Story and images by Lawrence Braun

• Sandmann Valley 2020-2023
It is a cool, late August morning as I sit in a cabin overlooking a small ravine filled with aspen, spruce and fir trees to write this updated profile reflecting on the last several decades. My wife, Jeanne and I purchased this 40-acre parcel in the mountains west of our Loveland home in spring of 2020 following the massively destructive Cameron Peak wildfire. This historic property known as Sandmann Valley survived most of the destruction due to the heroic efforts of the fire crews. We now spend about half of each week, restoring the cabins and learning to become good stewards of the forest and watershed. We both love being out of doors and after spending most of our careers working in our studios, we relish this opportunity to work outside in nature.

• Keller SSK 2015 - 2023
The well know automobile collectors Arturo and Deborah Keller have purchased my sculptures for many years for their wonderful museum, The Keller Collection at the Pyramids, Petaluma, California. They commissioned me to create a life size bronze and stainless-steel stylized Mercedes SSK with Arturo in the driver’s seat and Deborah standing by for the plaza of their museum. This piece is my most ambitious large, outdoor sculpture I have done since completing the half scale Swamp Rat XXX, Englishtown Wheelstand monument for the Don Garlits, Museum of Drag Racing, in Ocala, Florida in 2020. I am currently working on a life size sculpture of Ettore Bugatti for the entrance of the Kellers’ French car building of the museum.

• Mercedes Benz USA
In 1997 I was recruited by the Mercedes Benz USA, Dealer Development Department to create sculptures that were presented to Mercedes Benz Dealerships in recognition of a variety of their accomplishments. I continued with that program for about 20 years. I’m proud to have created 7 different designs and produced hundreds of pieces for Mercedes Benz. During that same period, I also completed commissions for numerous auto clubs and automotive events to create and produce custom awards and trophies.

• Figure Studies Current
In my automotive themed sculpture, I’ve always thought that the human figure was the most important element. Those figures connect the viewer with the scene portrayed. Since the beginning of my training as a sculptor, I have strived to portray the human figure accurately and beautifully. That is a study that I continue today working with live models to create quarter life size figure studies. Usually, these studies are not destined to be cast into a permanent medium, but are simply an exercise in building my skills interpreting the human form.

• Sculpture In The Park 1983-2023
Loveland, Colorado, my home town, has been a mecca for sculptors for more than fifty years, being the location of three art foundries and numerous businesses that provide services to sculptors and a host of artists working in other media. In August, 1983 I was among a group of 50 artists and a large number of community volunteers who launched the first Sculpture in the Park Show and Sale. Profits from that show purchased the first large public sculpture that was installed in what has become the Benson Sculpture Garden. Loveland’s Sculpture In the Park which is held annually on the second weekend in August is the largest, juried, outdoor sculpture show and sale in the United States., annually exhibiting 2,000 works for sale by 160 artists. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of SITP first as an exhibiting artist for 25 years and now as a member of the Board of Directors of the Loveland High Plains Arts Council. The Council puts on the show and continues to purchase and install new sculpture in Benson Sculpture Garden which now extends over 10 beautifully landscaped acres and 182 permanent, large-scale sculptures. I am very proud to be a part of leaving my community this lasting legacy.

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motor>spirit - Rob Alen