Art Scene: Look out Memphis ‘cause here comes Sue! |

Art Scene: Look out Memphis ‘cause here comes Sue!

I rarely get caught off guard when it comes to cultural change in our community. When it does happen, I try to respond as the evolved adult I purport to be and face it full on. When I learned that Sue Schnitzer, Glenwood Springs Library’s pre-eminent branch manager, was making the move to the Memphis Tennessee Library and Information Center, I simply closed my office door, called Sue at work, disguised my voice and whined “Pleeeeese, don’t go, don’t go, don’t do!” In her patient I’m Here for Everyone voice she said, “Now Christina, I know it’s you so why don’t we just talk about this.”

Actually, I called to wish her the very best in her new adventure and to thank her for the innovations, dedication and total commitment to making music, reading and the love of learning available to everyone. Sue Schnitzer and the Art Center share the same mission of inclusiveness and the creation and emotional maintenance of safe and expansive environments for individual expression.

When Sue arrived at the new library in 2014, she didn’t waste any time becoming part of the community by creating new programs and enhancing the tried and true ones. She became a dedicated advocate for all individuals and organizations.

Sue called on the center early on with an idea for an after-school program called Tuesdays at Your Library where parents could drop off their elementary school children for wonderful programs. We came up with Painting Pages for our Tuesday. We would read a story aloud, and the children then painted what they heard, saw and felt. It was and is one terrific success and the reason we won a Bessie Minor Swift grant in 2016.

The library became a second home for our outstanding 5th Day program where kids from 6 – 12 spend their Fridays in painting, pottery and dance classes. But the favorite was the field trip to the library where Sue and her staff would shine. To welcome 20 rambunctious kids and give them plenty of space and access enriched that program.

So, my friend, good luck from a grateful town and your Art Center. Thanks for everything. You changed the course of the river.

A Beautiful Sight

Last Friday, we launched the 2016 Winterfest, and what a night it was. The town showed up and discovered our best holiday gift show yet. The artists outdid themselves, and here’s some of the newest talent to join us:

Shelly Armas takes the art of mosaics into the stratosphere. Hand-cut tiles in tapestry colors, coupled with stained glass, china and vintage beads gives new meaning to one-of-a-kind.

Dara Barth is a legendary local painter, and when you take a slow walk by her exhibit of breathtaking acrylics, you are drawn in by her contemporary and singularly unique vision.

Francesca Bonfiglio happened by one day and invited us to take a look at some of the most beautiful handcrafted jewelry to come to the Art Center. Stunning beaded necklaces and bracelets take her artistry to a very special place.

Kelley Cox, former top photographer at the Post Independent, uses that same photographer’s eye for detail to vintage jewelry creations and combining found objects, artistry and a keen eye for composition into singular pieces.

Wendy Glassier brings her handmade rustic pillows, potholder series and healing neck pillows to the show. Beautiful fabrics and an artist’s eye for color brings mountain chic to perfection.

Emily Gustafson and her Wild Feather and Stone creations is another stunning first for the center. Leather snap bracelets that feature faceted crystals and stone pieces will take hold of your imagination and not let go.

Angie Herrington, Glenwood quilter extraordinaire, brings original design and flawless composition to over a dozen creations.

Rita Wagner, legendary massage therapist, shares her secrets with her handmade line of essential oils that are exactly that … essential.

Winterfest is open seven days a week until Christmas Eve so come on by and view the work of over 18 fantastic artists and make your wish come true.

Christina Brusig is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. She can be reached at

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