With glowing eyes, cascading steel hair and wings more than 20-feet across, Mishawaka Amphitheatre’s May 6th, 2021 “Luna Mothra” sculpture installation is a mesmerizing tribute to nature, beauty and the power of the feminine. Commissioned by Mishawaka owner, Dani Grant, and executed by celebrated sculptor, Nick LoFaro, “Luna Mothra” combines LoFaro’s love of pop culture monster movies with the magic of pixie folklore. The result is a heavy metal mashup that will soon become a permanent fixture in the Poudre Canyon right beside the Mish’s main stage. The steel sculpture weighs in at nearly 300 pounds, with a 20-foot wingspan and LED illuminated eyes. It is made from more than 50% reclaimed materials including discarded tractor parts, antique irons, hand saws, spoons and bike sprockets. The sculpture will appear to float beside Mishawaka’s main stage above the Poudre River where she will gaze over crowds gathering for the upcoming summer concert season.
“My husband Matt and I consider ourselves more like stewards of the Mishawaka than owners,” said Dani Grant. “The community and the canyon really own this place. We wanted to create a piece that pays tribute to the awesome power and beauty all around us. At the same time, I really do feel like a Mama Figure here and we wanted Luna Mothra to reflect the power of womanhood as well. Nick has done an amazing job of capturing all those elements.”
LoFaro immediately jumped at the opportunity to place his work in such an iconic setting.
“When Dani reached out to me about creating this piece, I immediately went back to my comic book roots,” said LoFaro. “The idea of a river sprite or fairy is represented through these massive butterfly wings and evokes the feminine. That shape got me thinking about the Kaiju (giant monster), Mothra, Godzilla’s sidekick. Despite being a “monster” she was really a protector of the earth and that speaks to the spiritual nature of this place. My greatest hope is that the piece triggers childlike wonder in all who see it.”
The installation was planned as part of the 105-year-old Mishawaka’s 10th anniversary celebration under the “new” ownership of Dani Grant and Matt Hoeven who purchased the venue in 2010. Covid delayed the event by almost a year, so the May 6th, 2021 reveal party will be an even bigger celebration of renewal as the world emerges from a pandemic lockdown.
“We’ve been hit hard just like every other bar, restaurant or live music venue,” said Grant. “The fact that we’re approaching what looks to be light at the end of the tunnel is cause to celebrate. The May 6th event will be an outdoor, socially-distanced opportunity to blow off some steam at what we hope is nearing the end of this long, challenging time.”
Grant and Hoeven have fully updated and refurbished the Mish, creating Northern Colorado’s premiere outdoor amphitheater while developing a beer, food and craft cocktail menu based on the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. Some of the country’s most acclaimed artists like Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bob Weir, Ziggy Marley, Built to Spill and Band of Horses have all graced the stage.
“This Mishawaka is art,” Grant reflected. “People may discover Luna Mothra as a delightful surprise or they may come from many miles away just to see her. We can’t wait to see their reactions and have them share in the magic of this place.”