This piece continues a monthly series about the artworks and artists chosen for Community Corner at Sculpture Park at the corner of 79th St and Niwot Road.
This month’s work is “Winot Bronze” by artist Anne Shutan. “Winot Bronze” is an originally wooden structure, now cast in bronze and standing about four feet high. The piece is on the southeast side of the park, where it makes itself subtly known amongst the backdrop of trees.
Based in Boulder County, Shutan lives and works at her lakeside home/studio outside with her husband, Scott. Shutan has been professionally sculpting for the majority of her life. She originally carved one-of-a-kind wooden furniture, which she still does. In her twenties, Shutan went to Los Angeles to market herself and her works. Several introductions later she found herself carving for a master sculptor, who became her mentor.
The mentor was Dutch sculptor Jan DeSwart. He saw potential in Shutan, and she quickly became an apprentice. She helped him carve the works in his imagination that his body was unable to physically produce. Shutan describes DeSwart’s work as “having a giggle in every piece,” an idea that has stuck with her and made its way into her works.
At the heart of Shutan’s work is the gentle reminder, both for herself and her audience, to smile. To cope with the world today it is essential to open ourselves up to joy and jubilance. She is fascinated with the living quality of wood and the relationship that is created when an audience experiences natural art.
Shutan has been working with wood for over 40 years and has a wealth of knowledge about the material. The once-living foundation influences the shapes, textures, and breath she crafts into her pieces. “That’s what sets wood apart from other artistic media,” explained the sculptor in an article in the Boulder Daily Camera.. “It is organic, not manufactured. It is grown, not synthesized. Each piece of wood, each trunk, each branch is absolutely unique.”
Shutan is most well known for her doors, which she hand sculpts using tools from the 1950s. She crafts a connection between the feeling of the home and elements of nature to create spaces that are truly spectacular. In 2013 she completed a set of mahogany doors for the library at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in downtown Denver. Shutan has an impressive gallery and her works can be seen across Colorado and in private collections across the country.
Anne Shutan’s sculpture, “Winot Bronze,” can be seen at the Niwot Community Corner at Sculpture Park. The piece is available for purchase.