Loveland is extremely focused on the arts, in just about every form. In fact, numerous nationally acclaimed sculptors call the city home, and you can see their work at local galleries and various community events. Not to mention, author John Villani ranked Loveland #2 in his book, The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America.
This small town has garnered attention in the arts community as the home of Sculpture in the Park, the largest juried outdoor sculpture show in the country. But Loveland has plenty in store for art lovers all year long, including art galleries, performing arts venues, art classes and much more. Use our guide to bring the arts to life in this creative, art-loving community!
Photo Courtesy of the Loveland High Plains Art Council
Benson Sculpture Garden is a scenic 10-acre park featuring 170 sculptures from world-renowned artists that was created from proceeds from Sculpture in the Park (more on that later!). The park is a wonderful destination for a leisurely walk or picnic and is known as a public treasure. Alongside its local fame, the sculpture park has also been recognized as one of the most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world. It’s open year-round and there is no admission fee — so stop by on the next sunny day!
A landmark of Loveland culture, Chapungu Sculpture Park is a one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibit just minutes from downtown Loveland. The 26-acre gardens—both natural and landscaped—display 82 monumental stone sculptures from Zimbabwean artists. From artistic depictions of family to beautiful representations of nature, the park offers various displays and reflections. Plus, the sanctuary event space is available year-round for outdoor weddings!
Loveland’s Sculpture in the Park brings thousands of people and artists to Northern Colorado every August. Heralded as one of the finest outdoor juried exhibitions of three-dimensional artwork in the United States, the event showcases more than 2,000 pieces of sculpture created by 160 sculptors from around the world. This significant event is sponsored by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council.
Photo Courtesy of the Thompson Valley Art League
A Loveland tradition for more than 50 years, Art in the Park is the Thompson Valley Art League’s largest fundraiser. Held in conjunction with Sculpture in the Park, this two-day event brings even more fine art to town and fills North Lake Park with more than 200 local, regional and national artisans.
Each May, the Lincoln Gallery hosts the National Fine Art Show. This is the organization’s way of giving to the public, artists and art lovers a view of what is coming up in the art world — offering a sneak peek of what is happening in other art places, as the show features artwork from national artists based in all 50 states. It expands the gallery’s presence in the local art community and expands Loveland’s art presence on the national art level.
Loveland Museum/Gallery began all the way back in 1937 and has grown into one of the state’s best museums. It’s also the only accredited institution in Northern Colorado. (Fun fact: only 5% of the museums in the United States are accredited!) Their collection includes pioneer artifacts and history exhibits and their calendar features rotating art exhibitions, family events, adult and youth classes, lectures, poetry readings, and more. To find out what’s currently available in the museum, check out their website.
Photo Courtesy of Columbine Gallery, Sculpture by Jane DeDecker
Both the National Sculptors’ Guild and Columbine Gallery are housed in a building that is an artistic and sculptural statement all on its own. And the structure is surrounded by the National Sculptors’ Guild Sculpture Garden designed by John Kinkade, which features sculptures immersed in beautiful flowers and foliage. The Columbine Gallery aims to champion a community of artists and serve as a bridge between artists and the public. Visit the gallery to peruse incredible works of art or for personalized fine art consultation.
Owned and operated by the Thompson Valley Art League, Lincoln Gallery is a nonprofit, cooperative art gallery in downtown Loveland, which provides a venue for member artists to display their work and provides the community with original, local art. Every spring, they host the National Fine Art Show, but if you’re visiting outside of the show dates, you’re still in for an artistic treat.
Independence Galley has been a favorite in Loveland for more than a decade. Their unique, original collection features a variety of forms from talented Northern Colorado Artists, including original paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, mosaic, photography and fine art reproductions. You can learn more about their artists and even shop the online gallery on the website here.
Photo Courtesy of Artworks Loveland Center for Contemporary Art
Artworks is the largest studio artist community in Northern Colorado dedicated to advancing the contemporary arts and visual artists. In their facility, they offer 30 desirable studios for artists to work and collaborate as well as two galleries for exhibits and programs. It’s a great place to peruse a wide range of art — all in one place. The galleries are open from 1–4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 12–4 p.m. on Saturday.
Photo Courtesy of Thunder Mountain Amphitheatre
Near the NoCo Regional Airport and Budweiser Events Center (another multi-purpose venue), you’ll find Thunder Mountain Amphitheatre. This outdoor amphitheatre seats up to 4,400 people and hosts an exciting concert series each summer. Check back on their website to see the lineup for this summer!
The story of the historic Rialto Theater begins all the way back in 1920 when this grand silent movie theater opened with 1,014 wooden seats. Today, the theater remains one of the finest entertainment destinations north of Denver, but has much more comfortable seats. The performance hall hosts music, theater, film and community events featuring both national and local talents. And they honor their history by showing independent films monthly and silent films twice each year with live music accompaniment. To check out the calendar, click here.
Photo Courtesy of the City of Loveland
Located between the Loveland Public Library and Chilson Recreation Center in the heart of downtown Loveland, Civic Center Park is one of the city’s best open spaces. In addition to its playground and walking paths, the park is home to Foote Lagoon Amphitheater, an open island-like stage in the lagoon surrounded by curved amphitheater seating for 300. This intimate venue serves as the location of the Rialto Summer Concerts and other small-scale shows!
Not only does the Loveland Museum & Gallery offer art to explore, they also offer a variety of art classes for little ones, youth, teens and adults for a hands-on artistic experience. Their classes allow students to explore a variety of mediums with their talented instructors. No previous art experience is required and all supplies are provided for each class! Head to their classes page to choose from the specific age groups and peruse the offerings for each.
For those serious about taking their art hobby to the next level, Schissler Academy of Fine Arts is an excellent resource. This fine arts school is committed to providing the highest level of instruction in the classical, realist tradition. Whether you’re exploring a career as a professional artist or simply progressing at an individual level, their curriculum offers classical instruction and enables you to pursue the subject, medium and technique you are most passionate about. Take a look at the courses, including foundational courses and certificate courses, on the horizon at Schissler Academy of Fine Arts.
Photo Courtesy of Gress Art Studio
Established in 2019, Gress Art Studio is a brand new studio offering art instruction in a variety of mediums, including oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, chalk pastel, pen and ink, charcoal, and graphite pencil. Their mission is to train and equip each student, from beginners to advanced, with the skills and techniques that will carry them through their artistic journey. Check out their classes to take your artistic skills to the next level!
We have this organization to thank for much of the thriving arts community in Loveland — namely, the Sculpture in the Park event and the Benson Sculpture Garden. The Loveland High Plains Art Council is a private nonprofit organization established in 1984 to promote sculptural arts for the cultural and economic benefit of the entire community. The main focus of this volunteer-run organization continues to be the annual Sculpture in the Park show and sale.
Artspace is a nonprofit developer behind two buildings, the Artspace Loveland Lofts, which offers 30 units of affordable living/working space for creatives, and the historic Feed & Grain building, which will offer 12,000 square feet of commercial and community space. 4,000 square feet in the northern portion of the granary building will be transformed into a sustainable incubator complex with studio space for more than a dozen artists and creative tenants. The space will feature coffee shops, art galleries and restaurants, and event space for gallery shows, performances and pop-up markets. Check out the Artspace website for more details and updates.
What artistic venues, events or organizations in Loveland would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!