Sculptor Fredrick Prescott's work stood above that of his counterparts at the 25 annual Colorado ArtFest Sept. 6 and 7 in Castle Rock.
His outdoor animal sculptures, elephants, buffalos and flamingos literally towered over festivalgoers.
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“We do a life-sized elephant that weighs about 4,000 pounds,” said Prescott, who heralds from Santa Fe, N.M. “Some of the stuff we do for museums can get pretty tall. We did one that was about 12 feet.”
Prescott's metal sculptures don't only draw attention, they move too. Each piece is kinetic, using ball bearings to rotate in the wind.
“Even on the big one, the head weighs 1,200 pounds, but still sways,” Prescott said. “You can touch it with your finger and that 1,200-pound head will start moving.”
The smaller sculptures he had for sale at ArtFest retail for about $9,500. The life-sized elephant runs more than $48,000.
“That's a lot of elephant,” Prescott joked.
There were 176 artists with work on display at the festival, that stretched from Town Hall to the Philip S. Miller Library on Wilcox St. Not all of the work drew crowds for their impressive size, however.
Darien Bogart, an artist from Pueblo West, caught the crowd's attention with his animal and landscape paintings inspired by his time outside.
“They all start with hiking out in the woods. Getting back to nature,” Bogart said. “I take my camera and sketch pad and get as many references as I can then I go back to the studio and put it all together.”
Bogart's original work, which transforms his photo ideas collected on hikes into brightly colored paintings, retail for $1,800 and up.
“There's a lot of color out there, but I think our eyes get lazy and we don't see it anymore,” Bogart said. “So, I try to bring out the color that's in nature.”
In its 25 year, Colorado ArtFest prides itself on being a regional draw, attracting artists and patrons from across the state and southwest.
However, local artists still play a prominent role in the weekend festival.
Greg Dye of Littleton came back to ArtFest seven years after his first time at the festival to display his latest work.
“You know, I had a great experience coming years ago and my work was received well,” Dye said. “Now I'm doing different stuff and I wanted to come see what kind of reaction there might be.”
Dye's new work is a wet on wet oil painting technique that leaves his art with a “super thick” look.
Dye said he finishes all his pantings in “two days, period.”
“I don't spend any time. I just do it. Then, I'm done. I walk away,” Dye said.
Dye's work retails for $2-3,000. He said a painting of a buffalo, one of his most recent pieces, had been drawing the most attention.
“I've been here since 1973, so I'm sort of a semi-native. It's all totally Colorado inspired,” Dye said.
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