With art galleries and museum closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, your life might be lacking a little arts and culture. And even though you can watch free ballet and opera performances online from the comfort of your living room, that still can’t replace the enrichment of seeing art live, in the flesh.
But you can get your recommended dose of fine art by visiting the various outdoor sculpture gardens in Boulder and beyond.
It’s easy to follow social distancing guidelines at these parks, too, so long as you stay at least six feet away from other visitors, wear your mask, wash your hands and stay indoors if you’re feeling sick.
If you’re in need of some inspiration, hop on your bike, take a walk or jump in the car and pay a visit to these top-notch outdoor sculpture gardens in the Boulder area.
You already know and love Pearl Street for its peaceful atmosphere and great shopping. But when was the last time you really stopped to enjoy the various sculptures on the walking mall?
There’s the well-loved Buffalo sculpture from artist Stephan LeBlanc, the “Hearts on a Swing” sculpture of a woman sitting on a bench swing by artist George Lundeen and the bear with her two cubs by artist Scy Caroselli, just to name a few.
The newest addition comes from Melanie Yazzie, a Boulder printmaker, sculptor and painter. The piece is titled “Strength from Within” and it’s located on East Pearl.
— Boulder Arts+Culture (@boulderartscult) March 6, 2020
Boulder County Courthouse Courtyard
Though, yes, technically the courthouse is also on Pearl Street, we feel this sculpture garden deserves it’s on spot on the list. At the old courthouse building, which now houses county offices, you’ll find several sculptures and statues, including:
- “Miner Memorial,” WR Vielehr, CK Vielehr and J Holmes
- “Messenger of the Skies,” Joellen Domenico
- “Arapahoe Tribute,” Steven Weitzman and Tara Brice
Charles A. Haertling Sculpture Park
Charles Haertling is best known for his incredible architectural style, which can be found in buildings and houses all over Boulder. But did you know there’s an entire sculpture park dedicated to Haertling? Located at Canyon and 9th, the garden features a diverse collection of sculptures from a variety of artists:
- “Double Arc” by Jerry Wingren
- “Correspondence” by Dennis Yoshikawa Wright
- “Chief Niwot” by Tom Miller
- “Circus Fish” by Beth Juliar-Skodje
Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra
Take a little trip out east to visit the Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra in Loveland — it’s worth the trip, without question. The sculpture garden is robust, with 80 stone sculptures spanning 26 acres. You can spend an entire afternoon here, with the kids, and you won’t get bored.
Plus, the park has special significance. It’s the largest outdoor art center in the U.S. dedicated to sculptures of Zimbabwe. How cool is that?
The garden is conveniently split into eight themed sections, so you can explore at your own pace.
Benson Sculpture Park
And while you’re in Loveland, go ahead and stop by Benson Sculpture Park while you’re at it. There are a whopping 164 sculptures on permanent display at the park, located at 2908 Aspen Drive. It’s been showcasing sculptures from world-renowned artists since 1985 and just keeps growing.
It’s such a fun place to wander around, gazing at the stunning sculptures, enjoying the wildlife at the small pond and getting a bit of fresh air.
There are impressive sculptures scattered throughout Longmont, but head downtown for a condensed sampling of the city’s public art program.
At 6th and Main, for example, you’ll be able to stare up at “Brick Sculpture” by Ken Williams, a tall abstract sculpture that was dedicated in 1992.
At 4th and Main, you can learn a bit about the city’s history with “Early Longmont” by Gregg LeFevre. It’s a 5-foot by 7-foot bronze map of Longmont’s original streetscape.
Between 3rd and 6th, you’ll find “Los Arcos de Longmont” by Armanda Alvarez, an archway made of colorful steel and Byzantine glass tiles. It’s truly gorgeous.
And don’t forget to say hi to ol’ Teddy Roosevelt at Longs Peak and Coffman. The life-sized bronze sculpture, titled “Roosevelt — the Conservationist” was created by artist Dan Snarr in 2004. It commemorates Roosevelt’s historic visit to Longmont in 1900. See if you can spot another on across the street on Long Peak!
Do you know of an outdoor sculpture garden that we missed? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.