2018 Press Release

Introducing Scott Pfaffman

From May 5th through 11th, Scott Pfaffman will begin a process to activate Miner's Plaza across the street from the Museum of Friends. Our “Mixing It Up” event aims to transform this underutilized community resource into a place where community feels invited to enter, stay, play, and be transformed by their experience. It is our hope that during this "wetting of the feet" process Scott will come up with imaginative ways to help accomplish this goal and beautify our community. The residency will be followed by an exhibition at MOF that includes the combined drawings, photographs and written statements by “Mixing it Up” Participants. Urban Designer Dick Farley’s Walsenburg Street Design Charette Drawings from 2016; Roof and Dick Building’s historical photos and Concept Drawings by Preservation Architect Jessica Reske and History Colorado of the future design for the MOF building will be on view in an adjacent gallery of the museum through June 15th. MOF is bringing public artist Scott to Walsenburg to break the ice with potential stakeholders and begin to see the already built park as a community asset. The Miners Monument is an excellent example of the potential for public space to become a celebratory place. Our actions are intended to establish a dialogue that recognizes the audience's role in creating meaning and memory from the merely monumental. We are dedicated to the integration and enhancement of the existing public sculpture in an open conversation about the content and meaning that audience members recognize and appreciate for future generations to come. The plan is to get as many people involved including students to discover their vision of what this space could be during Scott’s week-long residency. We hope that we can turn Miner's Park into the spark for more creative placemaking in Walsenburg, and instill a sense of pride and a desire to move towards a collective vision for all to see the potential of working together, the potential for parks, the riverfront, and other public buildings to be joined with a unifying and balanced aesthetic. During Scott's one-week residency, other artists who are interested in community and Creative Placemaking will visit, including: Mary Hoffman formerly with Alamosa State University and classmate of Maria Cocchiarelli at the Colorado Creative Industries Change Leaders Training Event in 2017 and Jennifer Davis Carey who is the Executive Director of the Wooster Massachusetts Education Collaborative, Author of Near and Hope and noted artist. We have also invited local artists, educators, and students to drop in and offer their collaborative creative ideas, during planned activities. At “Mixing it Up” we will sketch, plan, hand out community input surveys, photograph, film and create interesting contemporary community interventions. This will be the start of a long process, but we will be "starting with the end in mind," leaving room for change and growth. With input from our community, guests, and visitors, we will plan advocacy and spark an effort to design a significant project to revitalize Downtown Walsenburg. We are enlisting artists and designers to help community members recognize what a special place the Walsenburg Mining Plaza and Monument occupy and help others recognize it as an example of the transformative potential of art in public spaces.

About Scott

Scott Pfaffman is a community activist/public sculptor who Maria met in 1987, when they worked with Mark di Suvero to transform 2.2 acres on the East River in Queens into Socrates Sculpture Park. Later, a group of us convened in Red Hook Brooklyn, in an all but abandoned waterfront neighborhood where Scott and his first wife Florence Neal, purchased a 4-story tenement as part of the New York City Artists’ Housing Program. Currently the Kentler International Drawing Center occupies the first floor, with various studios for print makers and artists residencies above. Scott also curated the Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in the New York State Park at Fulton Landing for many years and opened a gallery in NYC in 1996 devoted to film, photography and video art. He continues to live and work in Red Hook, a neighborhood undergoing massive changes as the development overtakes the once quiet community. His most recent work involves incorporating solar lighting devices in outdoor sculptural settings.

About the Museum of Friends

The Museum of Friends (MOF) is a contemporary art museum, opened in October 2006 in the Southern Colorado community of Walsenburg by artists Brendt Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli. MOF occupies 12,000 square feet of museum display space with room for expansion. The museum’s name stems from the fact that the initial 600-piece collection on exhibit is almost entirely comprised of paintings, photographs, sculpture and other pieces of art which had been given separately to Brendt and Maria by their respective artist friends. These friends and new ones continue to provide the museum with additional art to expand the collection. This project is partially funded through the Colorado Creative Industries and Change Leaders Initiative, The Laura Jane Musser Fund Rural Arts Initiative, The Anschutz Family Foundation, numerous members, sponsors and the restoration of the building through the generosity of History Colorado’s State Historic Fund Grant.