LOVELAND, CO.- For each of the last 29 years, the second weekend in August has brought some of the highest-caliber artists in the country, along with their work, to Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland for the renowned Sculpture in the Park art show and sale. With the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, the show continues to serve as a leader in the world of sculpture, evolving and refining every year and serving as resource and connection opportunity for sculptors and buyers.
Prepping to celebrate its 30th anniversary this summer, Sculpture in the Park increases in popularity each year for a multitude of reasons, one of which is its commitment to promoting the highest quality sculptural arts for the cultural and economic benefit of the community -- from the passers through, to the serious collectors, to the artists themselves.
What started as a primarily Western bronze art show -- a joint venture among five Loveland-based sculptors, the City and the Chamber of Commerce -- has blossomed into a multi-media, multi-style national fine art show and sale with an equally diverse audience. This year, 2,000 pieces of sculpture will adorn the picturesque Benson Sculpture Garden for the event, with contributions ranging from bronze, ceramic, glass, metal, mixed media, stone and wood.
Anne Worrell and her late-husband, Gene, began making the journey from Virginia to Loveland each year for the Sculpture in the Park show, specifically because of the welcoming community that greeted them. It was a tradition that began in 1987 and has resulted in a collection so grand the Worrells built an upscale office park in order to display their Loveland art purchases.
We loved being there and would always get caught up in the enthusiasm at the show, Worrell said. We were impressed with the support from the community and with how easy it was for participants and collectors to enjoy. We felt like family.
And embarking on its 30th year, the shows focus on community remains, says Show Business Chairperson Polly Juneau. Because Sculpture in the Park operates with a philanthropic mindset, weve been able to have a valuable and lasting effect on Loveland and the surrounding areas.
Proceeds from Sculpture in the Park are put toward the purchase of art for the Benson Sculpture Garden, which is now home to more than $4 million worth of sculpture. This year, three new pieces will be installed, each representing a different style of sculpture representational, stylized and abstract.
But as impressive as the actual sculptures are, the shows impact doesnt stop when the carvings are complete. The beautification of the community also includes numerous capital improvements, including a pavilion, bridges, sidewalks, picnic areas, landscaping and more, which were possible because of the revenue from Sculpture in the Park. The annual weekend-long show is also the highest revenue-generating period of the year for local businesses, and the City of Loveland takes in significant tax revenues from the shows sales. Sculpture in the Park typically sees more than $1 million in sales in its 3-day, 20-and-a-half hour event.
Jeannine Young, a sculptor who has attended Sculpture in the Park for the last 14 years, says her favorite memories include watching the children who attend receive an early introduction to the arts.
Its obvious that community is a huge part of the show, Young says. Young children who come with their parents get an appreciation for sculpture, the processes and mediums. Over the years, these children grow up and buy art. Its difficult to imagine a better-educated and more appreciative art community than the Loveland community.
Indeed, Sculpture in the Park has earned its status as one of the finest outdoor, juried exhibitions as well as one of the most trusted and respected art shows and sales in the country. And as with many fine things, it only gets better with time.