The sculptors of Black Hawk are a unique breed of artist. When you think of a sculptor, you may have a preconceived thought that the artist starts their process first with rounds of sketches, followed by a clay maquette. And then finally, after years of work, the sculpture is finished, poured, and assembled into a brilliant bronze statue. This process is true! But, when you talk with the sculptors and get to know their stories, you begin to get a sense that their artistic vision began years before and is a manifestation of a life well-lived. Two of our sculptors are helicopter pilots; one is a cattle rancher, another a poet, another a Native American river guide, and another a veteran. For many, this is a second career started at mid-life. Each brings his or her own life experience and passion to their work. The artist’s vision begins with researching every detail, adding just the right patina to muscle or fur, uncovering layers of meaning until the final piece is bolted onto the sculpture’s mount to reveal the complete scope of their work. Learning about these incredible people helps their art speak to you in a different and more poignant way. One of our sculptors calls her work “sculpted poetry.” If you look closely enough, it is a term that applies to each work of art on the Black Hawk Sculpture Walk. Diane Mulligan M&C Communications
Since its history-making lode gold strike of 1859, Black Hawk has built a legacy of progressive growth and economic opportunity, enduring beyond the boom-bust cycles of gold strikes and stamp mills.
1859: Prospector John H. Gregory ﬁrst discovered lode gold in the narrow ravine that was then part of the Kansas Territory. Gregory Gulch, the area between Black Hawk and Central City, drew thousands of would-be miners to try to ﬁnd their fortunes.
1864: Black Hawk received a Territorial Charter, becoming the second oldest incorporated city in Colorado. The ingenuity and natural resources helped the former City of Mills to become the milling center for the gold ore mined throughout the region.
1872: Black Hawk is connected with Denver by railroad to help bring reﬁned gold out of the mountains.
Would you like to learn more about each sculpture and artist? Look for the phone icon by the sculpture or on this map and call the number for additional background, or scan the QR code by each photo with the camera app on your phone.