Art invaded Evergreen in a good way on June 5 as the nonprofit Sculpture Evergreen installed six new sculptures in downtown Evergreen, three in Bergen Park and one at the post office.
The annual sculpture installation the first weekend in June brought artists from New Mexico, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada and around Colorado to continue the organization’s Sculpture Walk legacy that started in 1999.
While the sculptures have different meanings, they have one thing in common: The artists want to make connections between their work and the viewer.
The 10 new sculptures join the 39 permanent sculptures that grace Evergreen and Bergen Park. In addition, “Red Rover” at the Lakepoint Center and “Bugling Elk” at Church of the Cross will remain for another year. They will remain in those spots until June 2022.
“Bugling Elk” and sculptor Jeff Best received the People’s Choice Award and “Compeers” by Sara D’Alessandro won the Barbara Sternberg Award for Artistic Merit. Sternberg helped create Sculpture Evergreen.
This year’s new sculptures are a mixture of caricatures, abstract, minimalist, Picasso-esque and more with something for everyone, according to Sculpture Evergreen President Tricia Rosenthal.
“It’s a nice selection,” she said. “We have several artists who are brand new who have never entered our competition before, and we have some who love to come here year after year.”
Sculpture Evergreen hosts a competition each fall among sculptors around the country with each piece selected with the locations in mind — what will fit in that area, Rosenthal explained. It’s not a coincidence that the “Happy Dance” sculpture of two women walking arm in arm is next to Sisters & Co. in downtown Evergreen.
The 6-foot-tall bronze “Happy Dance” sculpture created by Richard Pankratz of Monument, Colorado, represents friendship — the kind of enduring friendship that makes life worth living, he said. With one woman in the sculpture having dark hair and the other blonde, they have their differences but are together in harmony.
Pankratz stated that he wanted the two women to be relatable to the viewer as they see two friends walking through life with strong support for each other. He wanted to express a dancing movement between the two women as well, so he added twists in their legs to show energy within their steps.
“I was working on a theme of people who became good friends,” Pankratz said. “That’s the stuff of life.”
Across the street next to Bear Creek Hair stands the 8-foot-tall “Light Hearted Drummer” created by Jodie Bliss, also of Monument, whose inspiration for many of her sculptures is music and dance. Made of steel and glass, the blue and crimson colors in her sculpture not only represent the University of Kansas Jayhawks but also the emotional feeling that music and dance can create.
This is Bliss’ first year in the Sculpture Walk, and she was thrilled when her sculpture was chosen to be displayed in the heart of downtown.
“I had applied before and didn’t get in, she said. “It’s really nice to have it come together.”
Nearby stands “Cloud Busters” created by Maureen Hearty of Joes, Colorado. This minimalist and unique sculpture has a surprise for those who view it at night. Hearty added solar LED lights to the sculpture, allowing it to light up in the dark.
“It’s a silent disco party,” Hearty stated, hoping people will dance when they see the bright polka dot colors shine through the large pipes.
Hearty enjoys adding unique elements to her art to help the viewer engage with her sculptures. This is her third time being part of the Sculpture Walk. The other times, her sculptures included sound as a way to make them interactive, but this year, she decided to change it up by adding lights.
The new and veteran sculptors involved in the Sculpture Walk are happy to be part of an institution that is committed to art.
“For an artist, it’s so pleasant to come to a place where the community has a core that loves art and wants to use it to increase that life value for everyone,” Pankratz said, “residents and tourists alike.”
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