Recommended: The Loveland Art Experience and More

Sculpture in Thompson Park in downtown Loveland (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Tim Van Schmidt

Looking to get out of town, I talked a friend into joining me for a quick trip to Loveland to see some art.

Particularly, I hadn’t visited the Loveland Museum for quite a while. It’s one of the jewels of the NOCO art world. But not just for art; history as well.

World Inside a World at the Loveland Museum (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Currently, the Loveland Museum is showing “Three Series of Prints by Jacob Lawrence” in the main art gallery until December 31.

The prints take on such wide ranging subjects as the Book of Genesis from the Bible, the history of Toussaint L’Ouverture, a Haitian slave who helped overthrow French rule, and the bombing of Hiroshima. But what is the same is Lawrence’s rich, smooth blend of colors. 

The exhibit also includes assemblage work by Sandra Mitchell.

NOCO history at the Loveland Museum (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Elsewhere in the museum, you can see some outrageous collage art by Colby Brumit, through January 16, 2022. Also see some striking work by Javier Flores in the Foote Gallery on the lower level. His show is titled “Lenguaje Vulgar” and mixes bright colors with arresting imagery, through March 19, 2022.

But that’s not all there is at the Loveland Museum. Also included are historical exhibits, exploring the area’s sugar beet history, as well as a stroll through a bygone era with recreations of a doctor’s office, a mountain man cabin, a general store, and a print shop.

On an upper level is an impressive relief map of the Big Thompson area. Below is a model rendering of the Great Western Sugar plant.

There’s a lot to see at the Loveland Museum. I almost missed the wild, beet-themed video playing on the wall at the entrance to the historical wing. Its weird and whimsical imagery stopped me in my tracks.

A Celebration of Music alleyway mural in Loveland (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Nearby was my favorite piece of all — a glass and light installation titled “World Inside a World” by Ray Howlett. It’s a rather small sized cube that beckons with bright lights, drawing you close to look inside. There’s the illusion of a nearly infinite space inside, a colorful “world” that changes as you shift your viewing position.

After a pleasant lunch at Henry’s on 4th Street, we continued our Loveland art experience simply by taking a stroll. Within just a couple of blocks on 4th, we ran into multiple pieces of sculpture, mosaic and murals — and I’m not sure I saw everything.

On one corner is a small area called Thompson Park that features a tall relief mosaic called “Big Thompson Collage”, as well as sculptures including one titled “Shout”, featuring a dancing couple in the throes of ecstatic movement.

Close by, in an alley, is a very impressive three-part mural by M. Gray titled “A Celebration of Music — Dedicated to all the local musicians who make every city so unique”. The three sections portray jazz, orchestra, and rock bands in full color and in full swing.

Face Vocal Band Holiday Concert at the Rialto in Loveland on December 13 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Further, we ran across a realistic sculpture of a woman relaxing on a bench, an organ grinder and his monkey, then a contented looking frog, and many more murals.

This was just a quick visit to Loveland, but it yielded a lot of art entertainment. This trip reminded me that I should get out of town more often.

NOCO restaurants: I’m a creature of habit when it comes to ordering meals in local restaurants — by now, I know what I like to order at each place and that’s usually what I do.

That’s why I’m not going to pretend to be a restaurant critic and discuss the culinary values of various NOCO food. I’m not adventurous in that way.

But what I can do, though, is simply mention some of my favorite places in town and I hope you’ll try them out. Like a lot of areas of our lives, restaurants have gone through some hard times thanks to the pandemic and I’d like to lend them my support.

Here are my longtime Fort Collins favorites for take-out food and otherwise, in no particular order: The Rainbow, Avogadro’s Number, Caninos, Himalayan Bistro, Mod Pizza, The Crown Pub, The Modern Eatery, The Rio Grande, Blue Agave, Restaurant 415, Tokyo Joe’s, Young’s Cafe, Big Al’s, Austin’s, and Pizza Casbah.

NOCO Live Music: Santa Claus will be “Live at the Mishawaka” on December 11 and 12 — no kidding, it’s on the schedule.

Face Vocal Band present their Holiday Concert at the Rialto Theater in Loveland on December 13. Also at the Rialto: pianist Peter Kater on December 17 and “Christmas with the Nelsons” on December 18.

Face Vocal Band Holiday Concert at the Rialto in Loveland on December 13 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

See dynamic regional rockers In the Whale at Washington’s in Fort Collins on December 11. Also coming to Washington’s: John Craigie on December 17 and Tusk, “The World’s #1 Tribute to Fleetwood Mac”, on January 7, 2022, plus Fierce Bad Bowie on January 8, and Lucinda Williams on January 17.

Also on December 17, see the Matt Skinner Band at Swing Station in Laporte and Thin Air Crew at the Aggie Theatre. Ring in the New Year at the Aggie with Head for the Hills, along with Wood Belly.

Tim Van Schmidt is a writer and photographer based in Fort Collins. See his channel on YouTube at “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt.”

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