Art Encounters showcases sculptures

Column by Randy Reed

Posted 8/19/11

All the signs are there that summer is coming to a close. The Broncos are playing again, the sun goes down a little sooner, and school buses are back …

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Art Encounters showcases sculptures

Column by Randy Reed


All the signs are there that summer is coming to a close. The Broncos are playing again, the sun goes down a little sooner, and school buses are back on the road. Douglas County schools are back in session, and the Douglas County Board of Education began this year with a public forum back Aug. 16 at Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock. The board holds at least three public forums a year, bringing their meeting to different Douglas County communities.

Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen made a presentation at the forum about a potential November bond election and mill levy override. According to Fagen, the revenue increase is necessary to implement the district’s strategic plan — providing students with choice and top-notch education, as well as retain and attract highly effective teachers through a pay-for-performance system. She also said what projects and initiatives would have to go on hold without the additional funds for education. If you weren’t at the meeting, you can view her PowerPoint presentation under the Aug. 16 agenda on the board’s website,

Those students taking art classes will find inspiration in a number of new pieces of art found throughout Douglas County as part of the Art Encounters program.

Art Encounters is a year-long outdoor sculpture exhibit that showcases a number of sculptures, in various media and styles, displayed in highly visible areas in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker. The project is designed to promote public interest in art, develop community pride and draw visitors to the retail or civic areas where they are displayed.

Art Encounters began its first countywide exhibit in June 2008 with 14 sculptures. The Art Encounters idea was formed by the Douglas County Cultural Council who set aside Scientific and Cultural Facilities District funds in 2006 and 2007 to be distributed to Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker. Castle Rock, which is not in the SCFD, uses funds from the Philip S. Miller Trust fund for this program.

This set of sculptures first went on display in June, and will remain on display through May 2012. There is a special reception for the program from 3-5 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Warhorse Restaurant in Parker, 19420 E. Mainstreet. Everyone in the community is invited.

To see all of the pieces, to find out where they all are located in the county, and to vote for your favorite, go to

Speaking of art, it’s almost time for the Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock. Artfest will again be in downtown Castle Rock in the parking lots of Castle Rock Town Hall and Philip S. Miller Library. This has always been close to my heart — my wife, Hattie, volunteered to help at Artfest for years and I usually have a booth for my framing business. The event is Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and children are 12 are free. You’ll find street parking in downtown and there is the large parking garage right new to the Old Stone Church. The Chamber of Commerce also will make available a free shuttle from the parking lot at the Douglas County Events Center.

If you’ve never been to Artfest, this is the year you should commit to going. About 25,000 people are expected to enjoy the artwork of more than 180 artists that come from across the United States. There’s also live entertainment, an Artfest store, a silent auction (benefiting the Castle Rock Community Art Fund), a kids’ Imagination Zone, and food and beverages. Learn more at

While at the Arfest, stop by my booth to say hi.

Randy Reed is a former mayor of Castle Rock. He is active in a number of community and regional organizations. He is a small-business owner of a frame shop, and he and his wife, Hattie, enjoy living in Douglas County.


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