely inspirational for me. I admire the artists that work on converting black and white photos of gasses and waves of light into colors that everyone understands. I was also wanting to work more on using gouache and streamlining my painting process.
Firstly, I always look for reference photos that are close to the thought I have in mind. Then I pick details out of all of them to make it a coherent picture. Fantasy and folktales are important to me, so I usually spend time thinking of some kind of story behind the picture. I try to do a small, messy drawing before I do a completed pencil drawing. I’ll finish with the layers of gouache or ink.
As art is something I do to find peace, I hope that people have a positive experience. It’s fascinating that everyone will find different meaning in the same piece, but hopefully the process of understanding is a calming one.
I really enjoy all of them, of course. But if I had to pick a favorite it might be “Moonbound.” I really wanted to draw the trees because they were unlike any I had seen before, and the details were very fun.
My work is currently online on social media. On Facebook you can find me under the handle ‘Renee Creates’. On Instagram and TikTok my handle is ‘@thepurgatoryarts’.
Art has always been a big part of my life. Many of my close family members were artists, so I was always around creation, exploration, and art making. I studied art at UCCS and then started working at the FAC after I graduated. These days art seems like a way for me to let go or maybe distract myself from the current situations that we all face. Although my production and time spent in the studio may sometimes slow art will always be a part of my life.
Making art is a way to reflect, explore, and sometimes just have some fun.
The inspiration for the pieces in this show was a combination of being inspired by a medium as well as, inspiration from the galaxy and planet. The earth and space are overwhelmingly amazing to me. One awesome experience was the solar eclipse in 2017. I am constantly in awe of space I have taken several astronomy classes and even own a telescope. The paint that I used for these pieces was what also gave me my inspiration, it is metallic acrylic and offers some shine and iridescence to the planets and night sky shown in the paintings.
When I create my work it usually always starts with the material I am using. In this case I found some oval shaped pieces of wood in the craft section of a local thrift store. Using recycled materials is a very consistent practice in my work. I wanted to include a circle in the painting to fit in and mimic the shape of the oval wood. The first piece I made was Moon. The moon is exaggerated the night sky and the landscape is reminiscent of Earth. The next piece I made was Saturn. In Saturn I used metallic paint to emphasize the rings. The last piece, Purple Planet, is mixed media and includes the use of paper to add texture to the planet. Purple Planet is almost a fantasy or dream planet that overlooks Earth.
When people see these pieces, I want them to let their imaginations run as they notice the small details that make up each space landscape.
The best place to see my art is my Instagram page @artfrances. I have also shown work at The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Kreuser Gallery, and the Modbo.
This is my second showing at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op and I am honored to be selected for the “Space” exhibit. My first show here was in the 2018 “Recycled Art” exhibit that had two of my very first sculptures.
My work is hard to categorize, they are 3D sculptures but after that they can be a space ship flying over a distant planet or a metallic bird gracefully taking off from a peak of marble, whatever the viewer might imagine.
My medium of choice for this show are natural rock and minerals including yule marble from Marble, Colorado along with rainbow sandstone from Nevada.
The other element of my sculptures are vintage, usually 1950s automobile hood ornaments. There are an amazing variety of intricate ornaments that take on bird, airplane, jet, flying goddess and space ship motifs. Many of these are works of art in themselves and I have tried to enhance their beauty with the appropriate settings.
Included in the show are two Packards, a De Soto, a Ford and a Pontiac. The newest one is 65 years old and the oldest is over 70! It’s hard to pick my personal favorite, but the 1950 Packard with the white yule marble from Colorado “Across the Universe”, is very expressive and fits right in to the “Space” show.
Hey everyone! My name is Amy Short. I am a Colorado transplant originally from little old Delaware. I got my first DSLR camera when I was eighteen (ten years ago) and have been in love with photography ever since. Landscape and nature photography are what I call my truest loves. I moved to Colorado two years ago to pursue my photography dreams and have been loving every second of it!
Making art means a freedom and peace unparalleled in any other aspect of my life. Especially living here in the mountains, the journey is one of the best parts. I think the mountains are liberating for anyone, but to point my camera wherever I please and to see the world in my own way, to capture the world how I see it without the influence or ideas of anyone else, that is what making art means to me.
The desire to learn new photographic techniques inspired me for this show. Space has always fascinated me but astrophotography definitely has its challenges. Almost all elements of creating a photograph with astrophotography are more difficult but I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot more.
Honestly, when I am creating photos of the night sky my first step is to point and shoot. There are ways to help yourself see what you are doing and how to expose your photos in the dark but I tend to take a photo first and adjust the composition from there. It takes a few shots to find the composition that I want, but hey it works for me. When processing my photos I do not “over edit” per se. I like to boost the colors and contrast and adjust the exposure if needed but I like to keep it simple! As far as the frames go, they are upcycled! I am a big fan of using “green” practices and what is more environmentally friendly than reusing and repurposing? I keep my eye out for gently used frames at thrift stores. I work at a paint store so I have easy access to all kinds of products and colors. I just love working with colors and trying out new products. I thought a black metallic paint would be well suited for this subject so that’s what I went with!
I hope my artwork can instill the same sense of wonder I have when I think about space and observe the stars. Colorado has such amazing night skies that can leave you with such a sense of awe.
This image I took at Rocky Mountain National is my favorite piece for sale. The images I entered are very similar and both were taken at RMNP but I love the colors of this one the most. I love the yellow hues of light pollution from the Front Range contrasted against the purple and blue hues of the night sky.
You can find me on Instagram: @amyshortphoto, on Facebook: Amy Short Photo, and at Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City.