Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snow Sculpture in China

This isn't new, but I happened across a great post about the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival--filled with lots of photos.

There are snow sculptures such as the beautiful woman playing a flute (?) as well as sculptures carved from ice--including a full-sized ship you can walk upon!

The temperature in Harbin reaches forty below zero, both Fahrenheit and Celsius, and stays below freezing nearly half the year. This Chinese city is actually further north than notoriously cold Vladivostok, Russia, just 300 miles away. So what does one do here every winter? Hold an outdoor festival, of course! Rather than suffer the cold, the residents of Harbin celebrate it, with an annual festival of snow and ice sculptures and competitions. The festival officially runs from January 5 through February 15, but often opens a week early and runs into March, since it’s usually still cold enough. This is the amazing sculpture made of snow greeting visitors to the snow festival in 2003. ~R Todd King
Check out complete R Todd King's information:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum

I remember visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum as a young teen and being so impressed with their collection. It was probably my favorite museum for quite a number of years.

Well, Americans do not need to venture to London to see some of the collection--in fact, an exhibition of alabaster devotional sculptures is currently on display at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine through
June 26.
Alabaster production during the Middle Ages centered on the making and selling of finely decorated, gilded and colored sculpture to churches, nobles, and owners of private chapels. More common examples, however, were intended to brighten the homes and spiritual lives of people of modest means and are now treasured as the folk art of the ordinary medieval English man and woman. Due to this range in intended audience, this assemblage of English alabasters offers an unrivalled glimpse into the spiritual lives, hopes, fears and religious aspirations of both aristocratic and non-aristocratic society during the Middle Ages.

Whether you are interested in devotionals, stone carving or sculpture in general, this would be a good stop if you are in the northeastern part of the US this spring-early summer.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. This exhibition is supported by a grant from The Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Additional information on this display may be found here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Colorado Governor's Art Show Returns

The Loveland Museum/Gallery is the home once again to the Colorado Governor's Art Show. This is a juried art show that displays works by the top artists in Colorado. It is a wonderful way to see works by your favorite artists and also see high quality art by artists you aren't familiar with.

The 2011 Governor's invitational Art Show and Sale begins this Saturday, April 23. There will be a free demo by painter Sallie K. Smith from 2-4pm on Saturday.

There are almost 250 pieces ready for display including works from 58 different artists. Each artist may display up to 4 pieces. 9 artists are from Loveland. This year there are 15 sculptures including stone and bronze. Pieces range in subject from realistic to abstract.

Pieces are for sale during the exhibition. Any works sold will remain on display for the entire show.

The Governor's Art Show is a fundraiser for the Loveland and Thompson Valley rotary clubs, benefiting the clubs' community service projects and scholarship programs.

The opening night gala is Saturday. Tickets for the gala are $55.

3 works will be raffled off on the last day of the show.

The show will be on display April 24-June 5 in the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave, Loveland Colorado. For more information visit

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Loveland Stone Sculptor Voted Peoples Choice Award

Congratulations to Loveland stone sculptor Ellen Woodbury for winning the Arts Advocacy Project's first-ever People's Choice award for her owl "See Through Other Eyes: Spotted Owl."

The white marble piece is displayed as part of the art-on-loan program which currently consists of five sculptures of a variety of media from different artists. The pieces all adorn downtown Loveland's 4th Street.

The wonderful owl, carved from Colorado Yule Marble, is on display until May of this year. At that time the sculptures will be rotated out, with a bevy of new works decorating the town.

The Loveland Visual Arts Commission sponsors the Arts Advocacy Project and the People's Choice Awards. Sculptors interesting in applying to have their works displayed in the Sculpture Capital of America can apply at CaFÉ™ . CaFÉ™ (Call for entry) is a resource from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and is an online source for artists in of all media to submit works for shows in the Western United States

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Sculpture by Loveland Sculptor Ellen Woodbury

Loveland sculptor Ellen Woodbury has created a new masterful piece, Master of Disguise.

You can meet Ellen and see her work at the Sculpture in the Park event every summer here in Loveland. A talented artist in many media, Ellen is a former animator with Disney. She has applied the powers of observation and detail required to create film characters successfully to stone creating a myriad of wonderful creatures.

This latest piece work is a depiction of a Cuttlefish, created as a commission. It is a lovely work in Rosso Verona Marble. By changing the degree of polish in various parts of the work she is able to achieve a wonderful contrast and variation in hue that emulate the Cuttlefish's chameleon like abilities.

Ellen turned to stone just a few years ago and her success is a testament to her dedication and talent. I met Ellen while taking a workshop with Collen Nyanhongo, a stone sculptor from Zimbabwe. Since then Ellen has been to the Marble Marble symposium numerous times and has been a participant at the prestigious show in Benson Sculpture Park since she first applied--which is a rare feat!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Congrats Loveland Sculptors!

The team of sculptors from Loveland, Colorado who headed to Japan earlier this month to participate in the 11th annual Japan Cup international Snow Sculpting Competition did not come home empty handed.

While the sculpture is just a memory...snow sculptures, unlike their stone counterparts, are temporary after all..the threesome of Stefan Keinschuster, Jack Kreutzer and Sheldon James came home with 3rd place titles that will never melt in this prestigious art competition.

Starting with blocks of snow that are 10 feet x 10 feet x 10 feet (or 3 meters to be more exact) the Loveland sculptors were the only team to create a representational piece--all other competitors chose to create abstract sculptures.

The talented artists were selected to represent the United States based on the drawing they submitted. The carved and shaped the 15 ton chilly cube of snow into rocks that morph into water, fabric and 2 figures.

Congrats guys--well done!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Loveland Sculptors Heading to Japan for Competition

Fresh on the heels of the 2011 Budweiser Snow Sculpting Competition in Breckenridge this last week, the team from Loveland, Colorado is heading to Japan for more of the cold stuff.

The 11th annual Japan Cup International Snow Sculpting Competition is held in Nayoro, Japan. The Loveland sculptors will be representing not just Loveland, nor even just Colorado, they are representing the United Sates in this competition.

12 countries are represented in this competition after being selected from the sketches they previously submitted. All teams are scheduled to arrive on Monday, Feb. 7.

The blocks of snow are a bit smaller than Breckenridge--starting at 3 meters cubed (about 10 feet) but, like Breckenridge, the area is known for it's fine quality snow that allows for intricate works of art as a result.

Team USA's design will include a rock foundation transforming into water and fabric. Two figures will also be prominent in the piece.

The team members include Loveland artists Stefan Kleinschuster, Sheldon James and Jack Kreutzer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Winners

The 2011 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships where held last week in Breckenridge, with the sculptors putting down their tools on Saturday Jan. 30. The resulting works of art are available for viewing by the public, weather permitting, through Sunday, Feb. 6.

The artists compete for glory, not money--there is no cash prize for this competition. The event is free to watch...with the only "fee" being $1 to vote for people's choice, $1 = 1 vote. All proceeds from the voting go to funding the event for future years.

1st Place- Team Mexico
2nd Place- Team Canada- Yukon
3rd Place- Team Breckenridge

“Team Mexico definitely took some risks,” said Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and Arts District Administrator for the Town of Breckenridge. “They defied gravity in several areas on the piece, especially with the dragon head. The contrast of thick and thin areas created a wonderful fluidity. Additionally, the piece was covered with finely executed texture that spoke to and had a strong connection to the team’s heritage. Team Mexico’s expression, use of ice for details and overall risk taken resulted in a superbly-executed sculpture with 360 degrees of interest.”

While Team Mexico won the first prize in the eyes of the official judges, both Team Canada-Yukon and Team Breckenridge produced crowd favorites.

People's Choice- Team Canada- Yukon
Kid's Choice- Team Breckenridge
Artist's Choice- Team Canada- Yukon

Photos of the sculptures show the detail the artists are able to achieve.

Team Mexico's winner titled “Alebrije,” depicts three mythological beings of Mexican culture. Team Canada Yukon's "Spirits of the Aurora,” represents the Northern Lights. Team USA Breckenridge's “Underwater,” used the shape of the 12-foot-tall starting block to act as a frame for a below-the-sea scene.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Colorado's Cool Carving Competition Commences

The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships are held in Breckenridge, Colorado every year. The first internal competition in the town was in 1991 so this year mark's the town's 21st competition.

The competition allows only hand tools to touch the 10x10x12 blocks of snow (yes, that's feet) that weigh in at 20 tons. The competition starts today with 5 person teams coming from Russia, China, Japan, Morocco, Belize, Finland, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, Bulgaria and Canada and of course, the United States. This year 8 countries are represented by the 15 teams with the US boasting 4 different teams all competing for medals and ribbons--but no cash. Sculptors do it for the fun of it and love to have you come enjoy the process and the results.

The teams have five days (65 hours total) to create their masterpieces. After that a panel of artist judges will find a favorite on the basis of theme, style and technique. At the awards ceremony on Sunday (at 3:30pm), the sculptors will also learn which team has been selected as People's Choice, Kids' Choice and Artists' Choice. People vote with $1 donations, with the money going to help support the event.

Some years the works are melting by the time the weekend comes, but this year it looks like the temperatures will be cool enough to preserve the work. Mother Nature permitting, the sculptures will remain on display until the evening of Sunday Feb. 6.

Organizers suggest visitors come before then and watch the pieces evolve--which is a lot of fun. It is hard to see what they are doing at first, but then suddenly the work reveals itself. Very pun intended. Friday night Jan 28 ought to be a really fun night since it is frequently an "all nighter" for the artists as they put on the finishing touches before they judging on Saturday the 29th which begins at 10:00am.

Many of the sculptors who participate in snow sculpting also work in other materials other times of the year. Loveland sculptor Jack Kreutzer is a stone sculptor and one of the founders of the Sculpture in the Park show every summer (this summer will be the 28th annual event.)

Learn more about the snow sculpting competition including the best parking spots and some photos from past events. The venue is at the Riverwalk area (see map) and there are shuttles from other parts of town.

Check out more photos, information and even videos of past events.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yule Marble Quarry Reopens with Italian Ties

Good news for lovers of the beautiful white stuff from Colorado called Yule Marble (yes we have beautiful white stuff that is not snow!) After being closed for 10 months the quarry is reopening under new ownership.

Read the Denver Post article.

It seems that Colorado Marble and Carrara Marble are now linked: the new owner is from Carrara, Italy!

I'm actually working on a small piece of snow white Yule Marble right now, so I was pleased to hear this news.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stone Sculptor Works in Limestone and Marble

Local sculptor Gene Milway took art lessons in high school, but like most of us pursued other ways to make a living. About 40 years ago Gene first started sculpting using clay.

Now Gene carves in limestone and in marble--Yule marble from here in Colorado and Carrara marble from Italy.

He has attended the popular Marble Marble symposium five times. This symposium is organized by another local sculptor, Madeline Wiener, and it takes place in Marble, Colorado near Aspen every summer.

Gene has also spent 3 weeks in Italy near the famous Carrara marble quarry.

I have met Gene and his lovely wife, Gaea. While I was at their home, Gene showed me his pieces and was very generous with his time telling and showing me a variety of tools he uses in his studio at home.

Gene's work is often displayed in Fort Collins' Lincoln Center, and the sculpture shows in Loveland: Sculpture in the Park and the Loveland Sculpture Invitational.