A lot of people like to say they fell into their career. But when Suezan Chapman says so really she means it â€” literally.
“I got bucked off my horse and broke my leg and lost my regular job,” she said. “And we happened to be remodeling the house and so I decided to make a mirror for that and people liked it.”
So she now spends her days layering pieces of stone, glass and copper to create mirror works of art with a distinct Southwestern flair.
“I just said I am going to try this and that was it,” she said of the launch of her full-time career making mirrors.
That career has taken off to the point where Chapman is one of dozens of artists exhibiting their works in this weekend’s Loveland Fine Art Invitational, a juried showcase of fine artwork by artists from across the country that is being held on the grounds of Loveland High School for the fourth straight year. This year’s invitational includes everything from paintings of wildlife to jewelry to glasswork.
And then there are the cactuses. Wichita, Kan.-based metalworker Richard Turner makes them out of steel â€” and partners with a family relation many others would just assume spend as little time as possible with to do it: his own son-in-law.
Turner said he and his son-in-law got the idea to start making their creations after they fell in love with the beauty of the desert southwest. Now they’ve expanded into making palm trees and say they have found quite a market for their distinctive takes on garden art, which they make by folding and welding flat thin sheets of steel into shape.
“I found over the years that there are people who collect (saguaro cacti) all over the country, even in places like Detroit,” he said. “And they like to mix our pieces in with the real thing.”
Metal is also central to the works of Morrison-based artist Mike Combs, who is at the Fine Arts Invitational for the second time this year. But whereas Turner uses steel to evoke the serenity of the desert and tropics, Combs just wants to have fun.
And what’s his idea of fun? Turning everyday images on their head so that, for example, birds are looking into a birdcage containing a person and a baseball is stabbing a bat with a knife.
“He got tired of getting smacked by the bat so he’s getting his revenge,” Combs said of the ball in the latter piece.
Loveland Fine Art Invitational
When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Where: Adjacent to Loveland High School, 920 W. 29th St., Loveland
Cost: $7; children 14 and under free
More info: vermillionproductions.com
Sculpture in the Park
When: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Benson Sculpture Garden, 2908 Aspen Drive, Loveland
More info: sculptureinthepark.org
Art in the Park
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Where: North Lake Park, 2750 N. Taft Ave., Loveland
More info: artintheparkloveland.com
The Artist’s Charitable Fund Art Auction
When: 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Hammond Amphitheater at North Lake Park, 2720 N. Taft Ave., Loveland
More info: artistscharitablefund.org
Sculptor Pamela Winters’ doctor told her she wouldn’t be able to make it to this year’s invitational after she had to have surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her leg in April. But she proved him wrong and is not only showing her bronze sculptures of figures and animals at the event but actually working right at her booth to sculpt a new one that she’s realized represents her own journey to walk forward from her brush with cancer.
“I honestly didn’t realize it was kind of a self-portrait until somebody asked if it was,” she said. “It’s of a woman who is still a little off-balance but she has that focus in her eyes and she’s heading in the right direction.”
Though the invitational is still a relatively new event compared to those that it shares the weekend with, it has already become a family tradition for Laura Valentine and her three kids. The family traveled from Thornton to take in the show Friday.
â€śI grew up in Loveland and went to Loveland High so itâ€™s fun to bring my kids,â€ť Laura said. â€śItâ€™s a good thing to do together before school starts.â€ť
Paul Albani-Burgio: 970-699-5407, email@example.com