Fine arts in Central City

Gilpin County Arts Juried Show

By David Josselyn

  The 67th Annual Juried Art Show took place Saturday, June 8th, exhibiting 118 pieces by artists from Colorado and surrounding states. Of the 100 artists that submitted entries, 72 of them were represented in the Gilpin Arts Gallery on Eureka Street representing 118 pieces on display.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

  A juried art show is an event in which all art entries are judged by a jury as first being worthy of displaying and second awarding ribbons for the top pieces in each category. The jurors for this year’s show were Jonathan Kaplan, Josh Trefethen, and Desmond O’Hagan. Jonathan Kaplan is the owner and curator of Plinth Gallery in north Denver. Kaplan has mastered the ceramic slip cast process and judged the three-dimensional pieces for the Gilpin Arts. Josh Trefethen is a professional photographer who prefers natural, outdoor settings. Trefethen judged the photography entries for the show. Desmond O’Hagan is a painter who focuses on pastels and oils and whose work was featured in the January 2013 edition of New Southwest Art magazine. Desmond judged the two-dimension pieces.

Creativity Abounds

  Disclaimer: This reporter is not an artist. I have never been trained in visual fine arts, although I have an appreciation for almost every medium. I know what moves me. I have been to MOMA (Museum Of Modern Art), The Louvre, Madame Tussaud’s, and The Denver Art Museum. What I saw at the Gilpin Arts Gallery impressed me. The photographs were stunning and in more than one case, I was not sure if a piece was a photo or a painting until I got close. Some of the paintings looked so lifelike, I thought they were photographs. The water colors, pastels, and oils looked like they belonged in the finest galleries of New York. One of the three-dimensional pieces, Hand Carved Cymbidium Orchid Bowl, by Heidi Meissner reminded me of my great-grandmother’s fine china and I could hardly believe it was carved by hand. Although some entries showed obvious signs of amateur work, the quality of the winning pieces at the show were some of the finest I’ve seen and in my opinion could easily hang next to Rembrandt, Monet, Cezanne, Dali, and Degas. Jerry Case, Best of Show winner in three dimensional arts, started whittling as young boy and was fascinated with what he could create from a stick. Today, Jerry carves lifelike animals, mostly birds, from a single block of wood. Sam Howard’s photo “In the Mood,” reflects the exact colors he was seeing when he took the shot. Pat Dahl, who won honorable mention for her painting, “Forgotten Pastime,” is hoping her other works featuring Central City locations will spark an interest and appreciation from the people of Gilpin.

To Sum It All Up

  The exhibit is well worth your time to check out. The historic Gilpin Arts Gallery building itself is an art form with each room having a different look and feel. One room gives the appearance of being part of an old mine, while another is more of a sun room, flooded with natural light. When you do go to the show, don’t forget to check out the new gallery at the Central City Visitor’s Center just a half-block away. The show will be on exhibit through August 3rd, but if you wait too long, many of the pieces will be sold and you will miss the sophisticated display that took volunteers two days to set up, carefully considering the perfect aesthetics for each piece. As pieces are sold, others of similar quality and theme will replace them, so if you see the show now, you can go back in a couple of weeks and see something new. All the pieces are available for sale and range from a $25 vase to a $6,000 painting.

Winner’s Circle

  Two Dimensional: Best of Show – Steve Griggs for “Color of Life,” 2nd Place – Virginia Unseld for “Cottonwood Canyon,” 3rd Place – Lillian Montoya for “Into the Clouds,” Honorable Mention – Gretchen Archarya for “Summer Greens,” and Pat Dahl for “Forgotten Pastime.”

  Three Dimensional: Best of Show – Jerry Case for “Rainbow Trout,” 2nd Place – Suzie White for “Red Checker Table,” 3rd Place – Julia Moritz for “Amsterdam,” Honorable Mention – Maggie Heard for “Hard Days Night,” and Serina Sky for “Sunset Bowl.”

  Photography: Best of Show – Gail Dorhmann for “Bicycle in Blue Alley,” 2nd Place – Beth Riser for “Snowflake Fox,” 3rd Place – Jeff Owens for “Winter Morning,” Honorable Mention – Sam Howard for “In the Mood,” and Carol Walker for “Black Friesian Runs.”

  Koropp Award (given by Gilpin Arts): Elaine Nixon for “Red Poppies.”

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