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Art for the Masses

Park City is a town that embraces public art. Locals and visitors alike are pleasantly surprised, inspired and amused by impromptu sightings of the more than 25 murals, photographs, sculptures and carvings in place throughout town. In fact, our city government is so committed to love of public art that it has set aside $200,000 for additional works in the near future.

While out browsing, check out these latest pieces of art meant to bring something unique to your day: At the entrance to the Wallin Barn on Route 224, adjacent to the Swaner Nature Preserve, stands a piece called the “Rising of the Phoenix,” by Helln Heaven (pronounced “Helen Haven”). Installation of this donated sculpture was arranged by Brian Hess, former executive director of the Park City/Summit County Arts Council, whose sudden death shocked the community last fall. “We dedicated this piece in Brian’s memory,” says Peter Roberts, chairman of the Arts Council’s Public Art Advisory Board. Roberts says the artist meant to convey an abstraction of a phoenix rising from the ashes. “That’s appropriate to Park City’s history because we’ve had two huge fires here, and Park City has certainly risen again. And it also evokes a bird taking flight, which is appropriate for the Swaner Nature Preserve as a haven for sandhill cranes,” he says.

Closer to Kimball Junction, a large and handsome pair of bronze cranes marks the entry of the new Redstone Shopping Center on Route 224. Lou Swain, a partner in the development company Boyer and Company, called Summit County’s requirement for incorporating public art on this commercial property “mutually beneficial.”

Driving farther through the shopping center, you can see three of Redstone Gallery’s sculptures spilling out onto the flared-apron sidewalk. Most notable is a stainless steel copper-clad frog on a bench by Atlanta artist Beau Smith. Whimsical bronze sculptures of a family riding bicycles and another on stilts sit just outside the new Field House and the Zion’s Bank at Redstone.

In Park City proper, three photographic exhibits of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games have been installed at City Hall and on Main Street. An idea born of our Olympic Legacy Task Force, the miniature towers document the role of the town’s Olympic venues and the City’s efforts to stage the Games. By 2006, these outdoor exhibits will migrate to the large town plaza scheduled for construction on Swede Alley at the base of City Hall.

Lola and metal sculptor Zafod Beatlebrox raise art on the Aztec Art Ranch.

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