Article written by Barb Burns in collaboration with LGC

Fall brought fun ghosts, pumpkins, and turkeys to Lakewood. And as Christmas approaches, we are enjoying holiday lights, wreaths, bows, and trees. We decorate the walls of our homes and businesses with lovely paintings and photographs, and  our favorite knick-knacks adorn our tables and shelves.

Why bother? Because art draws us in, connects us to family, nature, and favorite memories.  Art turns ordinary places into extraordinary points of focus. We all enjoy the WOW! that artwork brings us.

Lakewood is, by all measures, a lovely community. Golfers and non-golfers alike savor the undulating grassy berms of our beautiful golf course. Our lakes reflect the colors of the sky and provide a peaceful escape from the craziness of the world.  Neighbors take pride in maintaining and landscaping their properties.

In 2008, Lakewood Garden Club members decided to help bring Lakewood an extra pop of “WOW!”  And with LPOA support,  the Lakewood Garden Club Beautification Committee was formed. Their goa was to bring outdoor art to Lakewood. For over fifteen years, these garden club volunteers have annually organized successful fund-raisers, selected and worked with nationally-recognized artists, and worked cooperatively with LPOA staff to plant and maintain landscaping to frame each sculpture.

Fast forward to today. Members and visitors alike are taken by the striking wind sculptures and life-size bronze creations located in the median on Lakewood Blvd and near the marinas.  Each installation enhances Lakewood’s overall design plan to appreciate nature at its best.

Few people, however, stop to think about the time, work, expense, and volunteer commitment it took to make Lakewood’s community art a reality. Our outdoor art collection and enhanced landscaping and lighting have been an exemplary example of community engagement, cooperation, and support. Thanks to all who organized and supported  LGC fund-raising events, including the annual pontoon tours, Black Dress & Bling galas, and the Snazzy Jazzy party. And a big thumbs up to club members who continue to maintain the landscaping around the art installations. A special thanks to Mark Reid and his engineering and maintenance staff for sharing their time and expertise.

The art collection did not happen overnight. Following is a timeline of the seven installations:

2002 | San Antonio artist Bob Guerlich created the bronze sculpture of two Great Blue Herons, called, Dawn Sentinels, which sits proudly near the East Lake marina. His work can be seen at the KC Zoo, Notre Dame University campus, and Mayo Clinic Foundation in Rochester, MN. Our original artwork cost $16,000, plus landscaping by LPOA.  By 2008, the installation was valued at $31,000.

Dawn Sentinels

2010 | Touching Earth, a large bronze female eagle, also sculpted by Bob Guerlich, takes flight from the West Lake Marina. Standing 6’8” with a wing span of 8 feet and weighing 575 lbs, Touching Earth cost $25,000. It is now valued at over $50,000.

Touching Earth

2013 | Helix Sail, Double Spinner, and Twisted Oval are original wind sculptures designed for Lakewood by artist Lyman Whitaker. These eye-catchers are located at the West Lake Rock.  Garden Club gifted Lakewood with this $13,800 kinetic art installation.

Wind Forest (Helix Sail, Double Spinner, Twisted Oval, Double Dancer)

2014 | Two additional wind sculptures extended the wind forest on the Rock when Double Dancer was installed. Garden Club paid for and  continues to maintain the landscaping, designed by Rose Hill Nursery in 2016.

2019 | Located in the median on Lakewood Blvd and Fairway Homes, Majestic Encounter, a 7-foot, 10-point buck, again by artist Bob Guerlich, welcomes residents and visitors to Lakewood. Garden Club’s  fund-raising events gifted the $25,000 exquisite sculpture to Lakewood. In 2020, Natural Serenity—a 6-ft doe and 5-ft yearling—joined Majestic Encounter. This installation was funded by generous donations from club members and residents of Lakewood, and LPOA provided lighting and the donor plaque. As always, ‘better together.’

Natural Serenity

Majestic Encounter

Stay tuned as this energetic club continues to learn about and implement ways to enhance and preserve Lakewood’s environment, sustainability, and natural beauty.