High Park Fire memorial sculpture awaits May 11 unveiling at Mishawaka

Even if it becomes necessary to install it by the dark of night, a 20-foot tall, 3-D metal and glass sculpture created by Poudre Canyon artist Jackie Sindelar will remain hidden until its official unveiling at Mishawaka Amphitheatre on May 11, immediately following that morning’s Be Prepared fire safety event at Ward Mountain Ranch on Stove Prairie Road. The sculpture, many months in the making, is a memorial to the High Park Fire of last summer and honors both the tragedy and the community’s continuing recovery from the horrendous event.

Be Prepared organizer Wes Rutt and Mishawaka owner Dani Grant combined forces so that attendees can easily participate in both events. Grant describes the sculpture as representing the firefighters, canyon residents and the territory consumed by the fire. She has only seen sketches and, like everyone else, anxiously awaits the unveiling. She commissioned the work but Sindelar and assistant Chris Gugelman accepted payment only for materials, some of which came from remnants of the fire. The sculpture will be a permanent fixture at Mishawaka and will be unveiled at 12:30 p.m. on May 11.

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“We’re incredibly fortunate to still be here,” Grant said, “and to have this opportunity to honor and remember both the growth and loss resulting from the fire.”