Massive 21-foot-tall sculpture of ‘ancestral goddess’ unveiled in Colorado

Aug 24, 2023

A stunning new sculpture has popped up in Colorado and it’s one you’ll definitely want to check out.

Daniel Popper’s 21-foot-tall ‘Umi’ sculpture was unveiled in The Aurora Highlands public art park, located at Hogan Park at Highlands Creek, on August 19.

Standing more than two stories tall, the sculpture “depicts the convergence of a woman and a tree […] with a designated space within the art for the public to explore,” according to a press release on the new addition to the Denver metro neighborhood.

“Daniel’s art masterfully weaves together the essence of nature and humanity, creating awe-inspiring installations in spaces where people can come together and experience an overwhelming sense of unity and positivity,” explained Carla Ferreira, director of on-site development and principal at The Aurora Highlands.

In recent years, Ferreira has been dedicated to curating a growing public art collection for the local community.

The new sculpture’s name, ‘Umi,’ means ocean in Japanese, with the inspiration for the project coming from the concept of ‘Gaia,’ which is described as “the primordial mother and ancestral goddess who shaped and nurtured all life.”

“Umi perfectly represents our commitment to fostering vibrant communities that celebrate life and the beauty of human connection,” said Ferreira of the new piece.

Hogan Park is home to two miles of walking trails and a budding art collection representing different styles from different artists. The long-term goal for the park is to install performance plazas, climbing walls, a zipline, slides, and a garden in the 100-acre space. Both residents and visitors to the community can explore the park for free.

If you’re looking to hunt down Umi, The Aurora Highlands has created a pin drop for the location of the sculpture on Google Maps.