Artist: Heather Bischoff
Location: 308 3rd St. (near public restrooms by CB Fire Station)
Medium: Mixed media (newsprint collage, paint)
Anima: the soul or animating principle of a living thing; breath; essence.
As Heather Bischoff hiked through the Dark Canyon/Raggeds Wilderness west of Crested Butte, she was awed and inspired by the local flora and fauna living there. She set out to honor that spirit and Anima on 3rd Street is the result.
The world-record Plute Elk (which resides at the CB Heritage Museum) was shot in 1899 in that very wilderness, and was the model for the brightly colored bull elk that hovers, solid yet ethereal, amidst the aspen forest of the mural. His eyes gaze steadily at the viewer, as do the ubiquitous eyes of the aspen trees, inviting us to explore and connect with our high mountain community. Given that aspens function as a single interconnected organism, they are the perfect symbol of interdependence. Here their bark is created from recycled newspaper, giving the sense that our history and stories are intricately tied with those of the natural world. The reclaimed materials also hint at the cyclical nature of our existence: what once was a tree became a product of human consumption, only to turn up again as a tree.
Heather currently resides in Crested Butte, though travels frequently to collect materials and cultural experiences to inform her work. Learn more about Heather at www.bishproductions.org or on instagram @postmasterbish.