Friday, October 10, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Art

Being environmentally friendly is important to a lot of industries.

For one artist, his steel sculpture which is petrochemical and VOC free, not only is environmentally friendly in and of itself, it symbolizes the changes made in the industry that commissioned the work.

Mark Leichliter took two years to create a 25 foot tall sculpture that represents classic symbols for electricity (lightning bolts) and water (rain drops). These two pieces now adorn the City of Loveland's Service Center--the home of the Water and Power departments.

The artist admits there were other options that would have been even more environmentally friendly, but they would not have stood up to the strenght and durability requirements that are also emblematic of water and power.

In addition to the sculptures, Xeriscape gardens will be planted and portland-cement-based stucco for finishing the walls that embrace the sculptures, all designed to lower the impact on the environment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Art Education Helps Students Learn

The Colorado Council on the Arts commissioned a study recently to assess the impact of arts education on students.

What they found may surprise people who think art isn't important for academics or for success in careers later.

In fact, students who study art do better on tests such as the Colorado Student Assessment Program in reading, writing and science. Students who take arts classes are also less likely to dropout.

Classes in the arts teach students to think creatively--and talk to the folks in Human Resources at companies and that is exactly the kind of employee they are looking for!

Bottom line, arts education has a positive effect on students overall, while in school and later in life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Artistic Realization Technologies

I read about this in the Hometown Hero, published in American Profile. It is such an incredible story it gave me goose bumps!

Tim Lefens visited a residential rehabilitation center 16 years ago in New Jersey. The purpose of the visit was to show his art to the residents. What happened changed his life and the lives of many of the residents.

These residents have limited control over their limbs, but upon seeing the excitement in their eyes, Tim was determined to teach them how to paint.

Out of this visit and Tim's determination, Artistic Realization Technologies was born. This non-profit organization now has more than 20 programs in the US and provides instruction and assistance to artists with severe disabilities so they can create paintings, sculptures, photography and music. Part of the initial funding was provided by artist Roy Lichtenstein.

The artists have an assistant, called a tracker, who actually applies the paint to canvas, directed by the artist who wears a headband with a laser. The artist directs the laser on the canvas and the tracker then applies the paint. The artist also indicates the colors to be used, the type and amount of texture and the size and shape of brush.

These artists have the vision and with A.R.T.'s help they have the ability to bring the vision to fruition. Tim compares their experience to those of an architect who comes up with the design and then directs the builder so the end result meets the architect's vision.

Many of these artists exhibit in major galleries and sell their works--the former Governor of NJ Christine Whitman has purchased a piece by one of the ART artists.

A.R.T. has been featured on the news and is partnered with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Tim has written a book, Flying Colors, about creating A.R.T. Go to the A.R.T. website and check out the work.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Chapungu Gallery Update

The Sculpture Park is still at the Promenade Shops at Centerra, however the Chapungu Gallery has consolidated and moved to their warehouse location.

Visit the park when you are east of Loveland and see the fantastic monumental pieces from Zimbabwe. You can even arrange for guided tours by calling 970-461-8020 or emailing

The gallery also has a new number, call 970-624-0000. The warehouse and gallery location is 1052 N. Boise Ave, Loveland, Colorado.

At this new location which is much more spacious you find the largest collection of hand-carved stone sculptures from Zimbabwe to be found in North America. Tools and stones to carve are also available for students and experienced carvers.

Roy Guthrie represents over 300 Zimbabwean sculptors in his gallery. Their mission is to promote the beauty of Africa through art exhibitions, workshops, sales and documentation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Daniel Glanz Sculpture

Daniel Glanz is a wonderful sculptor of nature. His bronzes run from domesticated animals like the family dog and horses on the farm to birds, bears, "big cats" and other wildlife.

I like how he captures the essence of the animal without getting caught up in copying every single hair. So while the work is definitely realistic, it is far from taxidermy! Rather, it is a beautiful, moving, sensitive representation of the feeling of the animal--their mood, personality and movements.

Like many artists, marketing is not his favorite thing. He hopes that people will "discover" his work. It is worth discovering. See his portfolio on his website. His pieces vary in size from tabletop to monumental.

Glanz will do works on commission--and he could be just the artist you are looking for to memorialize your four legged family member.