People who know me closely, know that I love bears. In general, I love the outdoors, wildlife and art. All of this came together in this project, my Wildlife of the San Luis Valley Series.
These bears are my pencil doodles that came to life as hand made outdoor mosaic sculptures. When I first decided to create a bear sculpture, many options and ideas raced through my mind. I decided I didn't want to create anything serious. This led me to the idea of creating something from a 'napkin sketch'. Why not?
I set down to do some loose sketches. I just wanted to see what would pour out in as much of a raw form as possible. I decided to emulate a 6 year old Kasia. My hope was to strip away style etc.
Initially, this was going to be a single, double sided sculpture. After gluing the first side onto the hand sculpted form, it felt like that was it. The mosaic created for the other side of the form was going to get its own sculpture. Now there would be two bears that would stand next to each other.
As I mentioned above, these are part of my Animals of the Valley Series. Each set will be installed to designate campsites in the sculpture park my partner Kyle and our son Ethan (in the photo on the left) are building. The bears are part of the 'Bear Site' which has a tiny house A-Frame cabin we built with friends. We brought out the finished sculptures to test location and to find the orientation etc.
All of this is a pretty big undertaking for Kyle, Ethan and I. We are lucky to have some amazing family and friends who choose to lend a helping hand when they visit us in the remote San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. Here Kyle's dad is invaluable as you can see that Ethan gets into a ton of trouble as we try to mover things along =)
We were lucky to get these installed in December during a warm front as shortly after the temperatures dropped to freezing during the day and in the negatives at night. The environment in the valley is harsh but the scenery is ideal for a sculpture park.
What could be a more majestic backdrop for our modest sculpture park and campground? That is Blanca Peak not too far away. Traditionally it is known to the native people of this region, the Navajo, as the Sacred Mountain of the East 'Sisnaajiní' - the Dawn or White Shell Mountain.
This special place is our playground, a place to explore self-expression, to be quiet and still and to marvel at the surrounding beauty while looking within and back out - to dance with ourselves and the world around us.
This project, so far, has been something incredible for us. To have a place to for self-expression and to see our closest family and friends jump on the wacky art wagon means a lot. We hope to be able to share this place with more than family and friends one day and that our visitors will find an opportunity to enjoy the quiet of the valley, the deep dark night sky, the sublet beauty along with the majestic views of the Sangre de Cristo Maintains.
If you feel drawn to our mission, the best way to support this artist run and founded project is by choosing our art when you are looking for something beautiful, colorful and handmade to be part of your home. See my available art here: https://www.kasiapolkowskashop.com/ and Kyle's available work here: https://www.kylecunniffshop.com/