Monday, July 23, 2007

Controversy has dogged sculpture since 1973

There is a white marble phallic-looking piece of artwork in a small grassy area at the corner of Monument and Cascade streets. It’s actually rather hidden behind a huge pine tree. I was curious how it came to be at this location, when it was crafted, and any other information someone may have about it, i.e. artist, what it actually is supposed to be. It’s near another bronze statue of 2-3 cranes or large birds.
- Kathi Clark>

ANSWER: Back in 2004 a reader thought it looked like a thumb, and here is our answer from that column: “Moment in Time” (1973) was one of the first pieces of public art purchased by the city. It’s an abstract by Richard Jagoda, whose large bison and grizzly bear can be spotted downtown. The artist quarried the Colorado Yule marble himself for “Moment in Time,” according to his partner, Betty Griffin. She said it is neither a finger nor a thumb; he just started working and it “came out of the stone.” The work was not without controversy. It was in a place of prominence until “little old ladies wrote that they didn’t want a sex object in a city park” and it was moved, according to Griffin. She said the sculpture is "what you want to see."

"Now it’s hidden behind a steel sculpture and not visible from Cascade Avenue. Griffin says the artist has always hoped that people will appreciate the beauty of the marble and ask why it’s hidden from view. " Jagoda, a Colorado Springs native, has enjoyed the public’s interaction with his work, says Griffin, even when Colorado College students attempted to create their own erotica by adding two giant snowballs to the base. On another occasion the sculpture sported a serape and a sombrero."


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