The National Sculptors’ Guild Sculpture Garden is meant to showcase how the outdoors can be an ideal place for art. Executive Director John Kinkade said the garden is purposefully kept fairly natural to encourage wildlife. On that count it is perhaps too successful, at least one busy beaver has made itself at home.
“I think they must be art appreciators,” Kinkade said. “Because so far they’ve avoided all the sculptures. They’re felling these trees so that they do not hit sculptures.”
Maybe not the friendliest of art critics though, right?
Artist Gary Alsum’s sculpture of a faithful canine companion, “Can I Come With?,” was right in the path of the beaver’s latest target. Right next to one downed tree, a 6-inch caliper Aspen still stands but has some sizeable chew marks around the trunk. It could have done some major damage to the piece, worth $4,500, if it had fallen.
Anywhere there is water, you can find beavers, said Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. But art and wildlife don’t always mix.
“That’s what’s funny about wildlife,” she said. “What is someone’s pest is another person’s prize.”
Kinkade said he plans to finish attaching wire jackets to the tree trunks to keep them from being chewed on. That way everyone can enjoy the sculptures.
“Then they can just stroll around the garden to their heart’s content,” he laughed. “We’d love to see them.”