All art accounted for: Visitor purchases entire Glenwood Springs Art Guild’s annual show
In Jane Seglem’s 24 years with the Glenwood Springs Art Guild, she’s never seen anything like this year’s sale. Jimmy Shah, a CPA for Amijag Inc. from Houston, bought every piece exhibited in the guild’s annual art show.
“It was overwhelming and exciting,” Seglem, of New Castle, said, “we were very surprised and delighted.”
Shah said he was on vacation in the Roaring Fork Valley earlier this fall with his wife and 5-year-old son. While searching for an ice cream shop Oct. 10, they stumbled upon the exhibit on Grand Avenue.
Shah had only planned on purchasing six pieces, but after speaking with members of the guild he had another idea.
“As I talked to the ladies (of the guild) I was really inspired. (They told me) there were some artists in the group who haven’t sold a single piece since COVID hit,” Shah said.
Shah returned to Houston with his family, wired the money for the paintings and received over 75 pieces created by guild members. He said he enjoys giving original gifts — something more personal than just a gift card — and plans to do just that with the art he purchased.
He also said he hoped it would spark more creativity within the artists.
“I thought maybe this could inspire them to keep painting, keep moving during these times,” Shah said.
There are at least two paintings Shah plans to keep for his home. One is a piece depicting a mountain lion with blue eyes from artist Dan Tomasko of Carbondale, and the other is a painting titled “High Country Trailside” by Mary Lou Felton of Basalt. The mountain lion will hang on his son’s bedroom wall, since it is his favorite, and the landscape will be on display in their dining room, Shah said.
Guild President Sandy Boyd praised Shah for following through on the purchase so large it shocked both her and other art groups who had never experienced one customer buying an entire show.
“All of us were thinking.. ‘Yeah right.’ when it sounds too good to be true it’s probably too good to be true. But he (sent the money) when he said he would and (for) what he said he would (buy). He was great,” Boyd said.
After confirming with members of the guild if their pieces could be sold, or if they wanted to hold on to them, Boyd said they earned about $12,500.
“…we wrote checks to the individual artists. The art guild did not keep any of the money, it all went to the artists,” Boyd said.
Creating through Covid
The pandemic has changed many aspects of the guild, not just for exhibiting artwork but also in how they spend time together.
“During the spring and summer we had our meetings outdoors and that worked really well…we’ve been really good at mask-wearing and social distancing,” Boyd said.
In order to keep a sense of connection within the group Boyd began sending emails featuring art pieces from different members.
“It really has helped hold things together since we haven’t always been able to get together. I plan to continue doing that,” Boyd said.
This year’s show took place during the first two weekends of October. Visitors could vote in the Dot Mulligan Popular Choice Award contest for first, second and third places. The Dot Mulligan award is in remembrance of the longstanding treasurer of the guild who passed away in 2019. It is funded by Mulligan’s husband, Barney, who is a resident of Glenwood Springs.
The first place award was presented to Seglem for her watercolor painting of Mt. Sopris from the perspective of the Powers Arts Center in Carbondale.
“I was overwhelmed with the beauty of it…it’s breathtaking because you just don’t expect to see it,” Seglem said when explaining her inspiration behind the piece.
The second and third place awards both went to artist Jack Wheeler of Carbondale. Wheeler’s preferred medium is colored pencils and his detailed drawing of eagle’s feet on display for the show caught the attention of those who attended.
Boyd used to own a quilt shop and primarily worked with fabric as her medium. Now with the guild, she uses oil paints, but can appreciate all kinds of art — no matter what form it takes.
“I think whether it’s in fabric or in music, paint or in dance, I think it’s an expression of what the individual artist is seeing and feeling and interpreting,” Boyd said.
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