The Loveland Visual Arts Commission is taking public comment on plans to accept two sculptures from the High Plains Arts Council, which that group will donate using funds from the annual Sculpture in the Park show.
The pieces, which feature embracing individuals in Utah artist Jason Millward’s “Sharing Strength,” and a bighorn sheep in James Marsico’s “Mountain Royalty,” are made of bronze and have been vetted by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council to be suited for the Colorado elements, with no safety or other concerns for their installation. The two art juries from this organization determined that these pieces were best suited for Benson Sculpture Garden thematically and practically.
“Our goal is simply to put on a fabulous show every year and then donate pieces back to Benson Sculpture Garden. So that’s kind of our limited purview,” Kristi Elyce, executive director for the High Plains Arts Council.
Both artists participated in the Sculpture in the Park event in 2019, and were invited to submit their pieces for consideration as this year’s donation. While in the past the council has donated several smaller pieces, these two bronze sculptures were selected as the best option for the gardens this year due to funding, future plans for sculptures as well as the value and larger size of the two works.
The VAC reviewed the two latest donations at its Jan. 2 meeting, and the public is invited to present questions or comments on the works before the VAC votes on whether to accept the pieces. If approved, the High Plains Art Council will meet to find the best location at Benson Sculpture Garden to place each piece and will make plans to place them in June.
Public Art Manager Suzanne Janssen said, “We like to reach out to the public, and we like to get public feedback, and it’s also a wonderful way for the public to see the generous donations that are coming from the High Plains Arts Council.” She has been working in public art in Northern Colorado for over 15 years, and heads the Visual Arts Commission as well as the city’s Art in Public Places Program.
Marsico’s bronze sculpture of a bighorn sheep is reminiscent of much of his work, which draws from a love of wildlife and the outdoors surrounding his Powell, Wyoming home. For Millward, his abstract flowing piece captures his love of traditional sculpture as well as a bronze patina facsimile of the stone that inspires him.
Millward’s artist statement for the 2019 Sculpture in the Park show said, “Through his formal college and master’s degree training, Jason found a passion and connection to marble and alabaster. These works include stylized and abstracted figures and other forms from nature.”
For the first three years after a donation is made, the High Plains Arts Council is responsible for the maintenance of the pieces. Afterward, the city uses funds from the Arts in Public Places Funds to ensure the sculptures remain in good condition.
“I just think it’s a great process and we usually end up with really great results in the park,” Elyce said.
For information about this and other public art projects that the city is working on, visit lovelandpublicart.org, or Janssen is available at Suzanne.Janssen@cityofloveland.org or 962-2495. Comments, questions and concerns about the two donated sculptures can be emailed to Janssen until noon on Jan. 31.
To comment on the two sculptures the Visual Arts Commission is considering accepting, email Suzanne Janssen at Suzanne.Janssen@cityofloveland.org by noon Friday, Jan. 31. The Visual Arts Commission will make its decision at its next meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland.