Castle Rock Gets Visual with Its Art Scene

Brushes with greatness are becoming commonplace throughout the Castle Rock art scene.
Case in point is the annual Front Range Art Exhibit, a one-month extravaganza that showcases top artwork by local citizens. The event has become so well regarded that the National Arts Program® serves as co-sponsor, along with the Greater Castle Rock Art Guild.
The exhibition of talent occurs each year from early October to early November, with the works of 110 top local artists on display. The National Arts Program® contributes a substantial amount of prize money to winners in five categories, plus an additional $4,000 in art scholarships.
“The first-, second- and third-place winners in the divisions of children, teens, amateurs, intermediates and professionals – they all receive prize money,” says Dix Morris, founder and president of the Greater Castle Rock Art Guild. “The month-long event showcases the mediums of painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and photography.”
Front Range Art Exhibit is staged at Philip S. Miller Library, and artists can participate if they live within a 35-mile radius of Castle Rock.
Speaking of the library, the east side of its building now features an 18-foot by 24-foot mural titled The Life of Castle Rock, designed by international artist Malcolm Farley.
Also regarding visual arts, the town is home to an annual Castle Rock Artfest that enters its 21st year in 2010. The mid-September weekend festival attracts 25,000 art enthusiasts who appreciate the works of 170 artists from across the country.
In addition, during the last decade the town has seen the creation of the Castle Rock Public Art Commission, comprising seven community members appointed by the town council.
“Also evidencing the growing art scene is the continued expansion of the Greater Castle Rock Art Guild,” Morris says. “It had a handful of members in 2006 and now has more than 200 members. We oversee a lot of eye-pleasing projects.”
One such project is a sculpture titled Cooling the Dogs, which graces the Craig & Gould entry into town at Fifth and Gilbert streets. Artist Craig Bergsgaard sculpted the 1,300-pound bronze sculpture that depicts a seated cowboy shaking out his boot, with a horse at his side.
“It shows sacrifice, survival and someone doing what he wants to do – which is what life is all about,” Bergsgaard says. “It celebrates a person willing to sacrifice some things in order to achieve others, which is kind of how Castle Rock became the fine community that it is.”
Bergsgaard, a resident of Windsor, Colo., says he was honored to sculpt the town’s entryway landmark.
“It really shows the mark of a progressive community when they start bringing art in,” he says.
Written by Kevin Litwin
Front Range