Space Needle (1978), Starr Kempf

Each of Kempf’s sculptures is said to have taken him three years, and they typically reach thirty feet in height or more. His sculptures were designed to, in essence, dance with the wind. This is seen with Space Needle, an enormous weathervane. Each of Kempf’s kinetic sculptures is meant to move with gleaming beauty, positioned by the gentle hands of nature, with air currents being the sole conductor. As such, most of the pieces take on elegant forms such as birds, weathervanes, and abstract pieces that seem otherworldly. 

Starr Kempf is well known for his monumental steel sculptures. Born in 1917, Kempf grew up on an Ohio farm, where he learned blacksmithing and carpentry from his family. Kempf attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and after graduating, served in the United States Air Force during World War II. In 1948, he purchased the property of his family’s future home in Cheyenne Canyon. Here Starr designed and built a house, art studio, and large sculpture garden to exhibit his pieces. The sculptures gained local and national attention and tourists come to view the spectacles. 

Audio by Katharina Hill, for the Galleries of Contemporary Art at UCCS, 2023.

Art WithOut Limits, Artwork Tour
  1. Sunrise Serenade (1989), Starr Kempf
  2. Space Needle (1978), Starr Kempf
  3. Metronome (1981), Star Kempf
  4. Opus Series (2003) and Oasis 64 (1995), Bill Burgess
  5. Untitled, Lace Series (2012), Betty Ross
  6. Lapping at the Peak (2017), Ball Nogues Studio
  7. phase shift, (wattling) (2023), Martha Russo
  8. Fool’s Gold (2021), Connor Dowdle