t’s easy to look at Pikes Peak and think of it as eternal. But the nature of nature is change, as painter Deb Komitor notes when we meet at the Palmer Land Trust
Everything is temporary. The Rocky Mountains only started taking recognizable shape a mere 70 million years ago, pretty new next to Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history. And while the pink granite that makes up Pikes Peak will likely be around for a while, the plants, animals and open spaces around it aren’t quite so abiding. And as the Springs grows, its residents’ demands on the surrounding natural resources will only increase.
“A lot of who we are and what we do [as locals] depends on the land, whether it’s for inspiration, whether it’s for scenic views,” says Rebecca Jewett, executive director of Palmer Land Trust. Over 41 years, her organization has enabled conservation of 135,000 acres of land in the region. “[As the PLT] thinks about what we need to do to ensure the identity, the quality of life, the economic base of this region... we realized we needed to do more.”
To that end, PLT is launching a new program for raising awareness, called Forever Yours, The Land
. It includes a coordinated set of art exhibitions, set to launch the first week of August. Initially, Jewett says she hoped to have 10 participating venues and artists, but when we speak, Jewett says they now have over 60 participating artists set up in venues ranging from traditional galleries to restaurants and retail stores, including spots in northern and northeastern Springs and Monument.
Komitor’s one of the participating artists. With broad brushstrokes and a painterly approach to her landscapes, she evokes the light-play of impressionism, preferring to paint light on a dark canvas. Her works, a mix of new and old, will be on display at Colorado Co-Op
from Aug. 3 to 31. She and Jewett both hope to make people take a second look at the area’s natural resources, as well as help PLT protect them.