Triple The Arts Love In Loveland
Loveland will be teeming with art and artists August 9 – 11 as it prepares for three different events that compose Art Show Weekend.
Out of the 100 Best Art Towns in America, Loveland has ranked as high as number two. Scattered throughout the city are sculpture parks, murals and other works of art.
Thanks to a robust public collection, sculpture is the thing that comes to mind when people think of the city. Two of the three art shows will speak directly to that love, Sculpture in the Park and the Loveland Sculpture Invitational. The weekend art trifecta will be completed by the 49th annual Art in the Park.
Art Show Weekend
Sheron Rowland will be among 200 fine artists and crafts people at Art in the Park. She’ll have handmade garments on display, each handcrafted with natural dyes created right in her kitchen.
“Most things that grow green, they’ll dye yellow. That’s something that is a lot of fun to experiment with,” said Rowland as she stood over a stew pot full of weeds leeching a yellow hue. “Everything from parsley, dill, rabbit brush, I’ve even dyed with rag weed. There are so many colors in nature.”
All those artists and their work in a central location, 29th and Taft in Loveland, is a big draw.
Marcie Erion, business development specialist for Loveland’s creative sector, said 15,000 to 20,000 visitors attend Art Show Weekend each year. 60 percent of those visitors are from outside the region. Estimated visitor spending for the weekend is a half million dollars.
“And I think that makes it unique and you can go home and say, I bought this piece and I had a chance to engage with the artist,” said Erion.
A Legacy Of Sculpture
Car salesman turned sculptor George Walbye thrives on the interactions with patrons.
“I’ve sold a lot of metal. I’ve done very well, thank you,” said Walbye with a chuckle. Walbye is one the five sculptors who launched Sculpture in the Park 30 years ago.
“I live close to Benson Park and I walk through there two or three times a week and I still can’t believe what we have done and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone,” said Walbye. Benson Park has been showcasing sculpture since 1985, with 139 works currently on permanent display.
Austin Weishel grew-up surrounded by the sculpture created by community pioneers like Walbye. “I’m severely dyslexic and losing something as in reading, struggling through school I was always attracted to art,” said Weishel surrounded by sculpture in his studio. “And that’s what I think I gained out of that; that I can do something so well.”
Weishel, a firefighter by day, has quickly made a name for himself as a sculptor. His life-size work “From Ashes to Answers” stands in Washington, D.C. a tribute to firefighters across the land. His work is among the 160+ artists that will be at the 22nd annual Loveland Sculpture Invitational.
“Being an artist here in Loveland is definitely interesting. You are not alone. There is so much competition here. But I don’t really view it as competition; I view it as different styles of art,” said Weishel.
Arts District is a collaboration of KUNC, Rocky Mountain PBS, and KUVO.