History of the Public Art Program in Loveland
Through vision, hard work and collaboration, Loveland has created a large, diverse public art collection that creates a sense of place and purpose. Here you will find sculpture on the way to the grocery store, in residential neighborhoods, in front of banks and offices, and in parks and playgrounds. Artistic expression abounds, creating the rich tapestry that makes Loveland unique among Colorado communities. Timeline
In 1984, Loveland was transformed into an arts community when a group of like-minded individuals banded together to host an outdoor sculpture show. This modest goal grew into a thriving non-profit organization, the Loveland High Plains Arts Council, which hosts the annual event, Sculpture in the Park.
Eight years later, the Loveland Sculpture Group was formed to establish an additional sculpture showcase for artists. Both organizations work cooperatively with the City of Loveland to host two of the largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions in North America: Sculpture in the Park and the Loveland Sculpture Invitational. To local residents and visitors alike, the second weekend in August is simply known as the “Sculpture Weekend.” The shows combined bring 450 artists to Loveland. Annual attendance figures consistently range between 18,000–25,000.
Art in Public Places Program
In 1985, Loveland made a profound commitment to the arts by becoming the first Colorado city to pass an Art in Public Places Ordinance, which designates one percent of the City’s capital projects (valued at $50,000 or more) for the purchase and ongoing maintenance of art. A nine-member citizens’ committee, the Visual Arts Commission, oversees the City’s art acquisitions, donations and placements. Since 1985, several strong, successful public/private partnerships have been established.
The Commission works closely with artists who strive to interpret public spaces to add meaning and enhance everyday experiences. In this way, artwork is prevalent throughout the community by embedding itself in everyday objects, such as benches, bike racks, bridges and ponds.
The City’s collection presently encompasses over 475 diverse works of art valued at approximately $ 10.4 million dollars. Private contributions by arts organizations, citizens and artists, have donated over 68% of the value of the collection, making the City of Loveland unique among other municipalities.