One of the more appealing aspects of Avon and Beaver Creek is the large number of western-themed bronze sculptures. I’m an admitted fan of sculpture both traditional and modern, and the bronzes here are wonderful.
Almost immediately after you exit I-70, you’ll be treated to a herd of wild horses in the first roundabout south of the highway (within sight of the Christie Lodge), then there is the cowboy roping another mustang, and the touching one of a boy on a horse reaching over to pet a colt.
There are a number of other little "gotcha" pieces in the area. One such is a statue of a young boy holding a folded flag, a tear rolling down his cheek. Another, up in the Village features an Indian boy nose to nose with a huge bear.
Spruce Saddle Lodge, up on the mountain is guarded by a large bronze elk, and a little family of beavers. And for reasons that I can’t explain, a large pig keeps watch over the Avon Public Library.
As I said, the predominate theme is western bronzes, human and animal… art for the masses if you will. Should you prefer more edgy styles, you might be disappointed.
If you want to take something home with you though, there are a number of galleries in Beaver Creek Village that feature a wide range of quality art… some affordable, and some pieces with prices that fully reflect the quality of the work (I mean that as a compliment). My favorite gallery is PISMO (so much so that there is another review here… with pictures!).
There are a lot of galleries, but two others that left an impression on me are By Nature Gallery and J. Cotter Gallery.
By Nature Gallery ( www.bynaturegallery.com) is unique in that most of the pieces are not necessarily "created" by artists, so much as just "finished" by them. Sound strange? It’s not as strange as it seems. Most of the pieces are fossilized rocks, crystallized mineral specimens and other natural works that have been adapted for display as the true works of wonder that they are. A lot of places offer geodes and other minerals, but By Nature has far, far more. Say hello to Bogey, the canine greeter that likes to rest in the middle of the aisle. They also have a location in Aspen if you’re going there.
J. Cotter Gallery bills itself as the gold and silversmith of Vail and Beaver Creek. From the unique selections that they offer, I’m willing to buy that as a valid statement. I’ve not seen quite so many unique metal workings in one location. Maybe at a few places around the world, but not many.
There are plenty of other galleries as well, offering traditional sculpture, wildlife photography, kinetic sculpture and paintings. If you like to browse, buy or simply want to expand your art knowledge, don’t pass up the opportunity.