From the listings desk: Back in the day, I was a teenage summer volunteer at Starsmore Discovery Center. With my little name tag, boxy T-shirt and dirty sneakers, I filled hummingbird feeders, lent a hand on guided hikes and helped kids make "binoculars" from toilet-paper tubes.
Those were the days.
Now, North Cheyenne Cañon is celebrating a new milestone in its history: the unveiling of "The Cub," the new Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center that lies up the canyon road from Starsmore. The former 105-year-old structure was demolished this March, too decrepit to last from a century of weather- and other age-related damage.
This Saturday, you can see the brand-new Cub for its free opening celebration and take in the reception for Canvases in the Cañon art show, which happens both there and at Starsmore. The artwork hails from regional artists who responded to the Friends of North Cheyenne Cañon's call for artwork that captured "spectacular scenes from the Pikes Peak Region."
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can view the artwork, enjoy sweets from local chocolatiers and pastry chefs, talk to "famous citizens from history" at Helen Hunt Falls, take a guided hike, and listen to live music. Kids can have their faces painted, sign up for watercolor classes ($10, resos required) and more.
As for the artwork, 15 percent of all sales will benefit the park. Should you so desire, you can buy a picture of the Cub itself, painted by local artist Cono Pitinga, an 88-year-old Springs native who has long loved the Cañon, according to an article printed in the Friends of North Cheyenne Cañon newsletter. “It gives a city dweller a taste of what the mountains are like," Pitinga says. "In a short period of time you can travel from the heart of Colorado Springs and feel as if you are in a mini-national park.”
Pitinga studied at the Bemis School of Art and was close friends with one of his instructors, noted artist Herman Raymond. According to Pitinga, the two used to stroll through the canyon and talk about art.
For more information on the event, visit cheyennecanon.org.