Meet Umi: The newest art installation at Hogan Park in the Aurora Highlands

The 21-foot-tall interactive sculpture has a permanent place within Hogan Park at Highlands Creek, the master-planned community’s public art park

Photo Courtesy: The Aurora Highlands

Daniel Popper, an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist from South Africa, installed his 21-foot-tall sculpture “Umi” in The Aurora Highlands' public art park, Hogan Park at Highlands Creek, on August 19. Umi is Popper’s debut installation in Colorado, where he and his wife once lived.

The sculpture, which depicts the convergence of woman and tree, stands more than two-stories tall with a designated space within the art for the public to explore. Umi, which means “ocean” in Japanese, was inspired by the concept of “Gaia,” the primordial mother and ancestral goddess who shaped and nurtured all life.

“Colorado, with its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant communities, in many ways is a second home to me, offering a nurturing haven away from our beloved Cape Town, South Africa,” Popper said. “With Umi finding her permanent home in Colorado, I am filled with deep gratitude and excitement. The Aurora Highlands has infused a profound appreciation for artistic expression into Umi and its public art park, Hogan Park at Highlands Creek. We hope these installations will serve as a beacon of inspiration, elevating and illuminating the hearts and minds of Aurora and Colorado as a whole.”

Carla Ferreira, director of on-site development and principal at The Aurora Highlands, has curated the community’s growing public collection. She first saw Popper’s work in Miami and began seeking out his many large-scale installations during her travels.

“Daniel's art masterfully weaves together the essence of nature and humanity, creating awe-inspiring installations in spaces where people can come together and experience an overwhelming sense of unity and positivity,” Ferreira explained. “It’s what I’ve always admired about his work, and I could not be more honored to call The Aurora Highlands home to Umi. The grand scale and interactive features of this installation are captivating, making it impossible not to engage with. It's inspiring to witness how artistic expressions like this ignite conversations and curiosity, even among those who might not initially be drawn to art. Umi perfectly represents our commitment to fostering vibrant communities that celebrate life and the beauty of human connection."

Umi’s installation was completed on August 19, and now visitors can visit Umi for themselves. Click here for the installation's exact location.

- The Aurora Highlands