5th Annual Gilpin Art Studio Tour

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VirginiaUnseld_CathedralLight_3Meet the Artists Preview Night on Thursday September 8th

By Sahari McCormick

  The 5th Annual Gilpin Art Studio Tour will happen Saturday and Sunday September 17-18, 2016, 11 am-5 pm, with a Meet the Artists Preview Night on Thursday September 8th at the Central City Visitors Center Art Gallery from 6 to 7:30 pm. The Gilpin Art Studio Tour is organized by local artists to foster an appreciation of the arts in Gilpin County to coincide with the fall aspen viewing. Enjoy your weekend in the high country meeting the artists and craftspeople in their studios as they exhibit their art, demonstrate their craft and offer work for sale.

This is the 5th and most diverse year to date. There are 16 artists participating with a wide array of styles, including painters, illustrators, photographers, ceramic artists, jewelers, fiber, metal and glass artists and even laser cut wood pieces.

The tour is pleased to welcome 5 new artists this year! HippieGeek Studios blends handcrafted artistry and laser technology to create wonderful wood jewelry and home décor. Teree Gothard with Black Hawk Jewelry Designs transforms vibrant gemstones, jewels and precious stones into a stunning variety of timeless fashion-forward necklaces and earrings. She shares a stop with her husband Julian Gothard, a photographer who showcases the beauty of the Colorado Front Range.  Julian feels “It’s a huge honor to be in the company of such talented artisans and a wonderful opportunity for Gilpin artists to showcase their work in front of a wider audience.” Danea Fidler is a wildlife artist and fantasy illustrator who will share a stop with painter and illustrator Heather Carr, both of whom were Gilpin County Artists in Residence at the Library this year.

The tour is also proud to welcome back veteran artists. Forrest Anderson, Wabi Pottery, an artist with the tour since its inception. He started making pots at his studio back in the 60s, which is an old Victorian mining cabin behind his house. His southernmost stop on the tour is a stop not to be missed. Les Barstow is a photographer inspired by nature who says photography ‘opens a window to the Divine…full of inspiration and wonder’. Mary Bell, owner of Mountain Goat Gallery, has been working with glass for over 28 years and specializes in large glass wall murals. Tom Cowherd of Nature’s Elementals has been making jewelry for over nine years. All his pieces are handmade, using natural stones with copper and sterling silver. Having done several years of study in Native American spirituality, Tom has gained an appreciation for the energies of the natural stones and the earth in which they are found. Gabrielle Gewirtz has been working in clay on and off for over 20 years. Her wheel thrown and hand built ceramic work has harmony and texture, color and fluidity. This year she will be unveiling some of her new clay and glass mosaic pieces. Bambi Hansen has been with the tour since its inception with her wax candles. A longtime member of The Environmental Group in Coal Creek Canyon, she practices what she preaches about reduce/ reuse/ recycle by creating earth colored candles from recycled wax. Dana Jones, quilter and photo journalist, returns to the tour after a hiatus and will be showcasing quilts she has designed and created, as well as featuring her book Pagtinabangay: Quilts and Quiltmakers of Coahagan Island. Gary Kragenbrink has lived in Gilpin for almost 30 years and is a Central City sculptor who welds whimsical sculptures, both large and small, with imagination and a good sense of humor. His studio is open Saturday only. Walter Perryman is an incredible sculptor who has been carving since he got his first pocket knife as a boy. Virginia Unseld is one of the founders of the tour whose passion is ‘painting en plein air’. Virginia moved to Colorado almost 40 years ago and has spent much of that time recording her impressions of the western landscape in pastels. Gail Watson, letterpress and book artist, also returns to the tour this year after a hiatus with her printing and unique book creations work from Birdwood Press. There are also three group stops along the tour. The Gilpin Clay Studio is a teaching studio housed in the Gilpin Recreation Center where staff and students make a variety of functional and decorative clay work. Make sure to pick up a class schedule and visit the sculpture garden at this stop! The Gilpin Arts Association is housed in Washington Hall; a National Historic Site built in 1862 across from the historic Central City Opera House. The history, architecture and art are something not to miss. This year, several artists are scheduled to be demonstrating their work. The Central City Visitors Center Gallery is a showcase gallery for the Gilpin Arts Association and is just down the street from Washington Hall. The Central City Visitors Center Gallery is the new site for the Meet the Artists Evening on Thursday, September 9th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. There will be live music and refreshments and this event is a great opportunity to preview samples of the work seen on the tour and meet many of the artists as well. Artwork from the studio tour artists will be on display through September 18th.

The 5th Annual Gilpin Art Studio Tour is a free, family-friendly event that has something of interest for everyone! Come support the artists, view the aspens at their peak and see the beauty of the high country. Artists’ studios will be marked by signs along the tour route in and around Gilpin County, directing you to each stop. Like us on Facebook for the latest updates. Maps are available at our sponsors, artists and many other locations in Gilpin County, or visit for full maps, samples of each artists work, descriptions and more information.

Note: Our Meet the Artists Location changed since we printed our brochures. It is now at the Central City Visitors’ Center Gallery, 103 Eureka Street in Central City. On the first day of the tour, Central City is also hosting THE CLYMB. All artist/gallery stops in Central City will be open as well during the event.

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