By Jenna Jenkins
A long-legged silver figure holds its hands to the sky. A sense of joy emanates from the colorful butterflies arched over the uplifted arms of the woman.
The “Spirit of Renewal” stands in the center of the garden in front of Grays Peak,
FRCC’s new health careers building. A spot its creator strategically picked to connect
the pollinating abilities of the butterflies to the bees that reside close by.
The sculpture, all crafted by local artist Lorri Acott, is one of a set in a sculpture garden
that she said represents the internal and external transformations students make
throughout their educational journey, as well as a theme of healing and care.
Acott was a teacher for 25 years in public schools, spending time at Poudre High
School, and having instructed many who attended Front Range. She also has been a
guest speaker on campus.
She said, “I’ve always been impressed with the quality and variety of educational
opportunities offered as well as the commitment to students.”
While she taught, she began participating in sculpting classes and workshops.
She said that with this outlet she discovered another way she could inspire people to create
change in the world, as well as start conversations.
She said the garden connects to the deepest truths within her and reflects the hope of
ourselves, each other, and where we live.
“Heartfelt,” the bronze piece to the right of the entrance, entails a figure laying its head
on the chest of another with hands on its heart and on its back. Acott said cardiac
nurses put their hands in this position on patients to promote healing.
The “Heartsong” sculpture is a bronze figure sitting on a rock, hand to heart, face
toward the sky, with a bird perched on a shoulder to represent our connection to nature.
Acott said that this “is where I go in nature to remember who I am, where I go to hear
my heart song.”
The space next to the figure and the stone step is an invitation for students to do the
“Caring Enough to Look,” features a figure peering into the Plexi-shielded, colorful chest
of another. Acott said health career workers literally do this as part of learning and
helping our physical bodies.
Metaphorically, she said it reflects a desire for people that care enough to look at us and
“to really see the beauty in who we are.”
In “Offering Hope,” a bronze figure is handing over a bird to the other. This symbolizes
optimism and its role in increased healing.
Acott said she was inspired by people in health care fields and the confidence they give to patients; “the power to offer hope to others is ours.”
A tall silver sculpture is turned to accept aspiration in the form of a bird perched in its
Acott said, “Welcoming Hope” represents the health careers center that feeds
aspirations for students pursuing their careers, clients striving toward their wellness, and
instructors seeking to make a difference in the lives of the students.
She said her favorite piece varies day to day based on what she is experiencing
because the sculptures all represent varying feelings and connections between herself
and her environment. This translates to students as well when we understand the
meaning behind the artwork.
Her sculptures at FRCC are a part of the state art collection for the State of Colorado.
Of the state’s capital, one percent goes towards construction funds required to pay for
works of art. Then all work is put into the collection.
There were proposals that she called to apply for and ended up being the only finalist
who was local.
She said, “The opportunity to do this in my home state and county, in the city where I
lived and worked for most of my life, and at a campus that where I myself have
frequented has been a powerful and fulfilling experience for me.”