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Art flourishes in Gilpin youth

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GCAA Showcases Student’s Work in Gallery

By David Josselyn

A new exhibit is up and running in the Showcase Gallery of Central City and it is without question uniquely special; the artists are all students from Gilpin School. The Gilpin County Arts Association (GCAA) partnered with art teacher Curt Halsted to feature the students’ work in an exhibit titled Creative Youth of Gilpin. Mr. Halsted excitedly talked about the project saying this a great opportunity for the students to not only learn about the whole process, but also be forced to value their own work. The GCAA requires all work in the gallery to be for sale, but they had grace for the students; they were given a choice to sell their work or to display without a price. Most chose to put their work for sale and they priced their own pieces within parameters given by Mr. Halsted. He wants the youngsters to understand that something they have put their heart and soul into has value and they should not short change themselves. Twenty pieces are now hanging in the gallery above the Visitors Center showing off the talent of our youth. Gallery Manager Dawn Neu was involved in the process from finished canvas to framed work and said she was astounded at the transformation of the art once it was properly matted and framed.

When professional artists sell their work, the GCAA takes a forty-percent commission and the artist keeps the other sixty-percent. However, the GCAA has long supported the arts program in Gilpin School, and so donating all commissions back to the school. The students, just like professional artists, will get to keep sixty-percent of their sales.

A grand opening for the exhibit was held Saturday, March 25, and the one-room gallery was packed with folks of all ages while age-suitable refreshments were enjoyed by all. During the celebration, one painting was sold and since the GCAA can’t expect the youth to have more work on hand to replace it, the buyer agreed to let it stay in the gallery for the duration of the show. Two people showed interest in buying another painting, but it was not listed for sale. Mr. Halsted contacted the artist to see if she would reconsider, but did not receive a response before the end of the opening. If this gives you any idea of the talent on display, it should. While some pieces show obvious flaws of inexperience, others would sit side by side with professional work. The Creative Youth of Gilpin exhibit will be on display through May 13. Mr. Halsted, Ms. Neu, and the GCAA fully intend to make this an annual event.

The GCAA also would like to remind folks that their 70th Annual Juried Show will have its grand opening on Saturday, June 3. As a special treat, renowned photographer John Fielder will present a free slide-show in the Opera Hall immediately preceding the opening reception in Washington Hall.

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