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Carving a niche for art

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Art for the Mountain Community installs 14 sculptures throughout Evergreen, Kittredge

By Deb Hurley Brobst

Sherrill Stone was nervous.

The Carbondale sculptor looked away as her half-ton Italian marble sculpture was tied up and moved via crane from the bed of her pickup to its new location in Kittredge Community Park.

“I hate to watch this part,” she said.

Representatives from Art for the Mountain Community secured the yellow straps on Saturday morning, preparing to place the artwork on its pedestal for a year as part of the 2013-14 Sculpture Walk.

Stone’s sculpture, “Gorgeous Gertie Grouper,” is one of 14 sculptures placed in Bergen Park, downtown Evergreen and Kittredge. It’s an annual sculpture-placing event, culminating almost six months of winnowing entrants to determine those worthy of being on display for 12 months.

“Gorgeous Gertie” is about 2 feet high and 4 feet long. It is a cartoon-like sculpture, sure to please the youngsters and their parents who frequent the park.

This is the first year that Art for the Mountain Community has placed a sculpture in Kittredge.

And this is the first time Stone has been selected to be in Evergreen’s Sculpture Walk, so she’s very excited.

Those wanting to learn more about a sculpture can call a phone number listed on the pedestal for additional information. Art for the Mountain Community also has placed 29 permanent sculptures around Evergreen since its inception in 1999.

“This is the coolest thing,” said Peter Eggers, a board member who helped put up some of the sculptures. “Art for the Mountain Community started out so slow and quiet, and it’s such a great event for those connected with it, and it’s such a great event for the community.”

He said the organization doesn’t advertise when it puts up the new sculptures, but people still come to watch.

It’s a two-day project to change out the sculptures each year. On Friday, the sculptures from the 2012-13 Sculpture Walk were removed. On Saturday morning, the new sculptures were placed either with the help of a crane or of a “hunky guy team” — as Art for the Mountain Community president Gail Frasier put it — who lifted the large sculptures into place.

Two welders helped secure the pieces either to pedestals or to the ground, and Evergreen Crane Service provided the expert crane operators to ensure the pieces arrived safely at their destinations.

While most of the sculptors are from Colorado, others are from wide-ranging places such as California, Arizona, Virginia, Montana, Connecticut and South Carolina. The media they use are just as wide-ranging: bronze, metal, clay, marble, wood and plastic.

The sculptures are for sale, ranging in price from $2,600 to $33,000.

Charlotte Zink of Berthoud spent a bit of time admiring her sculpture “Parts,” which stands outside Evergreen Crafters in downtown Evergreen. Her sculpture of a woman is made of steel and clay, and stands more than 6 feet tall.

Zink said it is one of a series of five sculptures based on the theme that all women are made of many parts and are part of something bigger.

Sculptor Marissa Carlisle drove 1,250 miles with her sculpture, “Returning … Dream Journey,” from her home in Napa, Calif., to Evergreen.

The 14-foot-tall sculpture hung precariously in the air as the crane, with the aid of a half-dozen volunteers, moved it into its spot at Evergreen Lake.

The abstract work, according to Carlisle, harkens to the Aboriginal walkabouts. It reflects when the conscious and the dream states of mind merge, creating a feeling of contentment and well-being.

Carlisle said she’s been impressed with everyone involved with Art for the Mountain Community.

“The crew has been so supportive,” she said. “An artist never knows how they will be treated, but everyone here supports artists wholeheartedly.”

Seven-year-old Mason Whitley was walking around Evergreen Lake with her mom, Nichole, and they stopped to watch the group set up Carlisle’s sculpture.

Mason, who attends Wilmot Elementary School, said it was cool to watch the process, and she thought the sculpture looked like “a birdie with three legs.” Mason said she’s done some clay sculpture in school, and she likes art.

Nichole also was impressed with the new sculpture at the lake.

“I like how they’re adding something to the lake,” she said. “It’s good for bringing more people here.”

For her part, Stone is thrilled the “Gorgeous Gertie Grouper” will grace Kittredge Community Park for a year, but she’s already looking forward to next year’s selection process.

“I have these pieces of marble, two flat and one round,” Stone said. “Every time I looked at them, all I saw was fish. Sculpting fish is a new form for me.”

Next up for Stone: Handsome Harry Halibut, and she hopes he will replace Gertie in the 2014-15 Sculpture Walk.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.