Douglas County's commitment to art is easy to see. Just look on the street corner, in a park or at the city's entrance.
Art Encounters began its first countywide exhibit in 2008 with 14 sculptures. The year-long exhibit placed selected works in various media and styles in highly visible areas throughout Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker.
The goals of the program are to promote interest in art, develop community pride and draw visitors to the retail or civic areas where the works are displayed.
The Art Encounters program was launched by the Douglas County Cultural Council, which set aside a portion of funding to be distributed to three communities. Castle Rock's funding came from the Philip S. Miller Trust.
In addition to adding beauty and interest to the locations where art is displayed, the program benefits the artists. Along with exposure of their works, selected artists receive $500 and the opportunity to have their work purchased while it remains on display.
To further engage the community in the public art program, Art Encounters created a People's Choice Award that allowed the public to vote for their favorite entry in the program.
The 2009 People's Choice Award winner was artist Anthony Guntren for his painted metal sculpture, Impulse. The work is exhibited at Southridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch.
The Guide by artist Christopher Romero was selected for display in Festival Park in Castle Rock. Also on display in Festival Park are two sculptures by artist Joshua Wiener, who also has other art on display in Castle Rock. He was commissioned to create a sculpture and a sign for Gemstone Park at Maher Ranch.
Check out more on the arts in Castle Rock, CO.