Angela Bruno’s guide to valley art and more |

Angela Bruno’s guide to valley art and more

Carla Jean Whitley
Carbondale Clay Center resident artists Matt Eames and Susie Pentelow and volunteer Katie Bullock apply decals to about 60 bowls for Cajun Clay.
Jessica Cabe / Post Independent |

More than 20,000 people are expected to pass through Carbondale during this weekend’s Mountain Fair. The festival itself is enough to keep guests entertained, but those who want even more will find it in the surrounding towns.

Angela Bruno brings a unique perspective to the area; she’s a Glenwood Springs native who left for college. After experiencing life elsewhere, she moved to Carbondale, where she has resided for eight years. The executive director of the Carbondale Clay Center offers her guide to the mountain town and its neighbors.

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“The brunch menu at Smoke in Willits (241 Harris St., Basalt, 927-5158, is the best around.”


“Peppinos! (524 Main St., Carbondale, 963-2993, It’s a family-run business, and the food is all made from scratch! Be sure to try the Sangria!”


“I love getting cocktails and appetizers at Phat Thai (343 Main St., Carbondale, 963-7001,, or oysters and wine at Town (348 Main St., Carbondale, 963-6328, After our exhibition openings on First Fridays, I always head to Senor Taco Show (46 N. Fourth St., Carbondale, 510-5363, with all my friends. They stay open late on First Fridays, and the food is amazing!”

I have nothing to wear!

“(Go to) Elizabeth Dean Boutique (717 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, 945-9075, in downtown Glenwood Springs. The owner Nicole Nelson is a childhood friend, and has superb taste in clothes, accessories and décor. Everything is reasonably priced, and her tree branch chandeliers are gorgeous!”


“The Carbondale Clay Center, of course! (135 Main St., Carbondale, 963-2529,, pictured) In addition to our exhibition gallery, we also have a gallery store. It’s always full of beautiful handmade art made by local and nationally known artists.”

Turn it up

“I really enjoy hearing music at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale (19 N. Fourth St., Carbondale, 963-3304, It’s an intimate venue, where you can sit and just enjoy the music without elbowing your way through loud and rowdy crowds.”

Gallery guide

“There are so many places to see art in this valley! Perhaps I’m a little biased, but I love seeing ceramic art at the Carbondale Clay Center. Carbondale Arts’ R2 Gallery (76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale, 963-1680 | is beautiful and host to so many wonderfully diverse shows. The Harvey Meadows Gallery in Aspen (517 E. Hopkins Ave., 920-7721, is also a favorite, as they regularly feature work by my favorite nationally known artists. Be sure to check out the Artstream Nomadic Gallery (, parked out in front of Harvey Meadows on Saturdays during the summer at the Aspen Farmers Market ( The Art Base in Basalt (99 Midland Ave., 927-4123, is the best mid-valley gallery, which always features work by Colorado artists.

Cultural highlight

“The Aspen Art Museum (637 E. Hyman Ave., 925-8050, With a focus on international contemporary art, the exhibits have featured controversial pieces (my favorite kind), such as British artist Chris Ofili’s 8 foot-high, mixed-media piece The Holy Virgin Mary, which famously appalled former NY mayor Rudi Giuliani so badly, that he threatened to cut funding to the publicly supported Brooklyn Museum for displaying it! The architectural design of the Aspen Art Museum itself inspires dialog, and I always feel like I’m in the big city when I visit.”

Don’t miss this

“SAW Studios on Buggy Circle in Carbondale (525 Buggy Circle, 618-7479,! Designed as a collaborative space for creative professionals, the tenants are a mix of potters, painters, jewelers, sculptors, photographers, florists, glass blowers and printmakers! Many of the valley’s most talented artists have studio spaces there, and it’s always fun to walk through and marvel at the work being created, while talking to the artists. They host an open studio several times a year, and it’s hands down the best place to see and purchase locally made art.”

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