Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sculpture In the Community

More and more developers are discovering the value of including sculptures in their projects.

Recently I mentioned a local artist who has been commissioned to create sculptures for a project in Kansas.

Closer to home, Thompson Crossing, here in Loveland has created their own scupture walk. The area encompasses 40 acres of open space. The walk itself is 1-1/2 miles and runs through the neighborhood and down along the natural area, including the Big Thompson River.

The sculpture walk features 25 pieces of stone and bronze. Rather than sculptures of wildlife, Gary Hoover, president of Hartford Development Corporation, chose pieces that evoke thoughts and emotions. He combined the art with quotes which are engraved in stone with the goal of further provoking thoughts or touching the viewer.

In addition to the sculpture area, the walk has its nature area where the artwork is the flesh and blood wildlife that frequents it, such as fox, coyotes, ducks, geese and wild turkeys. Additionally there have been placed large boulders for seating so one can contemplate the river and enjoy the scene and sounds of nature.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bruce Campbell, Creating Art from Discards

Bruce Campbell is one of my favorite local artists. He never fails to impress, amaze and inspire me with this talent, creativity and unique approach to life and art.

Not only is Bruce a talented sculptor and painter, he combines these skills with a unique way to reuse old items.

My art is created using various combinations of welding, carving, painting and engraving on salvaged industrial forms. I've diverted countless tons of material from the waste stream, and hopefully I'm helping people see the beauty and value in so-called "junk". As an artist, I benefit from the unique shapes and odd details produced for functionality (my process is a collaboration with unknown people who were unaware they were creating sculpture) which are often improved by being dented, gouged or partially crushed. I also love the gorgeous surface patinas and textures created by the forces of time, the gradual reclamation of nature.
Walking around Bruce's studio is an eye-opening experience. Old fashioned washing machines sport new faces, huge tanks become kings and queens with curls fashioned from parts of water heaters.

Old wooden gates become mystical wall sculptures.

Figures seem to appear and disappear, morphing from one image to another.

Much of Bruce's art is conducive to outdoor display. Whether due in part to scale or because of the materials, exposure to the elements can further add to the works.

By combining "found steel" and other found objects with welding, engraving and painting, Bruce brings new life to items that otherwise would find themselves either in the landfill or recycled into some new gadget.

Bruce does more than keep thing out of the landfill and save our resources...Bruce catapults everyday items into fantastic sculptures that are sold and exhibited around the west.

Photograph "Envision", Sculpture and Photograph copyright Bruce Campbell

Friday, November 21, 2008

Phyllis Walbye

It is with sadness that I report that Phyllis Walbye of Loveland, Colorado passed away this week.

Phyllis gave to her community for more than 3 decades. She and her husband George were part of the cornerstone of the arts community here.

Phyllis worked for the Loveland paper as the Arts and Entertainment Editor. She was also a writer and editor for the Valley Window magazine. She reviewed plays, movies and art events -- sharing her opinions and imbuing the readers with new appreciation for the fantastic arts we have here.

A founding member of the Loveland Visual Arts Commission in 1985 Phyllis was instrumental in developing the guidelines for the public art projects that now grace our city.

Now a permanent part of the community arts culture with an annual Rialto Theater film series inspired by her columns. The series began in 2001 and continues to this day.

But her opinions were not just appreciated by the local community -- even the LA Times was known to call for her opinions about upcoming Oscars.

Condolences to George and family. Phyllis made a huge impact on our community and she will be missed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Students Make Bowls to be Filled

I recently wrote about artists giving back to the community through the Empty Bowls program. Since then I have learned more about the program here in Loveland.

Several teachers contribute to this project, including art teachers Becky Fuchs and Anne McManus and French teacher Torie Fox. About 250 bowls are made by students at our local elementary, middle and high schools. In addition, professional potters contribute bowls.

All the bowls are auctions as a fund raiser for the Larimer County Food Bank.

In addition to this project, another elementary school's art teacher Tom Studholme says his students make 150-200 bowls. Van Buren Elementary holds an annual Empty Bowls soup dinner. They have been making bowls as a fundraiser for the Loveland non-profit House of Neighborly Service for 14 years!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Love Art But Can't Create It?

I've talked to lots of people who love and appreciate art but say they just can't do it. "I'm not creative" is a phrase I hear quite often.

Phewy...not sure how to spell that, but you get my drift...

We are all CREATIVE, just in different ways! So if you love art but think you can't do it consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe you never gave yourself a chance.

Have you tried but never taken any lessons, just thought you'd be able to do it without any training? Did you try, maybe even with a good teacher, and expect to be a master at the first attempt?Or did you try a long time ago and think that because it has been so long, and you weren't "that good back then" that you are beyond hope? Or do you think that "art education" is only for full-time students, housewives or retirees?

None of those are true. If you really want to learn to be a better artist (and the wanting is key here) then take a class! And give yourself a break! You didn't learn to drive in a day, did you? Hmmmm, maybe that explains some of the folks I see on the roads lately!

And if you still are convinced you cannot be an artist (and who says you have to be "great" to enjoy it???) and/or you love art and want to participate some how--look to your city. Many cities and towns have programs that buy art as part of the cost of public buildings.

Contact your local government and see if they have a board or commission that has citizen members. I know in our area, the members are made up of a cross section of the citizenry. There are artists on the board, but most of the members are art lovers who may or may not be able to "draw a straight line"!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At Phipps Garden Center, a sculptor teaches working with marble ...

At Phipps Garden Center, a sculptor teaches working with marble ...

There are other places to learn to work with marble, but it is always good to learn of places that teach and encourage working with this beautiful stone.

One beautiful place to learn about carving Marble is in the town of Marble, here in Colorado. The Marble Marble Symposium takes place every summer in this small town not far from Aspen.

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, November 17, 2008

Salzburg Stone Sculpture Symposium

I just read about a sculpture symposium in Salzburg...

This blog by one of the sculptor participants, Martin Lyttle, has some great photos. Check them out and see what a quarry looks like...and what sculptors look like (!)

A nice album of the experience including what people created as a result.

Think it would be nice to jet from one symposium to another, don't you?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Artists Start Young

It is good to remember that a lot of artists start young. In our community where there is a lot of terrific art and talented artists who help support art in our youth by giving money, time and energy.

We see the benefit through increased creativity in our youth. Creativity has many different outlets, sometimes it is directly through these young people producing nice works of art themselves.

Sculpting is not a common medium for young people to pursue however. It is time-consuming and hard to teach in a typical high school environment. Here we are fortunate to have several schools offer courses that allow students to gain experience in this fantastic art form.

One shining example is a young man named Austin Weishel. Keep an eye on this young man. He is just 18 years old and has already been a participant in one of the big sculpture shows here in Loveland. Austin works in clay and also has done some pieces in stone.

Ironically, even though Loveland is home to many art foundaries, Austin was first exposed to the metal casting process while visiting his Grandparents in Prescott Valley, Arizona! Sometimes we have to leave home to actually see and appreciate what we have around us!

Keep up the good work, Austin--and to all the other young artists here in Loveland and around the world!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shona Sculpture Exhibition in New Zealand

The wonderful stone sculptors of Zimbabwe are having their 3rd annual exhibition at a winery in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. A gorgeous spot for exquisite work.

Louise and Bruce Stobart are originally from Zimbabwe and have created a special gallery, called Birdwoods Gallery. This gallery opened in 2005...and my visit to New Zealand was in 2000, so I have not actually been there, but the website tells their story and it looks like quite a nice place.

If I were nearer I would definitely pop in...somehow a flight from Colorado is not in the cards at the moment, but perhaps some of my Kiwi friends will go check it out and give me a report!

The Stobarts have no connection (as far as I know) to the director of the Chapungu Gallery here in Loveland, Colorado. I have met several of the sculptors and the director, as you know from earlier posts, and we have the wonderful gallery and sculpture park here to showcase this fantastic, expressive work. I'm pleased that the Shona work is having so many opportunities for exhibition around the world!

And if the treats for the eyes are not enough, you can get treats of another sort at the neighboring Summer Sweet Shop!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gifts by Artists

I get a wonderful catalog in the mail called Gaiam. They offered a special section in the copy I got in today's mail that is all about Fair Trade Gifts.

What an awesome way to support artists in other parts of the world--maybe from India or Bali...

No matter where these artists live by supporting them you can bring some beauty into your home (or give some to your loved ones) and you can be assured you are providing a fair price to the artisan!

And I found a way for you to save some money if you order by December 2!
Order presents and get free shipping! Click on the image and it will take you to the Gaiam online catalog! Look for the Free Trade section...they'll even take payment by PayPal now!, Inc
Or if you prefer, here's a coupon for 10% off your order--and it is good through Dec. 15!
Either way, happy shopping and save some money!, Inc

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Sites to View

I ran across some sculptor friends on Facebook (I'm new to this whole part of the internet)--I've added them to my recommended sites list but check out their work.

Stalin Tafura
is a native of Zimbabwe. He comes from a family of stone sculptors. I have had the privilege of working with both he and his mother, Agnes Nyanhongo. Strong, elegant lines that at once reflect and break away from the family style. This young man is proving himself an excellent craftsman as well as unique artist.

Lorri Acott-Fowler
works in clay and in bronze. Long legged images that provoke feelings of exploration, peace & harmony. Lorri brings a thoughtfulness to her work which is often filled with joy and light--not to be confused with being unsubstantial!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Appreciating Beauty in the Moment

This morning gave me a wonderful gift--a gorgeous sunrise. It (almost) made me wish I were a painter!

Bands of pink and blue spread out over the pasture and ponds, filtered by the pine trees.

Thank you world/Universe/nature/God for giving us such beauty, and for the gift of being able to appreciate it!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Artists Give Back through Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls events happen around the country and are a great way for people to help the less fortunate.

Proceeds typically go to a Food Bank, soup kitchens or other source of food for people who can use a little help.

What makes these events different is that there are actual pottery bowls given to those who attend the event. The bowls are made by local artists, students and professionals. It is away for them to help bring awareness to the needs of others.

By making and providing the empty bowls, they give others the opportunity to fill them.

So check out the non-profit group Empty Bowls and learn more about their efforts to end hunger. This project started in 1990 and has since raised millions of dollars to help feed people. Find an Empty Bowl event near you--and take home a bowl!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Artist-in-Residence Program

Rocky Mountain National Park is a gorgeous place just down the road a bit from me. Today it was announced that they are accepting applications for their 2009 summer Artist-in-Residence program.

Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2008.

Painters, photographers, sculptors, composers and poets are among the artists who have participated in this program.

The participants give two public presentations as part of the program. They stay for two weeks at the William Allen White cabin. In exchange for the privilege of staying in the cabin, artists are requested to donate a piece that is representative of their stay. The piece is to be donated within one year of participation.

Sounds like a wonderful experience!

To read more about the program or to download a brochure and/or application, go to the Rocky Mountain National Park website.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Love Horses

And sculptures of horses!

I recently read about Pat Kennedy, another one of our talented Loveland, Colorado sculptors. He created a sculpture of 6 horses galloping through the landscape at the entrance to a development in Kansas City, Kansas.

Matt Adam is the developer of the project and he is convinced that the sculptures have enhanced the project greatly--even during this economy the lots are selling ahead of schedule.

Because of this, Matt has commissioned Pat to create another piece featuring horses. This piece represents a mare and twin foals.

The pieces are gorgeous and reflect the love between animals and the freedom and joy that we feel when we see horses--and we at least imagine that they feel!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Horses are Back

I live across from a hay field. It is so beautiful and quite inspiring for an artist. There is a small pond where the birds like to congregate. I enjoy watching the farmer work the land.

My favorite time is when the horses are here. They come down from the mountains to spend the winter. Well, my friends are back.

Driving down the road and seeing 30 or so horses grazing near my house with the glorious Rocky Mountains in the background--what a blessing that is. It really does take my breath away.

So, this may not be an "art" post, it is certainly a post of gratitude and inspiration and that is what leads to my art in the long run!