Show Preview | Sculpture in the Park

Loveland, CO
Benson Sculpture Garden, August 10-12

Eric Stearns, Hades 8, ceramic, 10 x 13.

Eric Stearns, Hades 8, ceramic, 10 x 13.

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Walking through this year’s Sculpture in the Park Show and Sale, visitors can see traditional bronze renditions of cowboys and wildlife next to brightly colored glass panels and whimsical ceramic fairies. Animals stand frozen in play next to flowers and plants caught in varying moments of bloom. The annual show returns to Benson Sculpture Garden for its 35th year this August with an even wider range of mediums, styles, and techniques than in previous years. It opens to the public on Saturday, August 11, at 9:30 a.m. and continues through the weekend. A ticketed Patron Party takes place on Friday, August 10.

“When the show first started it was mostly bronze western pieces,” says Kristi Elyce, executive director of the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, which hosts the event. “Since then it has really evolved to include different styles and mediums.” While there are many participating artists who work in bronze, other mediums include ceramic, metal, glass, wood, stone, and mixed media. For example, artist Kathryn Vinson creates botanical sculptures out of various types of stone. “The show is great from my perspective because I work in a different medium,” she says. “I appreciate that they are willing to bring in a balanced variety of styles and mediums.” The show also includes a substantial amount of contemporary work as it continues to evolve along with the art scene at large. “We have every kind of subject matter, from realistic portrayals of people and animals to abstract, stylized pieces,” Elyce says. “There’s always something that appeals to people of all tastes.”

This year’s show features more than 2,000 artworks by 160 juried artists from across the country and abroad, with 26 of the artists participating for the first time. “All of the work was produced within the last three years,” Elyce says. “We like to keep it fresh, and there are many works that are brand new.” Pieces range in size from small to monumental, giving both new and seasoned collectors the opportunity to purchase.

Bronze artist Jeannine Young has participated in the event for 18 years and says the positive atmosphere encourages lasting relationships between artists and collectors. “Through this event [the arts council] has educated the community about sculpture and the different processes,” Young says. “They understand the value of each piece. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t, but they still appreciate everything in the show.” Young brings several new editions of her pieces, as well as a new life-size work.

Every year, the Loveland High Plains Arts Council selects a handful of works to be added to the Benson Sculpture Garden’s permanent collection. Six new sculptures selected from last year’s event are on display, with a public dedication ceremony held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 12. Young says she appreciates the council’s efforts to grow the Loveland community through art appreciation. “I don’t think many people realize what an incredible organization the council is,” she says. “They put on the show and they have the sculpture garden, and they have really brought a lot into the community. I appreciate everything they are doing for this area.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
970.663.2940
www.sculptureinthepark.org

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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