Beauty is in the eye of the beholder |

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Terry Muldoon, right, and Noemi Kosmowski work to display the 6X6 pieces for the 2017 exhibit.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

This weekend


GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Celebrate Glenwood Springs, open for business for a community evening of pre-Valentine’s shopping and festivities. Featuring events throughout downtown Glenwood every second Friday at participating Glen-A-Palooza businesses along Grand Avenue and side streets. Enjoy bargains, activities, food and fun for all.

4-10 pm. Friday

Admission: Free

Downtown Glenwood, Grand Avenue and cross streets


Art from the Heart

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Featuring new works by the CCG jewlers Lindsey Johnson and Carol Myrick

5-8 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

Cooper Corner Gallery, 315 Eight St., Glenwood Springs

Info: 945-5199,

“6×6” Opening Reception

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Help the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts launch one of its biggest exhibits of the year. The annual “6×6” exhibit runs from Feb. 10 to March 3. The community’s artistic personal best will be sold for $20, with all proceeds benefitting the center’s Children’s Scholarship Fund.

6-7:30 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

601 E. Sixth St.

Info and RSVP: 945-2414, email and

Amber Sparkles

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Enjoy snacks, drinks and art during folk artist Amber Sparkles’ opening reception at Artist’s Mercantile and Gallery. The exhibit will remain on display through March 3.

5-8 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

720 Cooper Ave.

Info: 947-0947,

Ongoing exhibits

Mutual Makers Exhibit

CARBONDALE — The Carbondale Clay Center presents an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Colorado Mountain College in Aspen’s ceramics program. The exhibit features work by artists Lisa Ellena, Liz Heller, Diego Madero, Anne Goldberg, K Rhynus Cesark, Jill Oberman, Alix Knipe, Jen Degges, Steven Colby, HP Bloomer and Nancy Barbour. The exhibit celebrates the partnership between CMC Aspen and the Clay Center, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Through Feb. 24, Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends by appointment.

Admission: Free

135 Main St.

Info: 963-2529, email and

37th Annual Valley Visual Art Show

CARBONDALE — Join Carbondale Arts in celebrating the artists of the Roaring Fork Valley during the annual “Valley Visual Art Show.” The exhibit features 50 local artists and their two- and three-dimensional work in a wide variety of mediums. Through Feb. 17, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Admission: Free

The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St.

Info: 963-1680, email and

Art by Betsy Blackard

RIFLE — Bookcliffs Arts Center celebrates the works of pastel artist Betsy Blackard with her art for sale and public viewing.

Admission: Free

The Stone House, 1100 E. 16th St.

Info: 625-1889 and

Art in Silt

SILT — Crack in the Wall Gallery hosts art by more than 30 artists from the community showing their new work in photography, jewelry, oil paintings, pottery, notecards, and more. Fri.-Sun., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Admission: Free

1887 County Road 237 (Harvey Gap Road)


Local Artisan and Craft Fair

RIFLE — The Midland Arts Company is a co-operative gift shop features the work of Western Slope artists: handmade soaps and candles, fabric arts, iron work, original paintings, and turned-wood lamps, artisan jewelry and pottery.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays

Admission: Free

101 E. Third St., Rifle

Info: 625-3068 and

Art Gallery

CARBONDALE — The Powers Art Center strives to teach the public about contemporary and pop art through exhibitions.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday

Admission: Free

13110 Colorado 82

Info: 963-4445, e-mail and

Jail House Studio/Gallery

CARBONDALE — Harvest Pottery has opened its doors to the Jail House Studio/Gallery with new work on display. The historic jailhouse and cabin is free to visit and open to the public.

Admission: Free

500 Weant Blvd.

Info: 963-2550, email and

What is art?

Reference a dictionary if you like. As passionate as I am about the power and meaning of words, I’ll argue that this definition is subjective.

Selecting and purchasing art is deeply personal. My roommate, Heather, and I recently discussed this after I unpacked the few pieces I moved into her home. We’ve both received art as gifts, and we agree it’s a risky proposition.

Don’t get me wrong, it can be a thrill; my friend Amy Soverow, a glass artist, gave me a piece of lace-printed, glow-in-the-dark glass before I left for Colorado. It’s beautiful, and it’s special, a reminder of a dear friend and my birthplace. But there are big questions to consider before offering such a gift. Do you know a person’s taste well enough to choose something the recipient will want to see daily? Do they consider art decoration, or an expression of something more?

(I’ll admit, I can be a snob.)

Mass-produced work isn’t my thing. I consider how a piece will look in my home and where it might hang — I’m not above “couch art.” But I want art that moves me, that elicits some sort of emotional or intellectual response. A printed canvas from Bed, Bath & Beyond doesn’t speak to me. A one-of-a-kind letterpress print, though? Yes, please. A reproduction of a local painter’s watercolor? Let’s be real, I probably can’t afford the original. Bring on the print!

I first realized art didn’t have to be expensive when I was in graduate school. Kentuck Art Center shared a block with my apartment complex in Northport, Alabama, and the gallery gained renown for its annual folk-art festival. The first Thursday of each month offered more opportunity to discover artists.

On one such night, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. covered the gallery’s longest wall with his letterpress posters. I walked over from my apartment and gaped at the colorful wall. Each poster was $10 — it never occurred to me that I could afford original art on a grad student’s budget! I spent the better part of an hour studying the selection. That evening, I pushed a thumbtack through the chipboard, adding the “good coffee” poster to my bedroom décor.

Last week I walked to Glenwood Springs’ downtown galleries and took in the variety of artwork displayed. Just as I did in Northport nearly 15 years ago, I noticed many affordable pieces. Buy a greeting card from Artist’s Mercantile and frame it, and you’ve got an inexpensive but beautiful piece of local work. (I’ve employed this trick many times.) Stop in Art on 8th and claim a woven piece —made upstairs by Mountain Valley Weavers. Add a bit of beauty to your everyday life with ceramics at Cooper Corner Gallery. And each gallery offers so much more.

Art is what you make of it.

This weekend is full of chances to do just that, with Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ “6×6” exhibit opening tonight and Glen-A-Palooza drawing people downtown. Recently opened exhibits also remain on display throughout the county.

As for me, during that gallery walk I spotted a print that just might become Heather’s next present. Is it her idea of art or mine alone? I’ve got time to decide — her birthday isn’t until September.

Carla Jean Whitley has purchased more art than she can afford to frame. Even so, she’s always tempted by the next perfect piece. Reach her at

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