Scultpure Walk puts art on public canvas

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By Sara Miller

Evergreen is filled with beauty at every turn — the shimmering waters of Evergreen Lake, blowing wild grasses at Elk Meadow and views of Mount Evans looming in the background. To make our mountain community even more beautiful, Evergreen is brimming with art at every turn. Thanks to Art for the Mountain Community, Evergreen is an ever-changing canvas of public art that invites us to view, engage or simply go about our days in a more beautiful and thoughtful place.

Last week, Evergreen welcomed a new batch of public art to town. Twelve pieces made from bronze, stone, glass, marble, steel and more were installed in locations such as the Evergreen post office, Buchanan Rec Center, Evergreen Middle School and Lakepoint Center. Every year, the sculptures are selected by an AMC committee using “blind judging” techniques — each piece is viewed as an anonymous entry so that judges may select objectively.

This year’s sculptures proved to be a mix of veteran Sculpture Walk artists and newcomers. Cameron Vogel, a student at Evergreen High School, not only installed his new piece, “La Creazione Di,” at Keys on the Green, but he received an honorable mention for his 2009 piece, “Odd Ball,” which resided at Lakepoint Center.

Each year, before we bid farewell to the outgoing crop of art, AMC hosts an esteemed juror who selects a piece to receive “Best in Show.” This year’s judge was Dr. Gwen F. Chanzit, curator of modern and contemporary art and the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive at the Denver Art Museum. Chanzit awarded the top prize to Ken Stock of Denver for “Modern Man,” which was located in front of Evergreen Crafters. “Modern Man” was purchased by private collectors and relocated to their home.

“What many people don’t realize is that these sculptures are for sale,” says Anne Vickstrom, an AMC board member. “They are on display for a year but can be purchased. Sometimes we have businesses or individuals who purchase sculptures and make them a part of the permanent Evergreen art collection. Other times, private collectors place them in their homes or garden.”

Pieces in AMC’s permanent collection include “Planting Evergreen” at the Evergreen Library and “Morning Spirits,” the cardinal enjoying his morning tea, located in front of Java Groove and Beau Jo’s.

Meanwhile, the 2009-10 entries dot the landscape amidst the permanent collection. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy “Bob the Dinosaur,” an 8-foot-tall steel dinosaur by Lakewood artist Greg Wasil at Stagecoach Park. While strolling through downtown, viewers might be taken with the ethereal marble sculpture, “Millennia,” by Evergreen artist Marcia Robinson-Rouse. A quick loop around the ponds at Buchanan Rec Center will have you staring slack-jawed at the intricacy of Taos artist Carol Savid’s 8-foot-tall glass-and-steel sculpture, “See Through Light.”

Regardless of your artistic preference, there is something to be enjoyed by all. To increase the experience, AMC has added a new feature to this year’s sculpture walk, a self-guided audio tour. Each sculpture has a placard with a phone number. Dialing the number connects the caller to a recording in which the artists describe the art, their inspirations and some information about themselves.

The Sculpture Walk will also play a role in Evergreen’s Arts Alive Week in July. Buses will be available for Sculpture Walk tours on July 17 and 18. The first tour will depart at 11 a.m., and the second tour will depart at 1:30 p.m. from the entrance of Buchanan Rec Center. Tours will be approximately an hour long. Artists will lead the tours and share information about what inspired them.

For more information about the 2010-11 Sculpture Walk or to vote for your favorite sculpture, visit AMC’s website at www.mountainart.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.