Alpine's Main Street Art
Worldwide audience for bronze sculptures.
While some may think northern Utah County an unlikely center for the arts, an Alpine, Utah-based community of artists has been creating internationally distributed sculptures and paintings for the past 25 years. Main Street Art has placed more than 200 statues throughout the U.S. and the world, including countries like Japan, Denmark and Great Britain.
The company promotes the work of several artists and manages the creation, production, installation and restoration of bronze statues and other artworks. The pieces range from small tabletop figures to larger-than-life sculptures.
Its team includes renowned sculptors Dennis Smith, Kraig Varner, Steve Streadbeck and Scott Streadbeck (Steve’s nephew). Each creates their own work but gives feedback to and bounces ideas off the others.
“You look through all time and you think of great artistic movements like the Impressionists,” Scott Streadbeck says. “Manet, Monet, Cassatt, they all knew each other and associated with each other. We have that here. We’re able to get feedback and help, so it’s an incredible environment.”
Forging a Legacy
Main Street Art began when Steve Streadbeck asked his brother Brian to help him sell his work. Later, the two bought a failing foundry with their brother Gary so Steve would have a place to cast his sculptures.
Eventually, they moved both Main Street Art and the foundry, Adonis Bronze (AdonisBronze.com), to an 11-acre site in Alpine. That location now houses artist studios, an art gallery, reception center and the foundry. The artists and production crew benefit from the close proximity to each other during the casting process. This is unique since many sculptors cannot work close to their foundry.
“So many people are involved in the production process,” Scott Streadbeck says. “They take the sculpture apart and put it back together. The original work is destroyed in the process so it helps to check it every step of the way.”
Steve and Scott Streadbeck, Varner, and Smith have produced work that resides in corporate and government buildings, gardens and private collections. Some of their more famous works include the “Monument to Women” sculptures in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Brigham Young statue in the Utah Capitol and the “In the Family Circle” bronze figures outside the Provo City Center LDS Temple. There is even an airship sculpture in the Salt Lake International Airport.
Recent Main Street Art sculptures include a pioneer family for the Legacy Center recreation facility in Lehi, Utah, and a larger-than-life chemist that is headed to Norway. The artists are available to anyone who wants original artwork, says Todd Wynder, Main Street Art general manager.
Wynder pairs a client with an artist whose work matches the client’s desired style. The artist then works closely with the client to make small models and capture his or her vision. The entire process from conceptual idea to finished bronze statue takes about nine months.
“One of the fun things is to watch people take an idea and help them bring it to life,” Wynder says. “We’re one of the best sculpting crews in Utah and, actually, in the entire U.S. We really do create things that bring people to tears and create a personal connection.”