Artwork abounds in Park City Utah

Park City, a small mountain mining town, with several ski resorts has also had a long history of art galleries. With all the beautiful scenery there’s no doubt that there is enough inspiration for artists to be creative. The outdoor sculptures in Park City are unique and most of them have a tie to one single man. He was first known as the Phantom of Park City.

He lived in Peo, not much more than a wide spot in the road. He sales real estate to pay the bills so he can create whatever he wants. He doesn’t want his income tied to making art of someone else’s choosing.

He would make a piece of art. Place it somewhere in the wee hours of the night  and leave it. He wouldn’t ask permission. It couldn’t be reported stolen, because no one was really sure who is belonged to. Many of them remained right where they were placed and others wandered away. The Phantom would sometimes see his artwork in backyards, on trucks going to who knows where and moving about.

There were many suspicions that Bill Kranstover was the Phantom, but no one could prove it. The Park City Historical District Commission and Planning Commission decided that all public art had to be approved. Bill Kranstover simply said, “It would be kind of cool to go to jail for putting up art.”

He was commissioned and paid to do some of the items that decorate Park City. The sculptures around the Kimball Art Center are his. The Torch for the Olympics was also one of his. Clearly he is not the only talented sculpture in the area. Park City and the surrounding area has an appeal to many artists.

The “Moose on the Loose” campaign was a chance for many artists to donate some interesting moose sculptures for the city. These were all done by a variety of local artists. At first they moved around some, but most have now found permanent homes. This project was one that was approved by the Commission.

For such a tiny little town area, art is a big deal in Park City. There are 23 galleries that participate in the Park City Gallery Association and none of them is without some kind of sculpture.

Perhaps a fun little game for visitors during the Sundance Film Festival or those who just come to ski would be to count the number of outdoor sculptures and moose and see what numbers they come up with. With those that are there one day and gone the next, it’s an ever-changing adventure.