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Artist who built Breckenridge troll draws crowds in Kentucky with new creation

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: Summit Daily News
By Eli Pace
April 6, 2019

A pregnant Momma Loumari rests against a redwood tree. The giant troll and her two children have taken up residence in Bernheim Forest in Kentucky. The sculpture is the work of Artist Thomas Dambo, who created a similar troll in Breckenridge in summer 2018. March 15, 2019.
Courtesy Pat McDonogh, Courier Journal

The artist who made Breckenridge’s trailside troll has produced three similar sculptures at a Kentucky preserve that were so popular over spring break, administrators had to briefly close the place.

The Courier Journal is reporting that crowds clamoring to see the wooden “giants” at Bernheim Forest were turned away for about an hour on Wednesday with traffic backing up on a nearby highway and Interstate 65. Later, the forest recommended that people should come after 4 p.m. or try again on Thursday.

The Kentucky sculptures debuted a few weeks ago for Bernheim Forest’s 90th anniversary celebration. It included having Danish artist Thomas Dambo build the sculptures, which are expected to live in the forest for the next three years.

At over 16,000 acres, Bernheim is reportedly the largest privately-held forest dedicated to conservation in the eastern U.S.

Although the forest had planned a “Giant Spring Break Adventure Week” to show off its new giants, officials had to close for about an hour on Wednesday after turnout surpassed all of their wildest expectations, a spokeswoman told the Kentucky newspaper.

Many Breckenridge residents will remember when another piece of Dambo’s work drew huge crowds in Summit County after he created a roughly 15-foot troll of reclaimed wood for a summer arts festival.

Like Bernheim Forest, the plan was to leave the troll in place for about three years. However, large crowds continued throughout the fall until elected leaders finally decided to move the troll to another trail better suited for all of the traffic. The troll came down in November.

Dambo is scheduled to return to Breckenridge this May to rebuild the troll on a trail accessed via the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. On his Facebook page, Dambo lauded the crowds that came to see his Kentucky sculptures.

“So happy and proud my exhibition in Kentucky just broke the ‘one day’ visitors record with more than 12,000 people last Saturday,” the post reads. “(It’s) amazing that recycled art can bring out so many people. But also mind boggling that this exhibition was a pile of trash just a second ago — makes me think of all the trash, that just at this moment, is sitting in a garbage truck on the way to a landfill, where it will be a problem for future generations.”

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