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Sculpture in the Park Returns to Loveland in August

One of America’s largest annual arts shows keeps Front Range town culturally dynamic for groups

By Beth Buehler

One of the first things you notice when spending time in Loveland is that art is important, especially when seeing the amazing number of sculptures around town and in Benson Sculpture Garden and Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Consider booking a meeting or event in tandem with Sculpture in the Park, the largest outdoor juried sculpture show in the U.S. that is held each summer in Benson Sculpture Garden.

Sculpture in the Park - Gathering by Art in Loveland, CO
Sculpture in the Park is an ideal place to connect with art as a backdrop || Courtesy of Visit Loveland

The 39th annual Sculpture in the Park returns to Loveland on Aug. 11-13. Presented by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, the event brings 2,000 sculptures created by 162 artists from around the world. Traditionally, about one-fourth of the selected artists are new to Sculpture in the Park, and returning artists are required to display newly produced work.

The event kicks off with a Patron Party on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., followed by the public show and sale on Saturday and Sunday that starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 or 5 p.m., depending on the day.

“Loveland has a rich history of the arts, and many artists make Loveland their home. Sculpture in the Park offers the perfect excuse to enjoy an immersive arts experience in Loveland, where visitors can also explore Chapungu Sculpture Park, discover public art throughout the city, and shop local art at area galleries,” says Visit Loveland Director Cindy Mackin.

History of Event

The fact that Sculpture in the Park returns to Loveland in August is due to a rich history that stretches back to the first show and sale in 1984 that featured 50 artists. The purpose was to showcase the work of sculptors from across the country and generate funding for a local sculpture garden. In 1985, the 10-acre Benson Park was selected as the site for the sculpture garden.

Artist working at Sculpture in the Park, Loveland, Colorado
Artist at work during Sculpture in the Park || Photo by Richard Haro, courtesy of Visit Loveland

Early on, Sculpture in the Park primarily showcased only western bronze works and has since diversified to also feature stone, wood, ceramic, glass, metal, and mixed media. Annual sales have increased from $50,000 the first year to well in excess of $1 million.

Sculpture Venues for Groups

Benson Sculpture Garden, Loveland, Colorado
Benson Sculpture Garden || Courtesy of Visit Loveland

Currently, there are 182 sculptures by world renowned artists on permanent display at Benson Sculpture Park. Four new sculptures and a new forged iron gate will be installed in the North Lake Park section on July 29, due to the more than $150,000 in revenue raised at last year’s event. Private tours of the park are available through Loveland High Plains Arts Council, and the pavilion can be rented by contacting the City of Loveland Parks and Recreation.

Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Loveland, Colorado
Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra || Photo by Cindy Mackin

The fact that there is a total of four sculpture gardens, two bronze foundries, and a finishing house in Loveland confirms the community’s love affair with the sculptural arts. The other sculpture park well-suited for groups is Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Opened in 2007, this one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibit includes 82 monumental stone sculptures from Zimbabwean artists and covers 26 acres of natural and landscaped gardens. The Great Lawn, located on the north end, can host more than 500 guests or an intimate gathering.