The Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, Colorado is the annual host of Sculpture in the Park since 1985. The park is located on Aspen Drive and is the perfect outdoor showcase for the artwork from local and global artisans. The event is sponsored by the Loveland High Plans Arts Council, a private non-profit group that was begun in 1984 to promote "... sculptural arts for the cultural and economic benefit of the entire community.'' The organization is supported by hundreds of community volunteers and is managed by a board of directors. The council maintains a permanent display of over 100 sculptures in the park.
Sculpture in the Park is considered one of the finest outdoor 3-D exhibits in the United States. The park displays more than 200 pieces by different sculptors each year from around the world. With a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, it is one of the country's most breathtaking art exhibits and attracts thousands of visitors and collectors each year. The event is held the second weekend in August. Artists are selected by the jury comprised of experienced sculptors in a variety of mediums. About 25% of the artists in each annual show are new to the show. This focus on new artists, as well as the requirement that returning artists create new work, ensures the show has a new look each year. This helps to attract repeat visitors to the show since they know they will see hundreds of new pieces with each visit. The website for Sculpture in the Park features a listing of the hundreds of artists as well as thumbnail photos of their work.
Visitors to the park who would like to take home a souvenir of their trip can purchase small verions of their favorite pieces of garden sculpture. This miniature collection is updated each year. For the 25th anniversary of the show, 25 bronze reliefs were commissioned from artists who have repeatedly participated in the show over the years. The reliefs are on view on the exterior walls of the restroom facility in Benson Park.
Tickets to the event are $5 for children and adults 15 and older. Children 14 and younger are free. There is a handicapped parking lot near the entrance of the show and shuttles run periodically around the Loveland area for free. Parking near the park is limited so visitors are encouraged to use the shuttles. Accommodations in Loveland book fast for the art show dates, so it is recommended you book your room is spring or winter for that summer's show. Nearby Fort Collins has several chain hotels that often book as well, so thinking you will stay outside the immediate area and book weeks before the show may leave you out of luck. Discounts are usually not available at the area hotels. Options in and near Loveland include the American, the Budget Host, Candlewood Suites, Comfort Inn, Residence Inn by Marriott, and a Super 8 Motel. Loveland also has an RV resort for those who would prefer to drive in and stay in their own accommodations. Four area bed and breakfasts include Berthoud B&B, Cattail Creek B&B, The Swanson House, and Wild Lane Inn B&B. Located just 50 miles from Denver, this is a great side trip if you will be visiting during the show.