A prolific sculptor of realistic life-size bronze sculpture, local artist Fred Darpino created Trailblazer as part of a trio of pieces commissioned to depict regional leisure activities. The piece features a female cyclist atop her mountain bike. Of note is the fact that, as described by the artist in a 2009 Gazette article, “this strong woman is riding a one-speed bike. If you’re a real strong, avid cyclist you’re not going to be using any gears.” The other two pieces in the three-piece collection portray a fly fisherman and a boy skipping stones.
A native of Pueblo, Darpino moved to Colorado Springs in 1968 to begin his artistic career as art teacher for Horace Mann Middle School. Now, after more than 40 years as a sculptor, Darpino has works included in public and private collections internationally. He is well known locally as well for his sculpture of Nick Venetucci, The Pumpkin Man. Darpino’s studio and gallery is housed in the Manitou Spa Building in Manitou Springs.
Funding for the purchase of Trailblazer was made possible by a gift to Community Ventures from the estate of Arthur G. and Nancy H. Salisbury, along with additional funds from Lucy Ross. The piece was donated to the City of Colorado Springs in 2009.