Art Scene: Peach ice cream, Caruso & the painting |

Art Scene: Peach ice cream, Caruso & the painting

Christina Brusig
Staff Photo |

It was a warm summer day. The 5-year old boy sat on the porch waiting for something to happen. Maybe one of the birds that always flew around the yard would land on the step — maybe the robin, or the woodpecker or the northern flicker. Something did happen. His uncle came to visit. Now, this uncle didn’t always have a regular job and didn’t always voice a popular opinion, but he was devoted to his sisters and his nephew. And he always brought magic.

Today, he brought a bottle of cream, a basket of peaches, a burlap bag of ice and an ice cream maker. Off came the canister lid and in went the cream and the peaches. He packed the ice around the canister, pointed to the crank handle and said, “Now, Jimmy, it’s up to you. Start turning this handle until I tell you to stop and we’ll have us the best ice cream you’ll ever eat. It’s up to you.”

James Michener’s uncle would continue to bring him magic — a Victrola phonograph, Caruso and the art of opera, an 18th century Morland print and the world of visual arts and a thirst for knowledge and experiences that would take him around the world as an author, philanthropist, teacher, academic, naval officer and political advisor. His first of 40 books was the Pulitzer Prize winning “Tales of the South Pacific” that would launch a legendary Broadway musical and an award-winning motion picture.

But it all came back to that introduction to the arts. I was taken by that thread that runs through all of our lives. The arts are essential and part of the balance we seek as we make our way.

6 x 6

The best example of this essential experience is the response we’ve had from the community for our upcoming exhibit. The variety and creativity is remarkable and we think that there are still some of you out there who can be part of this wonderful event, and that’s why we have extended the submission deadline to Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Pick up your canvas at the Art Center and, with just 2 or 3 hours of your time, you can create a winner. Then come to your Artist’s Reception at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, as enthusiastic fans of this annual fundraiser take home these one-of-a-kind masterpieces for just $20 and no tax.

Here’s your challenge. A dear friend a staff member came to Glenwood Springs last May for a visit. She spent several hours at the Art Center, met the teachers, took a class, learned about the 6×6 exhibit and was hooked. She returned home, created her canvas and mailed it back to us. It arrived Tuesday. Did I mention she is from England? Oh, you can do this. Yes, you can. Thank you, Joy!

Join Us

Be part of a good thing with your membership to the Art Center. Join with an Individual/$30 or Family/$45 annual membership and enjoy discounts for classes and public events.

There is something special that takes place here. Make the arts a part of your life and you’ll know a balance and fulfillment that is rare indeed.

James Michener summed it up in his autobiography “The World Is My Home”:

“Perhaps I have loved art too much and allowed myself to be made a prisoner of it, but from the manner in which I began my exploration it could have ended no other way.

How simply it started: a freezer of peach ice cream, a Caruso record and copy of a 1793 George Morland painting, The Forge was the key that unlocked for me the infinite riches of the arts.”

So come by the Center, pick up your membership and have some peach ice cream. Too cold? No problem. This one is suitable for framing.

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

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