April E. Clark
Arts and entertainment contributor
Staff Photo |

SILT — Artist George Cutting has a vision of how the Silt Historical Park’s Art Show and Sale will wrap up on Halloween night — and it’s far from scary.

“I envision the kids running through the park in their costumes trick or treating and their parents checking out all the art we have displayed and saying, ‘Wow, I can really see this on my wall,’” he said.

The brainchild of park volunteer Cutting and Bill Smith, iron forger and Silt Historical Society president, the show has been up and running since the beginning of the month.

“It’s a really fun idea. Bill said let’s do an art show and I said I’ll get the artists together,” said Cutting, from his Harvey Gap art studio. “It’s really a testament to how much wonderful talent we have in the area. It’s really fun to push local art and local community.”

“Art brings more of the emotions out in people, and this art show has definitely been successful. And this show’s not done.” George Cutting, artist and volunteer

Local artists

The Silt Historical Park art installment and sale highlights work by 15 valley artists ranging from acrylic painters to nature photographers. Featured are watercolor paintings by Glenwood Springs Art Guild membership chair Cynthia Thomas, valley shot photography by Carbondale’s Amelia Eshelman, and Silt’s Mystic Stained Glass owner and designer Kathy Strong.

“There’s so much really wonderful art that has been hidden. I really want people to think globally and shop locally,” Cutting said. “That’s what is great about this grassroots arts initiative. I’m making it encouraging for artists to show their art, and I know that the artists are out there. Art brings more of the emotions out in people, and this art show has definitely been successful. And this show’s not done.”

Smith said the show has drawn a wealth of new visitors to the Silt Historical Park, which has seen new life this year in facility upgrades along with an increase community concerts and events for its 30th anniversary. The park is located at 707 Orchard Ave. in Silt, the last town to incorporate in Garfield County in 1915.

“The show is a good combination of art and history,” said Smith, a Western Slope native who returned to live in the Silt area with his wife Eunice after retiring in 1994. “The reaction has been very positive. As expected, different people like different things, and we offer that.”

Creative environment

Volunteers such as Cutting and others have made the difference in building a creative environment for artists, musicians and historians in the park’s 30th year of operation, Smith said.

“We have a really great group of volunteers and we’ve had a lot of support from local businesses, the Board of County Commissioners and the Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism program,” Smith said. “It’s all coming to fruition and we’ve been working hard to encompass all of Garfield County’s history.”

Smith said this month’s art show has been a creative way for the park to spotlight the improvements and positive changes taking place.

“This art show really emphasizes what’s going on with the park right now. We are offering family oriented events every month, and we’re really looking forward to Thursday’s event,” he said. “We’ve got the candy stocked up for kid-friendly trick or treating. All the buildings will be open and nothing too scary. The kids can go in and out of the buildings and their parents can see the art and the buildings.”

The Arts Show and Sale’s hours run from 12 to 5 p.m. through Thursday, Oct. 31. Admission is free, and donations are welcome. Thursday’s family friendly Halloween trick or treating event is free and open to the public from 6-8 p.m.

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