In his fourth edition of “The 100 Best Art Towns in America” (published in 2005), Author John Villani named Loveland the number two destination behind Santa Fe, New Mexico. With 563 public works valued at approximately $12.3 million in the city’s collection, three major art shows each year, three of North America’s largest foundries, two sculpture parks showcasing over 250 pieces, and a dedicated public arts program, Villani was definitely in the know. Take a page from his book and visit these locations for a deep dive into Loveland’s art scene.
Benson Sculpture Garden
2908 Aspen Dr., Loveland
Benson Sculpture Garden has provided a beautiful and unique outdoor setting for showcasing sculpture since 1985. Currently, there are 178 sculptures by world renowned artists on permanent display across 10 beautiful acres, with four new sculptures arriving in July, bringing the total to 182. This “public treasure” annually draws tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe and has 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.” Benson Sculpture Garden is home to the renowned Sculpture in the Park event each August. The park is open to the public year-round and there’s no cost for admission; sidewalks are handicap accessible.
Chapungu Sculpture Park
Opened in 2007, Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra in Loveland is a one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibit featuring 82 monumental stone sculptures from Zimbabwean artisans (called Shona Sculpture) displayed across 26 acres of natural and landscaped gardens. The sculptures are hewn by hand from solid Zimbabwean rock, and the park is currently the largest of its kind in the world. Take the self-guided walking tour, pack a picnic and dine among these unique works of art, and enjoy the surrounding botanical gardens and birdsong. The walking park is handicap accessible and admission is free. Chapungu is open to the public daily 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Love Lock Sculptures
With a name like LOVEland, a visit wouldn’t be incomplete without locking your love on one of the two local love lock sculptures. The LOVE sign, located at the Loveland Visitor’s Center, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Buy a lock and engrave it for free inside the Visitor’s Center. The second sculpture, shaped like a heart, lives at Lake Loveland with the majestic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Be sure to grab your lock at the Visitor’s Center before heading out to the lake. When you post your photos on social media, tag us for a chance to be featured! #Visitloveland #lovelandlovelocks
Loveland’s public art scene is thriving. Check out the following murals located throughout town:
- “Art Tools” by J.C. Milner (in the alley behind Artworks Loveland)
- Lovecraftian octopus mural (The actual title of this Mural is Unknown by HH Little Sky) (northside of Dark Heart Coffee)
- “Little Piece of My Heart” (The actual title of this Mural is Unknown by Mike McPuff) (eastside corner of 4th Street and Jefferson Ave.)
- “Ladyface” by Wildrose Hamilton (Alley-facing wall of The Gressiwick)
- “My Favorite Things” by DAAS (The Foundry parking structure exterior)
- “Beettown” by J.C. Milner (5th street; in-between Loveland Museum and Beet Education Center)
- “Lady Day” by Sofia Ramirez (423 N. Cleveland Avenue northside of Black and Blues Music and Brews)
- “Celebration of Music” by Morgan Gray (Alleyway E 4th Street)
- “Madre Natura” by Don Rimx (corner of 5thand Cleveland on the Beet Education Center)
- “Tree Swing at Chambers” Interactive Mural by Art2ya – Cindy Kittinger (119 E 5th Street – Chambers Plumbing and Heating)
- “Elsie the Cow” by Ines (Cleveland Station – 5th Street)
Self-guided public art tour
Download the Otocast public art app (available through the Apple or Google app stores) and take a virtual art tour of 20 of Loveland’s notable downtown sculptures, including art at the Civic Center, Foundry and on East Fourth and Fifth Streets. Learn about each sculpture’s location, listen to artist interviews, and see photos of each piece. The Art In Public Places program was created in 1985, after the City of Loveland passed an ordinance designating 1% of the city’s large capital projects exceeding $50,000 to “the purchase, display, and ongoing maintenance of art.” More than three decades later, Loveland’s public art collection has grown to include more than 560 pieces.
503 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland
Founded in 1937, the Loveland Museum is an art and history museum that presents rotating and permanent exhibits, family-friendly events, classes, lectures, and other programming opportunities. The museum recently acquired The Beet Education Center, adjacent to the museum, for history and art classes, and a new exhibit on the history of firefighting presented by retired Loveland firefighters open seasonally.
City with HeART™ program
Discover the heaps of fiberglass hearts – each 5-feet tall and 4.5-feet wide – “hidden” in Loveland. The City with HeART program is supervised by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and each heart is individually sponsored, named, and designed by an artist. See the 42nd heart, just unveiled in February 2023, at the new Capstone at Centerra assisted living center in Loveland. Created by renowned local artist Jane DeDecker, the heart depicts a field of sunflowers on the front with quotes about love. A bronze sculpture of a little girl holding a love letter in her hands stands in front of the sculpture. Download or pick up a HeART map at the Loveland Visitor’s Center and hunt for all area HeARTs to your heart’s content.
Art in Public Places
Loveland’s Art in Public Places program is the result of vision, hard work and collaboration to create a sense of place and purpose, from sculpture on the way to the grocery store, to art in residential neighborhoods, parks and playgrounds. The city allows and embraces art in rights-of-way, parks, infrastructure projects and city buildings. Loveland’s public art collection is unique; 69 percent of the value of the collection has been donated by individual artists, community organizations and private donors. Seven new pieces of art (available for purchase) are currently hanging in the Loveland Library’s Central Galleria now through Feb. 2024. This year’s installation also includes interactive poetry written by seven local poets inspired by the seven works of art. Enjoy the nine new sculpture installations along 4th street in downtown Loveland as part of the Art Advocacy Project 3D. The temporary sculptures will be on display for two years.