The Bronze Sculptures of Loveland, Colorado: An Art Lover's Paradise
Art Paradise Discovery!
Loveland, Colorado is an absolute paradise for anyone who appreciates art and sculpture. These pictures are just a small sample of what there is to see when visiting this town in North Central Colorado.
In July 1999, my mother and I took an airplane to Colorado Springs from Houston, Texas to begin our 11-day adventure of traveling and sightseeing in the State of Colorado. We rented a car and headed out exploring on our own. Having some major destinations in mind, Loveland was just one of those happy discoveries that we made along the way.
My mother and I had been staying in Estes Park. On the day of our adventure, we took the road 34 East. Several old stagecoach inns built in the years 1893 and 1902 were visited by us while on our way to our destination that day. Seeing these rustic reminders of our American past was an added bit of enjoyment. When we reached Loveland we could hardly believe our eyes!
This scenic town abounds with a great multitude of outdoor bronze sculptures along with other types of art. A great number of them are located in the Benson Park Sculpture Garden and are presented by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council.
In the three photos of sculptures pictured above can't you just hear the glee in the children's voices as they go sliding down the hill? Imagine the fun the dogs are having while playing tug of war with that shoe. Does the bronze sculpture of the boys riding the bicycle spark any fond memories for you? One sculpture was more engaging than the next.
Paths lead through the beautifully landscaped lawn and pond area. Shrubs and flowers along with native trees act as artful backdrops to the sculptures of many forms and likenesses.
Colorado Central Railroad
This township was named after William A.H. Loveland. He was at one time the President of the Colorado Central Railroad.
Founded in 1877 and near the rails, this locale was an early agricultural area. Now other businesses have taken the place of agriculture being the prime means of making a living. As of the 2000 census, a little over 50,000 people reside there and call Loveland, Colorado their home.
This is an artist's haven with over 100 pieces of art on display in Benson Park alone and over 300 pieces of public art that can be seen elsewhere in town. The town has three foundries where these large scaled bronze sculptures are fashioned. Creation of those massive sculptures in the towns three foundries is a good business for the local artisans who craft them from artist's original designs.
Each August, people come from all points of the globe to attend an annual sculpture show here. Local artists, as well as national and even some international ones, display their sculptures and sell them to appreciative art lovers. Proceeds from the show help pay for the sculptures in Benson Park as well as other park improvements.
Wandering the grounds of Benson Park and other areas, it is easy to imagine what sparked the creativity of the many artists who fashioned these sculptures.
- There are numerous bird sculptures inspired by natural surroundings and the avian creatures that are seen in them.
- Horses and cowboy sculptures make sense. After all, this is Colorado where many cowboys would have lived and still do reside.
- Wild critters that still roam the mountains and meadows would be the prime subject matter for artists.
- Native Americans would be natural subject material as well.
- Waterfowl and turtles are viewed in sculpture form. Water comprises almost one mile out of about 25 square miles in this town of Loveland, Colorado. With mountains in the distance, this is a gorgeous setting.
It was a glorious day as we were wandering through Benson Park although there was a chance of rain. We carried collapsible umbrellas which never had to be opened but like good girl scouts, we were prepared.
The pathways wound through the park and the bronze sculptures were appropriately placed. It was such a pleasure taking the circuitous pathways throughout Benson Park and each sculpture that greeted us along the way was such a treat to behold.
With the smell of the flowers, the rippling of the water, the birds chirping in the swaying treetops above us and those uniquely crafted sculptures scattered throughout Benson Park, it is a park which any art lover would relish visiting.
Benson Park With Winter Landscape
North Lake Park and Lake Loveland
After thoroughly enjoying our sojourn in Benson Park, we wandered through adjacent North Lake Park. This is a 50-acre park consisting of athletic fields, courts for basketball and other sports, a miniature train, picnic areas, an amphitheater and a beach on the lake among other things. It is a real gathering point for the locals and visitors and celebrations are regularly held there such as the annual 4th of July fireworks display.
An old school house building that was constructed in 1883 and which was later utilized for grain storage is situated in this park. School children appeared to be touring that old school house and were also playing in that lovely setting.
At Lake Loveland, residents were sunbathing on the shore as well as swimming and playing in the refreshing water.
Not many towns have so much in the way of recreational activities in their midst with scenic mountains in the distance and art sculptures almost every place where one gazes. Wow! Beauty and sheer pleasure are wound together in a most lovely package called Loveland, Colorado.
Sculptures Along Lake LovelandClick thumbnail to view full-size
Across the street from North Lake Park was an art gallery with even more sculptures outside!
One could go on and on photographing and showcasing the beautiful sculptures found in this area. This next piece was found at the entrance to a subdivision.
The signature wooden carved sculpture is readily seen on the way in to Loveland from Estes Park or when departing on the same Highway 34 in Colorado.
More About Loveland
Although the sculptures were highlighted in this post, there is much more to this town, especially for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. This is Colorado after all!
- A ski area with lifts can accommodate many winter visitors just 2 1/2 hours drive away from this town.
- Carter Lake and Boyd Lake State Park are two open areas for boating, fishing, camping and more.
- The Devil's Backbone Open Space is an area for hiking and biking.
- Another aspect of this town has to do with Valentine's Day. You might have guessed that they have an ongoing business of remailing Valentine's cards with the Loveland postmark on the front of the envelope. The citizens of this town are enterprising folks!
All of this my mother and I did not know when we decided to see the countryside outside of Estes Park for one day. According to Nicole Yost (for Visit Loveland Colorado) there is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch between Estes Park and Loveland where "People love to embrace their inner cowboy at the ranch."
This town in Colorado was not only a most pleasant surprise to us but will remain in this author's memory as long as she lives. Hopefully you enjoyed these pictures taken that day and understand why I have labeled this a sculpture and art lover's paradise in Colorado.
To get an idea of the largest outdoor juried sculpture show in the nation check out this video.
Would this entice you to want to visit Loveland?
Location of an amazing array of bronze fine art sculptures.
© 2010 Peggy Woods