Montagne reflects art
Visit galleries and tented art exhibitions in the High Country, and odds are you will see enough sculpted elks and laughing children in bronze – along with painted landscapes and photos of aspen trees or the Maroon Bells – to last a lifetime. Yes, there are a lot of artists in Summit County, and then there is Dale Montagne.Most people familiar with his eclectic work – sometimes surreal and sometimes realistic – know him from his public art around the county or have visited the short-lived gallery space he shared this past summer at Main Street Station in Breckenridge. Others know him through his involvement with the Summit Arts Council or have visited his sculpture park and studio.
Heading north out of Silverthorne on Highway 9, just past mile marker 113 on the east side of the road, an archway with colorful totems and silhouetted metal figures announces Park de la Montagne. On closer inspection, visitors will see the words that not only describe the park’s concept, but also characterize the man behind the site.It reads, “spontaneous acts of art and consciousness.”A professional artist for more than 20 years, this tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed former Texan has the remarkable ability to create avant garde art using different materials, mediums and styles in a variety of sizes and forms.A superb example of the unusual materials Montagne uses is seen in objects made with dicroic glass. Based on the principal of a prism splitting light, the glass has a metallic mirror effect with two or more colors in each piece, as well as a primary color, resulting in light that transforms an entire room with rainbow-like reflections.
Not content to work in one medium, this mostly self-taught artist also works in wood, metal and bronze, and often combines them in the design of his furniture and sculpture. He has broadened his knowledge and skill level through attendance at the Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, for which he received a scholarship, as well as the famed Pilchuck International Glass School and the Gemological Institute.Adding to his array of functional art are a number of fountain variations he has done for both exterior and interior use. “Fountains help almost anything to grow,” he said. “(They) humidify the air and create wonderful soothing sound.”In fact, his fountains grace both the inside and outside of his unique home. The home/studio exalts open space and pays homage to Montange’s ingenuity. Designed by Montagne and then built during a two-year period, the house is filled with natural light, passive solar heating, extraordinary hanging pieces, metal walls and winding staircases. It makes the visit worthwhile.
While much of his art is commissioned by corporate and private collectors, interior designers and architects, or for use in public space, his work can also be purchased directly from his studio.For additional information and examples of his art, visit his Web site at http://www.montagnestudio.com.Stew Mosberg is a writer and journalist working out of Blue River. He can be reached by e-mail at: WrtrF@aol.com.
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