Gold Hill Mesa to keep art on commons

       Two Colorado Springs metal sculptors earned sizeable rewards after coming out on top in the popular-vote competition for Gold Hill Mesa's “Art on the Mesa” exhibit.

Ivan Kosta is with his sculpture, "Silverhead Elk," which brought him the $3,000 first prize in Gold Hill Mesa's first-time Art on the Mesa popular-vote competion in the commons area outside the development's Exchange Building community center this month.
Westside Pioneer photo

Don Green's "Saguaro" gave him second prize ($1,500). His other sculpture, "Eclipse," earned him third prize ($500).
Westside Pioneer photo

       Ivan Kosta took first place, receiving a $3,000 check from the Gold Hill Mesa development company for his piece titled “Silverhead Elk,” which combines stainless steel and soft metal. Two of Don Green's entries garnered second ($1,500) and third ($500).
       They were among four area sculptors to show one or more of their works on foundations that the company had installed around the perimeter of the grassy commons area in front of Gold Hill's Exchange Building community center. The idea, as Gold Hill lead developer Bob Willard said at the awards ceremony Aug. 22, was that “you've got some good art. Why not put it up there?”
       He elaborated that he expects to rotate the art on a yearly basis, so that next year at this time different pieces will probably be on the same foundations. Less cost is involved in simply showcasing artists' pieces than in buying them outright, and changing displays now and then will give the Gold Hill residents - as well as any people who drop by - fresh creations to look at, Willard said. As for the artists, “it's better than having them [sculptures they've done] in their garages.”
       The artists are also welcome to market their displayed works. If any of them sell, Gold Hill will take a 20 percent commission - which Green lauded as very generous to the artists.
       The sculpture voting opportunities were provided during the Aug. 6-22 Parade of Homes, in which Gold Hill Mesa was a principal site. During that time, thousands of people dropped by the development - which now has about 90 constructed homes and more than 200 residents north of Lower Gold Camp Road east of 21st Street - and several hundred of them voted for their favorite sculptures, Willard said.
       Both Kosta and Green entered pieces they had made previously. Creating new sculptures without advance commissions, because of the cost of the materials, is typically not affordable, they said.
       Kosta, 75, had studied art in his native Czechoslavakia. He fled the then-communist regime in 1966. Winding up in Colorado Springs, he worked as a lawyer here until about 20 years ago. “I hated it,” he said. “I always leaned toward art, so as soon as I thought I could afford it, I went to art.”
       Green, 79, is a retired art teacher, having taught in District 11 schools for 30 years. He likes to combine steel with colored glass, as shown in his two awarded entries, titled “Saguaro” (second place) and “Eclipse” (third).
       Other artists in Art on the Mesa are Dan Orr and John Wilbar; plus, there are two sculptures in the commons area by Gold Hill artist/employee Michael Theisen.

Westside Pioneer article