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Five new works of public art will be displayed in Castle Rock for the next year through the town’s participation in a countywide public art program run by Art Encounters. Art Encounters is a project of the Douglas County Cultural Council and began in 2007. Art featured through the program in Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree and Parker is funded through the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. More information is available at douglas.co.us/artencounters.The sculptures in Castle Rock are funded by an $800 stipend paid to each artist through the Philip S. Miller Trust Fund. The art will be displayed in town through late May or early June of 2018. All of the pieces are for sale, and more information about the artists is available on their individual websites.Here are some things to know about the artists and the inspiration behind their artwork.Eye Love ULocated at the southeast corner of Third and Wilcox streets is “Eye Love U” by artist Justin Deister. Deister works in both graphic and fine arts and his public artwork has been displayed throughout the Front Range. For more information, visit justindeister.com.“There is a coded message to be deciphered by the viewer that I have arranged to be read in sequence beginning with the object that first grabs your attention — the eye. Then of course comes the heart and finally the large ‘U.’ There are other paths but it only takes a few moments for the brain to do the work of solving the simple visual puzzle, and receive a simple message of peace and positive emotion that we need today.”— Justin DeisterPrickly PearBy artist Mike Mladjan, “Prickly Pear” is located at town hall, 100 N. Wilcox St. Mladjan works primarily with metal and steel to create abstract sculptures. His work features both indoor and outdoor sculptures, including garden sculptures. For more information, visit mladjan.com.“Most people think prickly pear cacti are unattractive, weed-like plants that have nasty spines and no other purpose than an annoyance. They actually come in many different sizes and unique shapes, with beautiful spring flowers. My sculpture, ‘Prickly Pear,’ was my first large cactus, which was followed by larger and more detailed ones. Over the years, I have been commissioned to create many prickly pears because of their unique form.”— Michael MladjanIron Tree“Iron Tree” by artist David Zvanut is located at Wrangler Park, 2418 Autumn Sage St. Zvanut specializes in glasswork and other found-object sculptures. Most of his materials are recycled. For more information, visit custommade.com.“‘Iron Tree’ commemorates the courage and will of the early pioneers in my local area. The Bois d’Arc tree, also known as Osage Orange, is native to Northeast Texas. Its dense, hard wood was used by Native Americans to fashion bows and arrows. Hedgerows of it were used as natural fencing before the invention of barbed wire. Afterwards it was used as fence posts to hold up barbed wire, and foundation blocks for houses, because of its resistance to rot.”— David ZvanutRosKavo“RosKavo” is by artist Kyle Ocean and is located at Metzler Ranch Community Park, 4175 Trail Boss Drive. Ocean’s works is focused on socio-political satire and public involvement, and features both sculptural and painting artworks. For more information, visit kyleocean.com.“My inspiration of this piece comes from the dichotomy of organic and geometric subject matter. We see trees in nature and generally think of them as having an organic or seemingly random form, with limbs coming out at different heights and angles. I wanted to take this idea and make a tree that was absolutely geometric in every way possible, using specific angles and lines that you would for the most part never find in nature, while still representing the idea of a tree to the viewer.”— Kyle OceanSkylineAnother work by Ocean, “Skyline” is located at Mitchell Gulch Park, 200 Mikelson Blvd.“My overall goals with this piece were to explore a new design form, on a much bigger scale. I wanted to make something that starts out roughly at a human scale, and then grows dramatically to be much larger than life. I like the idea that the public can easily interact with this piece and walk inside it, being just small enough to easily move through it and also large enough that the top of the piece is far out of reach.”— Kyle OceanAn additional sculpture, “Spirit Eagle” by artist Dale Montagne, is located at the Miller Activity Complex, 1375 Plum Creek Parkway. The sculpture was not procured through the Art Encounters program. For more information about public art in Castle Rock, visit CRgov.com/publicart.
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