The Loveland High Plains Arts Council
The Loveland High Plains Arts Council (LHPAC), a private non-profit organization, was established in 1984 for the purpose of promoting sculptural arts for the cultural and economic benefit of the entire community. The organization is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by hundreds of extraordinary community volunteers. The main focus of LHPAC continues to be the organization and sponsorship of the annual Sculpture in the Park show and sale.
Loveland has been described as "a sweetheart city which has a love affair with the arts". Art seems to be part of the city's heritage and over the years, the Loveland High Plains Arts Council has been the major source of energy behind the evolution of the visual arts, particularly sculpture, in Loveland.
In 1984, a group of five Loveland sculptors, George Lundeen, Dan Ostermiller, George Walbye, Fritz White, and Hollis Williford, together with representatives of the City of Loveland, the Chamber of Commerce and a few interested citizens fostered the idea of a sculpture show in Benson Park. They envisioned the outdoor exhibition and sale as a unique environment for sculptors from across the country to showcase their work as well as a way to generate funding for a sculpture garden. The City of Loveland designated Benson Park as the site for the sculpture garden and in 1985, it became a reality.
The first annual Sculpture in the Park show and sale was held in 1984, with fifty local artists participating. Two thousand people attended the show and purchased $50,000 worth of sculpture. With the addition of new participating artists each year, the show has grown from a primarily representational western bronze exhibit into a more diversified display of sculpture. Over the years, Sculpture in the Park has expanded its diversity of work to include representational, stylized, and abstract sculpture in a variety of mediums including bronze, stone, wood, ceramic, glass, metal, and mixed media. One thousand two hundred and thirty-eight different artists have participated in the show. Sculpture in the Park is now the largest outdoor juried sculpture show in the country with annual sales over $1 million.
Next year, the 35th annual Sculpture in the Park show and sale will feature approximately 160 artists. Included in the show is a "Take Home a Piece of the Park" display which features maquette sized editions of some of the sculpture pieces that are on permanent display in Benson Sculpture Garden. These pieces are available for sale throughout the show and during the year. We also feature a Silent Auction tent throughout the weekend with pieces available to bid on from many of our artists.
Each year the proceeds generated from the annual Sculpture in the Park show go towards the purchase of sculpture for Benson Sculpture Garden as well as towards the funding of park capital improvements and landscaping. To date, one hundred and fifty eight pieces of sculpture valued at over $4 million grace the grounds of the park. Four new pieces were added to the collection in July of 2017.
This extraordinary collection of art is situated around a lagoon in the midst of trees, flowers, and natural habitat areas. With the Rocky Mountains as a majestic backdrop, Benson Sculpture Garden has been described as "one of the most unique sculpture gardens in the nation". It has also been recognized as “one of the 200 most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world" and as "one of the 20 must-see contemporary art sites across the USA". It is open to the public throughout the year and annually this "public treasure" draws tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. We could not be more proud!
35th Annual Show
August 10th, 11th and 12th, 2018
Friday 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. – Patron Party
Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.