Sculpture in the Square highlights local artists

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Collegian | Sara Shaver

Several sculptures sit on display in Old Town Square. The Fort Collins art scene has been growing over the years, and the Sculpture in the Square event highlights talented artists and displays their work for all people in the Square to see.

Ivy Secrest, Arts and Culture Reporter

Fort Collins is home to a strong community of artists and creatives who have beautified the city in a unique and enduring fashion. Fort Collins Art Week strives to give these artists a collaborative, public space to present their art.

As part of that effort, the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority developed Sculpture in the Square. As of Saturday, April 23, Fort Collins’ Old Town Square has been decorated with new elaborate creatures and towering structures that represent the growing art scene in the area. 

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“It’s really important in life, having that feeling of great beauty or having something that really detests you. It’s really important to feel those things. It reminds you of being human because sometimes we forget.” -Amanda DeAngelis, Sculpture in the Square director

This event offers that kind of opportunity for members of the community to experience the emotional pull of art and interact with their community in the moment. Sculpture in the Square is a juried show in which viewers can vote on their favorite pieces. This kind of interaction elevates local artists by allowing them to show and sell their work. 

“I think people can connect to it — whether they really love it or really hate it, it’s evoking some sort of emotion,” said Amanda DeAngelis, Sculpture in the Square program director. “It’s really important in life, having that feeling of great beauty or having something that really detests you. It’s really important to feel those things. It reminds you of being human because sometimes we forget.”

The DDA pays artists for delivering their artwork and having it on display for a year, during which it is for sale. This process supports both the DDA and local artists, which is essential in a growing art scene. 

While Fort Collins isn’t widely known for its art scene, that doesn’t mean it isn’t present. Between Art Week, the Art in Public Places program and the several theaters and museums that demonstrate local talent, it is clear the art scene in Fort Collins is, in fact, growing. 

Pieces like Joe Norman’s “Girl Hawk” and Annette Coleman’s “Turtledove Chimera” are excellent examples of how events like this can bring local artists into the public eye. 

“I think we have a lot of really talented artists; I don’t know that we always know that they’re there,” DeAngelis said. “Part of what the DDA is doing is trying to call attention to those artists.”

While Fort Collins may not be an art hub the way New York and Los Angeles are, the beautification that’s been instilled in the community is an excellent example of why we need programs like Sculpture in the Square. 

DeAngelis developed the sculpture on loan program with her husband, a sculptor who had been doing art on loan programs around the country.

“We noticed Fort Collins didn’t have one,” DeAngelis said. “The DDA saw what we were doing.” 

A Square speckled with statues is much more interesting than one without, and it would seem attractions like these pull people out into the public and create a sense of community. DeAngelis and her husband are part of the wider community interested in the production, preservation and presentation of art that Art Week showcases. 

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Sculpture in the Square is one of many highlights of Art Week’s events. It has continued the tradition of beautifying Fort Collins and shows off just how artistic the city can be.

Reach Ivy Secrest at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.