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Three famous Kempf sculptures find new home at UCCS - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Three famous Kempf sculptures find new home at UCCS

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Three of the famous Starr Kempf sculptures have finally found a new home with Pikes Peak still overlooking after sitting in storage for many years.

They were moved to UCCS in front of the new Ent Center for the Arts last month.

"Quite unbelievable to be honest with you!" Joshua Kempf, the artist's grandson said.

Joshua calls himself the protector of these sculptures.

"I really never imagined that we'd be here today or that anything like this was going to be possible," he said.

His grandfather, Starr Kempf, spent up to three years on each piece of work, when he created them back in the 1970's, prominently displayed for years in the front lawn of his Cheyenne Canyon neighborhood.

"My grandfather put things up without asking permission, he was that kind of guy," he said.

After he took his own life in 1995, fans were drawn to his work, attracting more traffic to the neighborhood, which resulted in three of the famous sculptures ending up in storage.

"The rest of the sculptures are still there, it was really a negotiated settlement with the city attorney at the time to just stay out of a really nasty court battle that would have occurred if we hadn't taken these down," he said.

It's a story Daisy McGowan, like so many other locals, remember vividly.

"I was inspired by them like everyone else," McGowan, the Director of Galleries of Contemporary Art at UCCS said.

So, she's spent the past two years working to bring these three displaced sculptures to her campus at UCCS.

"It's been wonderful to come full circle like Josh said, to bring these works to such a happy and celebrated point in their history and to really celebrate the work of Starr Kempf who is an artist that we feel like the world should know more about," she said.

A happy ending to a story decades in the making.

"20 years of my life have gone into this kind of change happening so I know my grandparents would be really happy too," Kempf said.

This is part of the university's public sculpture program called "AWOL: Art WithOut Limits" meant to invite the community to come enjoy these works of art.

They say they have public programs, lectures, performances and yoga sessions all planned out around these sculptures, which will stay up for at least two years.

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