Get Excited for BIFA

Watch Video
Cattails, a piece of public art in the Breckenridge public art collection.


Breckenridge Public Art Tour

Self-Guided Walking Tour

If you want to get a sense of a city’s identity, consider its commitment to the arts. The Town of Breckenridge’s public-art collection is a great example of this commitment. Dozens of opportunities exist to find art and learn about the town’s history, adding to the charming character of this unique mountain town. 

Breckenridge Outdoor Art Tour

The Breckenridge public art collection currently consists of 33 unique pieces that, taken together, create a physical archive of the town. As the curator and steward of the public art collection, Breck Create invites passersby from all walks of life to discuss and self-reflect upon topics that are quintessentially Breckenridge, from the picturesque mountain environment to the town’s gold-mining past. The approach of spring and the promise of warmer days ahead make for a perfect time to take a self-guided walking tour of Breckenridge’s public art collection—a free and accessible activity for all to enjoy.

Planning Your Outdoor Art Tour

You could say that Breckenridge is as culturally active as it is physically active. The Breckenridge Arts District, a certified district in the Colorado Creative Industries Creative District Program, is a hub for creative experience, bringing together studios, galleries, performance spaces, historic landmarks, public art, restaurants, cafes and other creative businesses that animate and populate a vibrant cultural corridor in downtown Breckenridge. The district’s core attraction is a lively arts campus of renovated historic structures that now function as studio spaces for classes, workshops, affordable rentals by local artists and visiting artists-in-residence. It is a great place to begin your self-guided tour of the Breckenridge public art collection.

To explore the collection, there are three pre-organized routes to choose from: downtown, north and east, and the historic Arts District Campus, which includes the art on the downtown route that is located on the campus, among the historic buildings. Pick up a map to accompany your tour at Old Masonic Hall or the Welcome Center (you may also print a map without images). An audio tour companion also is accessible via a mobile device. While you’re at Old Masonic Hall picking up a map, be sure to grab a coloring book all about the public art collection in Breckenridge created by former artist-in-residence Elisa Gomez.

Route MapAudio Tour

Must-See Public Art in Breckenridge

The public art collection in Breckenridge shares the history of the town and conjures the soul of the community. The following pieces stand out for their artistry and for the intersection they create between past, present and future. To learn more about the complete collection, please visit

Bronze sculpture of Barney Ford, an escaped slave turned wealthy Colorado businessman.

Mister Barney Ford

By Emanuel Martinez • Location 

This three-tiered bronze sculpture commissioned by the Town of Breckenridge depicts various epochs in the life of Barney L. Ford, an escaped slave who became a wealthy Colorado businessman and leading civil rights activist. Among his businesses, Ford opened a chophouse in Breckenridge before moving on to Denver, where he developed education programs for African-Americans and pushed successfully for African-American suffrage at the national level. The piece is by Emanuel Martinez, an artist who fought alongside Cesar Chavez and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century.

Isak Heartstone, a.k.a. the Breckenridge Troll, is a sculpture made from recycled materials by artist Thomas Dambo.

Isak Heartstone

By Thomas Dambo • Location 

Isak Heartstone is a large-scale, wooden troll sculpture created in June of 2019 by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, co-commissioned by the Town of Breckenridge and Breck Create. Dambo specializes in making imaginative art pieces, furniture and more from recycled materials. Over the last three years, Dambo and his team of volunteers have made dozens of site-specific sculptures around the world. Isak Heartstone calls the Trollstigen trailhead home. The trailhead is located in the southeast corner by the Illinois Creek trailhead. It is an easy walk, bike, or free public transportation ride to visit him.

Starting May 1st, you can purchase a copy of Dambo’s Trash, Trolls and Treasure Hunts, a beautiful coffee-table book memorializing the dozens of similar troll sculptures assembled around the world, at Old Masonic Hall. Breck Create also will be running a sweepstakes on their Facebook and Instagram pages for a chance to win a copy.

Syncline, a permanent art installation by renowned contemporary sculptor Albert Paley.


By Albert Paley • Location 

Breckenridge is the first Colorado town to feature a permanent installation by renowned contemporary sculptor Albert Paley, whose work graces cultural art centers from the Smithsonian Institution to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 24-foot-tall, azure blue, abstract steel sculpture commissioned by the Town of Breckenridge is fabricated from hydraulically formed steel plates. It takes its name from a geological formation, using intersecting convex and concave planes to represent the irregular contours of the mountain milieu, replete with the interplay of slope and light.

ullr public art doran 9624


By Richard A. Jagoda • Location

Almost every year since 1963, Breckenridge has honored the Norse god of skiing, Ullr, in a raucous annual festival that beseeches the skies to open and drop their bounty of crystalline gold. Seen by many as the bringer of snow, Ullr is idolized in this metal sculpture by the late Richard Jagoda, who was a key character in the antics of the early Ullr Dag—as the festival used to be known—and among the first ski instructors at Breckenridge. This sculpture was purchased by Atlas Development Corporation.

Toro, a futuristic robot sculpture created with upcycled materials by artist Fred Zietz.


By Fred Zietz • Location

The futuristic robot “Toro” illustrates the Breckenridge community’s interest in contemporary, diverse art forms. Donated by the restaurant partners at Downstairs at Eric’s, the sculpture drew admirers of all ages when it was unveiled at Sculpture on the Blue. In it, artist Fred Zietz explores a romanticized future hewn from the refuse of society. In Breckenridge, “Toro” represents the wild wanderings of the creative mind, and through it our creative future. At the same time, its use of upcycled automotive and industrial steel fits with our sustainability ethos.



By Parker McDonald • Location

During the construction of the Breckenridge Arts District, a well-loved family of foxes lived on campus, under Randall Barn. When the Public Art Commission spotted Parker McDonald’s graceful, steel-fabricated piece at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, they knew Breckenridge had to have it. The red fox is a ubiquitous sight in Breckenridge, where it has assimilated with its human neighbors, raising generations of furry families. “Prowlin’” not only commemorates a particular family of foxes, but all of our fox friends who remind us of the wild beauty of this place.

Recent Additions to the Breckenridge Public Art Collection

In June of 2023, Breck Create and the Town of Breckenridge were thrilled to announce three new additions to the public art collection. The pieces were added via a democratic process within practices and procedures of the Breckenridge Public Art Program.

snowbarding sculpture

Indy Sunset

By Jason Dreweck and Teresa Hansen • Location

Artists Jason Dreweck and Teresa Hansen modeled Indy Sunset after photographs of Logan McCalmon performing the “Indy Grab” trick while snowboarding and skateboarding. Finding ways to express one’s individual style is not only characteristic of snow- and skateboarders; it is also essential to improving one’s technique and progressing as a rider. Logan was a free spirit who learned to snowboard in Breckenridge at an early age and did just that. 

The sculpture is a snapshot of what it is like to soar through the mountain air. The snowboarder, having just ridden over the jump, confidently bends his knees and grabs the board in this classic move. Elevated atop a ribbon of patinated bronze, the rider throws up one arm in stylistic flair, or exhilaration, or both, while focusing on his landing target. Framed by the Ten-Mile Mountain Range to the West, the artwork often experiences sunsets that are as dramatic as the snowboarder’s pose. Across the Blue River is the Breckenridge Skate Park, where skaters of all skill levels hone their talents and, perhaps, find inspiration in Indy Sunset.


Bird Lady

By Phillip Glashoff • Location

“Oh no. It happened again!”, shouted Marsha Cooper to her husband Cary from the deck of their home just below Baldy Mountain. It was the third time in the summer of 2001 that local Summit County bears had climbed the Coopers’ deck to tear down the bird feeders and drink the sugary syrup intended to attract and feed hummingbirds. Although they loved watching the birds hover and drink, the risk of bears was too high.

As luck would have it, that same summer the Coopers discovered the work of sculptor Phillip Glashoff, which reuses compressor covers, motorcycle tanks, fire extinguishers, and other rusted equipment from the artist’s ranch in Suisun Valley, California. Glashoff had just completed a life-sized sculpture titled Bird Lady, which reminded the Coopers of their recent “birds and bears” encounter. They purchased the piece and installed it on their property. Surprisingly, birds flocked to the sculpture and the bears stopped showing up!

Before leaving their Breckenridge home of 26 years, Cary and Marsha Cooper asked the Breckenridge Town Council and Breck Create if they would like to have Bird Lady in the public art collection. The piece was accepted unanimously and, to this day, continues to repel bears, attract birds, and bring smiles to those who discover her standing in her new home amongst the trees at the entry to the Breckenridge Recreation Center.

rock sculpture


By Joshua Gannon • Location 

Breckenridge’s beautiful Alpine Garden surrounds a quartz monzonite bench commissioned by Nils Nelson in remembrance of his wife, Sue Nelson. The piece, titled “Together” by New Mexico-based artist Joshua Gannon, is located along the east bank of the Blue River and comfortably seats two. 

Together juxtaposes the softness of a polished surface with a rough exterior. The natural medium of quartz represents the beauty and strength of nature and the resilience of the human spirit. In Gannon’s words, “The texture, composition, and color of the stone wears the trace of time beyond everyday understanding.” We invite you to take a seat and find yourself together with the garden, the river, and the Ten Mile Range.

Celebrate Breckenridge Culture

The Breckenridge public art collection celebrates the area’s history while looking toward the future, capturing the wild mountain spirit of the community. The next time you find yourself walking through Breckenridge, consider charting a course through the public art collection. As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter more than just sculptures and paintings—you’ll discover a community brought to life through art—a community that values creativity, expression and the power of storytelling.