Hogan Park at Highlands Creek offers art for all

Jan 4, 2024

Great artwork doesn’t need to cost large sums of money or sit in museums. In fact, some of the best art is free to view daily and often decorates public places that would otherwise be bare. The public art walk found in Hogan Park at Highlands Creek is a perfect example.

Hogan Park is a focal point of The Aurora Highlands development, and contains an assortment of features for community engagement. At nearly 100 acres, the park will eventually include performance plazas, climbing walls, a zip line, embankment slides, a kinetic sculpture garden and more.

Meandering through it all is the public art walk envisioned by Carla Ferreira, the director of onsite development and principal at The Aurora Highlands.

While the two-mile stretch of Hogan Park was initially deemed an unusable floodplain, Ferreira had other ideas. What if the seemingly unusable space featured permanent art installations that would inspire creativity for multiple generations? Before joining her father in the development project of The Aurora Highlands, Ferreira worked in art galleries and therefore views this new chapter of her career as a merging of the two.

“The Aurora Highlands public art project is a vibrant fusion of my lifelong passion for art and my venture into community development,” Ferreira says. “With my background in art galleries, I’ve always been captivated by the power of art to transform spaces and engage communities. Transitioning into developing The Aurora Highlands, I saw an unparalleled opportunity to integrate this ethos into the very fabric of the community.”

Her connections in the art world allowed Ferreira to recruit talented artists and the park will eventually feature more installations that are set to be constructed over the next several years. There will be two miles of art eventually, and about a mile of it has been built out so far. Presently, there are more than twenty installations from four artists that have already created some buzz.

“The installations I am commissioning are more than just sculptures; they are conversation starters, thought provokers and a source of community bonding,” Ferreira says. “Each piece creates a space where people can gather, reflect and find inspiration, making art an integral part of everyday life.”

One piece that has become extremely popular since it was installed is “Umi,” created by South African artist Daniel Popper. The sculpture stands 21 feet tall and depicts a woman holding her womb. While it’s been less than a year since it was installed, Umi has drawn an influx of people from around the country to visit the sculpture.

Two of the other large sculptures that dominate the park’s skyline were created by Hunter Brown. Named “Life Blood” and “Asclepius,” each one is beautifully constructed and embodies Brown’s art style. Asclepius was inspired by Greek Mythology and is just as beautiful at night when it becomes illuminated.

The other two installations lack the dominating size of Brown and Popper’s sculptures, but they are still thought-provoking. Olivia Steele was the first artist to leave her mark on Hogan Park with her installation, “Public Displays of Awareness,” which shows a series of road signs with inspirational messages on them.

Lisa Solberg is the final artist featured in the park with her “Totem Triad.” The artwork contains three metal sculptures along with carefully assorted natural boulders with symbols etched into the stone. As a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Solberg was happy to travel back to Colorado and contribute to Hogan Park.

“The artists were chosen based on their ability to resonate with and reflect the spirit of The Aurora Highlands community,” Ferreira says. “Each artist brings a unique perspective, contributing to the rich tapestry of the park.”

View article at Thirst Colorado.