Dan Ostermiller: Wild Life Sculpture Exhibition Celebrates the Installation of a Larger-Than-Life Lynx Statue on the CU Denver Campus
The Emmanuel Art Gallery to Display Work of Legendary Colorado Sculptor, Opening August 23rdAlice Crogan | College of Arts & Media Aug 26, 2021
The beloved bronze work of sculptor Dan Ostermiller is considered fundamental to the artistic spirit of Colorado. With the upcoming installation of an eight-foot, 1,000-pound Lynx statue, his work will also be fundamental to the spirit of the University of Colorado Denver.
The larger-than-life sculpture depicts the CU Denver mascot––a Lynx that was chosen in 2013 by a student-body led initiative. The bronze public art piece brings distinctive identity and visual pride to the CU Denver community on the downtown Auraria Campus.
To celebrate the arrival of the Lynx on campus, the Emmanuel Art Gallery will display a retrospective of Ostermiller’s storied fifty-year career. The exhibition, Wild Life, opens on August 23rd and will be the first chance to view the monolithic Lynx before the sculpture is permanently installed in the coming-Benson Terrace. A celebration that will usher the sculpture from the gallery to its home near the newly opened City Heights Residence Hall and Learning Commons is planned for late September.
Capturing wildlife in an exaggerated, surreal style, Ostermiller is known by many for his work Scottish Angus Cow and Calf which is seen on the grounds of the Denver Art Museum. At five tons, the work is one of the best-known public art installations in the state.
The son of a well-known western taxidermist, Ostermiller began casting bronze and sculpting using the lost wax process in Loveland, CO, helping establish the town as an artistic center known world-wide for sculpture and metal work. He credits his father’s work and the flora and fauna of Colorado as the influence for his almost 400 cast bronze pieces. Ostermiller states that creating monumentally sized work brings a sensation of the sculpture becoming a “landscape of metal and vast surface.”
“When I visited the CU Denver campus, I knew exactly how I wanted to interpret the lynx mascot,” says Ostermiller. “I wanted this work to instill pride and a sense of belonging to a special place– and I think [this sculpture] does just that.”
Wild Life places 28 bronze-cast sculptures in the Emmanuel Art Gallery, including the stately Lynx. Additionally, pigs, rabbits, bison, and other creatures–– in forms that capture the playful and visceral essence of animals––will equal multiple tons of metal on display within the walls of the historic gallery.
“Dan Ostermiller is one of the leading bronze sculptors of our time and his Lynx deftly captures a sense of pride and stateliness, closer to an Egyption Sphynx or Greek Statuary than a depiction of an animal,” says Jeff Lambsion, director of the Emmanuel Art Gallery. “His uncanny ability to imbue his subjects with personality, grace, and presence gives the viewer meaningful insights into the identity of CU Denver. This Lynx will become a powerful symbol of our incredible students and campus.”
The Lynx will be on display as part of the exhibition Wild Life, beginning August 23rd, 2021 at the Emmanuel Art Gallery on the Auraria Campus. The Lynx will be moved to its permanent home in the Benson Terrace September 20th and Ostermiller’s exhibition closes at the Emmanuel on October 1st.
For more information and gallery hours, please visit emmanualartgallery.org.
The Emmanuel Art Gallery’s mission is to enhance understanding and experience of the visual arts through the presentation of significant art exhibitions, lectures, and events. Operated by CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media, The Emmanuel Art Gallery is committed to exhibiting and making accessible the important art of our time.