This article continues a monthly series about the artworks and artists chosen for Community Corner at Sculpture Park at the corner of 79th Street and Niwot Road.
We pick up with “Three Graces” by artist Sue Quinlan. “Three Graces” features two steel and concrete pillars, covered in ancient faces, intersecting to make a “T.” Fittingly, it boldly faces the bustling “T” intersection at Niwot Road and 79th Street. The sculpture is currently on loan from the artist and available for purchase.
Artist Sue Quinlan started out as a painter, and for many years was prolific in her watercolor works. In her 50s she decided to embark on a new journey – 3D design. After going back to school to get a painting degree well into her career, she took classes to try different media and fell in love with the multi-dimensional breadth of sculpture. She said she thought to herself, “Why didn’t I get started on this earlier?”
As described on her website, “Sue Quinlan’s work explores how artifacts can help people connect with universal human experience and explore its personal meaning. Her fusion of cultural icons illuminates the connection we all share, including our joys and struggles with ubiquitous events like birth, death and human relationships” (sculpturebysuequinlan.com). She feels these themes have frequently influenced people, especially artists, and it is often manifested in their work.
Her work often features towers or poles, which reflect her themes of universal life withstanding time. Against the natural backdrop, the steel and concrete form a timeless contrast. They stand tall amongst the other statues, nature, and the passing observer, overlooking all. The ancient faces, symbols, and hand-crafted jewelry speak to the immense shared history of the world and humankind.
“Three Graces” is no different in its contrast with nature, yet in this work the pillars lean on one another. Bolstering one another, the pillars feature faces that are both familiar, and yet unknown. The ancient quality of the designs etched into the concrete pull at a soulfully historic thread somehow known to all spectators.
Now an established sculptor in Boulder, Sue Quinlan has her work in private and public collections across the United States. She even occasionally opens up her studio and garden for visitation. Quinlan said, “I spend time daily in the gardens during the spring and summer. This time energizes me to create in my studio. The theme of my flower gardens is rural and natural, which plays beautifully with my cultural artifacts.”
Sue Quinlan’s sculpture, “Three Graces,” can be seen at the Niwot Community Corner at Sculpture Park and is available for purchase.