Sculptures on loan grace Goodson

Program in Centennial benefits artists, rec district

Vincent Juarez, left, and Mike Cody of Mike Squared Designs created this obelisk in just a few weeks. Photo by Jennifer Smith
These two does will frolic outside of Goodson Recreation Center for the next year. Photo by Jennifer Smith
Each piece of this mosaic is made from recycled materials, like plates and pottery. Photo by Jennifer Smith
The creator of "Nemesis" chose the name because this piece was especially troublesome to work with. Photo by Jennifer Smith
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Goodson Recreation Center welcomed three pieces of sculpture that are very different from each other but fit right in to their new surroundings.

The public and representatives of South Suburban Parks and Recreation got a look at them during a reception the afternoon of July 9, during which the creators of two of the pieces were on hand.

“It's my nemesis, because it took me close to six weeks to make,” said self-taught metal sculptor Don Orr. “It deserves its name.”

“Nemesis” is a 95-pound sculpture made of copper wire on steel, built up in layers into an appealing free-form piece.

“I don't necessary start out with a preconceived idea,” said Orr. “As you start working into it, the metal will tell you, `This is really what I am.' ”

Orr says he began sculpting in 1970 with varying degrees of intensity and at different locations throughout the country. He joined The Bridge Gallery Co-operative in 1999 and moved into his Colorado Springs studio in 2000.

Across the entryway from “Nemesis” sits “Epic II,” a colorful obelisk created by Mike Juarez and Mike Cody of Mike Squared Mosaics, based in Denver. The obelisk shape, they say, conveys strength and security. It's covered with bits of china, glass, pottery and stone. Some are recycled, some they've made, and they encourage community members to donate items, whether sentimental or just pretty, to allow people to become a piece of their art.

“We're all about recycling, nature, giving back,” said Juarez. “That's how we started.”

Juarez was an accountant, and Cody worked in construction before their love of art converted them.

“We consider our work to be colorful, sometimes whimsical, and definitely intricate,” they write on their website. “Our mosaics tell a story. Through the application of stone, tile, glass, and pottery, we convey the history of the location, clarify the importance of the environment surrounding the site and represent the culture of the people living in the area.”

Tucked away in a natural pocket near the entryway is Bill Noland's “Rocky Mountains Tag,” portraying two does prancing playfully. Noland was not on hand, but he was a taxidermist before starting to sculpt 15 years ago, giving him a unique perspective from which to produce his wildlife pieces.

The sculptures, which are all for sale, will live at Goodson in Centennial for a year thanks to SSPR's Art-On-Loan program. The sculptures are selected via a competitive process, finally approved by the SSPR board of directors. Artists must live in Colorado and earn an honorarium for the display. The district receives a 20 percent commission for sculptures that are purchased through the program. For more information, contact Vickie Willis at 303-483-7072.