Earlier this summer, Andy Vick
, executive director for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
(COPPeR), proposed a large-scale art project that would have utilized lighting to illuminate the Martin Drake Power Plant's unsightly omissions. The initiative was called Light the Drake
Opponents were quick to step forward, essentially calling the idea tone deaf, for glorifying toxic coal-fire emissions that harm public health
Vick defended his position, saying he was making an artistic statement, and that he wasn't interested in "making a political issue about it."
Read some of the back-and-forth as well as my own contextualizing of the situation here
Flash forward to today, when the Colorado Springs Utilities Board has finally set an arbitrary 2035 deadline to close Drake
, in the face of strong opposition from the business community and beyond to shut it sooner.
Perhaps some of that pushback inspired the decision to not move forward with the art plan, at least for now, as we received a statement emailed by Vick yesterday indicating that it is on hold. (Vick is traveling today and not available for further comment at the moment.)
Here's the statement in full:
After carefully considering the input and guidance from the COPPeR Board of Directors, our elected officials, the members of the project committee, and other community stakeholders, a decision has been made to table the Light the Drake initiative at this time. The project still has many community development benefits, and may be revisited at a more opportune time in the future. All further inquiries may be directed to email@example.com.
Don't expect any illuminated smoke stacks soon on Martin Drake.