Ready, set art: gallery hosts scavenger hunt |

Ready, set art: gallery hosts scavenger hunt

ANNA BLOOM, Of the Record staff

Silver Queen Fine Art is inviting the public to take its art outside.

This Saturday, the gallery will challenge the public to Park City’s first-ever Frog Scavenger Hunt, held exclusively for owners of Frogman’s hyper-colored bronze sculptures.

Participants will haul frog statuettes to various historical points of interest and take photos with their frogs using their digital cameras from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those scavenger teams with a timely finish and creative photographs will have the opportunity to win $2,500 worth of sculptures and Frogman clothing. Prizes will be announced later in the evening at the gallery from 6 to 9 p.m.

"I did this in Arkansas and it was a hoot I saw grown men knocking kids over to win a frog," says Silver Queen manager and part-owner Timm Hilty, who recently moved to Utah from there to sell the Frogman sculptures.

Hilty has been selling Tim "Frogman" Cotterill’s sculptures for a decade. He estimates Silver Queen has hundreds of frogs in stock and at least 50 on display, squatting in display cases, dangling from glass tables and, hugging bronze flowers. Cotterill names them "Spiderman," "Hungover" and "First Love" after their stances. Their legs are exaggerated and shapely. "He’s inspired by the female form," observed Hilty.

Cottrill lives and works in Venice Beach, crafting unique frogs, animals, he has said have fascinated him throughout his lifetime. The size of each ranges from sculptures that could fit in a child’s hand priced at $95 to solid-bronze frogs that stand 12.5 feet tall priced at $150,0000.

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Saturday’s contest will feature a raffle for a grand prize of the $400"Free Spirit" bronze frog by Cottrill, with all proceeds benefiting the Swaner Nature Preserve. Raffle tickets are $5 and will be on sale through August 11. Cotterill will give away the prize in person, according to Hilty.

"In Arkansas, galleries held events for the community every month, and I think it’s a shame most galleries here stick to themselves," Hilty said. "I also think that the Preserve is a great thing to promote."

Indeed, a frog hunt is fitting for Swaner Nature Preserve, that reintroduced 5,000 Columbia spotted frog tadpoles into its ponds in 2004 and another 4,000 last year. According to Erin Spear, the Preserve’s land and education manager, the dispatch of the frogs was part of a statewide effort to restore the native ecological system.

"Fifty years ago, the spotted frog was abundant across the Wasatch Front," Spear said. "But since then, the population has declined because of the loss of wetland habitat and the introduction of fish species that aren’t native to the area brown trout, for instance, like to eat spotted frogs."

Spotted frogs, along with the preserve’s other species, bright green chorus frogs, are food for Sandhill cranes and fish. They, in turn, eat algae as tadpoles, then snails and insects as adults.

Spear explained that frogs are "an indicator species," Spear added. "The presence or absence of frogs can tell a lot about the ecosystem," she said. "If there’s a decline in the number of frogs, then the ecosystem might be unhealthy."

Silver Queen Fine Art’s Frogman Scavenger Hunt will be held Saturday, July 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning at Silver Queen Fine Art at 632 Main St. with prizes announced from 6 to 9 p.m. Teams can participate in one of three categories: Junior, Adult and Out of Town Visitors. To participate, teams must bring a Tim Cotterill Frogman sculpture. For more information call: (435) 649-6555.