By: Laurie Button
The Estes Park Veterans Monument will be located in a small, quiet park nestled along the Big Thompson River west of the Visitor Center. It’s been designed to be a place where people can take time to reflect and honor all those who have served in our nation’s military. The focal point of the monument will be a bronze eagle mounted high atop a tall stone base. The eagle’s wingspan will be more than eighty inches from the tip of one wing to the other. Its talons grip a sturdy branch as the raptor makes its landing.
Daniel Glanz is the Loveland-based sculptor creating the monument’s eagle. He’s designed a pose in which the raptor seems to be floating in for a landing with its wings extended and eyes focused intently ahead. Glanz is a firm believer that in any sculpture it’s the eyes that bring it to life.
Born in Michigan and raised on the east coast, he has always loved animals. In fact, he came to Colorado in the 1970s with hopes of earning a degree in veterinary medicine at Colorado State University. But as often happens in life, he found himself taking a few detours before returning to northern Colorado and building a career as a successful sculptor.
After spending several summers while he was in high school working with a brother in California, he did enter CSU as a pre-vet student. While not at all adverse to hard work and educational pursuits, Glanz decided perhaps veterinary medicine wasn’t necessarily the career path he was meant to follow. After two years of college, he spent a year working in Panama where he did field work for scientific researchers and began a career in illustration and fine art photography with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; and then he continued his artistic endeavors at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Eventually Glanz returned to northern Colorado where he’s now been sculpting fulltime for twenty-five years. There are a number of reasons why he loves living and working in Loveland: the four foundries in the area; as well as talented welders, metal chasers (for the final detail work), and artisans to apply the perfect patina to the pieces. But equally important, he says, is the support found within the area’s artist community. When he began sculpting in Loveland, he was mentored by well-respected and renowned artist Herb Mignery. Glanz hopes to repay his mentor by providing that same kind of support to other young artists, particularly when it comes to the business end of things.
“In art school they don’t teach that, ” he explains.
While today’s technology offers artists and sculptors new ways of doing things through devices like three-dimensional printers, Glanz prefers using traditional techniques. Sometimes, he says, newer techniques can lead to pieces that are more reproduction than art. He believes three-D printing is a tool, but art should contain interpretation. In addition, unless the size and construction of the piece dictate using Styrofoam, he still pours wax into his molds.
Glanz is a member of the Society of Animal Artists (SAA), the National Sculpture Society (NSS), the National Sculptors Guild, and his work is represented in eight galleries around the country. He shares a studio in Loveland with fellow sculptor and artist Sutton Betti.
This will be the second bronze piece he has been commissioned to create in Estes Park. Last fall Betti and Glanz installed their sculpture of F. O. Stanley in the center of the topiary maze at The Stanley Hotel. The slightly larger-than-life sculpture stands eighty-eight inches high and is forty-eight inches wide.
Within the studio’s reception area, visitors are greeted by a number of Glanz’ other bronze pieces. It’s easy to see the artist’s love and understanding of animals continues to be an important part of his life. He’s sculpted cougars, mountain lions, bulls, bears, elk, pigs, horses, any number of different dog breeds and birds, not to mention even a catfish full of personality. Once again, Glanz emphasizes the importance of the vision and emotion conveyed by the eyes of a sculpture. More of his work can be seen at www.glanzsculptures.com.
The Veterans Monument Committee is currently raising funds to build this monument. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution, you may do so online via credit card at https://www.coloradogives.org/EstesParkMonument. An automatic receipt and tax letter are provided. Donations may also be made by check. They should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and mailed to: Estes Park Veterans Monument Committee, C/O Gary Brown, PO Box 778, Estes Park, Colorado 80517.