Carbondale’s annual Art aRound Town Art Walk shows off town’s 15 new sculptures |

Carbondale’s annual Art aRound Town Art Walk shows off town’s 15 new sculptures

Carla Jean Whitley

First Friday

Tonight’s First Friday in Carbondale highlights the Carbondale Creative District. The evening will include the following:

Shopping at Susan’s Flowers and Artisan Boutique, Strange Imports and the Near New Store. Local band Raccoon Fight will play nearby in Friendship Park.

Marcel Majid Kahhak painting live at Kahhak Fine Arts.

Jane Lee is the featured artist at Main Street Gallery.

Carbondale Arts will host an opening reception for “Correspondence.”

Carbondale Clay Center studio manager Matthew Eames will be on hand for the opening reception of his solo exhibit “Threw and Thru.”

Roadside Gallery will host a “find the mystery photo” contest.

True Nature Healing Arts will feature a drum circle at 5:45 p.m. and spoken word artist Alya Howe at 6:30 p.m.

Marble Distillery and Inn’s birthday bash runs from 5-11 p.m., with Slow Groovin’ BBQ, Elevated Elixirs, Sweet Coloradough and music by the Good Time Travelers.

Stroll through town to see Art aRound Town 2017 sculptures. Download the app Otocast for a self-guided audio tour.

Art brings people together. More than 100 people gathered Thursday for the kickoff to one of Carbondale’s biggest art weekends. The annual Art aRound Town Art Walk introduces the community to its latest public art. The 2017 event featured 15 sculptures, all of which are available for purchase. They’ll remain on display until May.

“Art is a great connector,” said Charlotte Zink of Berthoud, whose “Here & Now” is displayed outside The Launchpad. She said art connects people with one another and with materials. “I like to focus on the ‘and,’ the pieces that bring you back together.”

Tonight the art celebration will continue with First Friday. The June event will highlight the Carbondale Creative District, which marks its first anniversary this month. The evening’s events include two art openings that celebrate local artists. Carbondale Clay Center Studio Manager Matthew Eames’ show “Threw and Thru” opens at the center, and Carbondale Arts will host “Correspondence,” for which pairs of artists collaborated via mail.

Several artists at Thursday’s art walk commented on the number of people gathered for the 1.2-mile walk. Jade Windell, a Marble Institute instructor from Denver, said it’s the biggest group he’s seen at any art walk, and he’s participated in events throughout the state. Heather Bryan, who introduced each artist, said it’s the largest crowd Carbondale has seen yet.

The 2017 sculptures also represent the largest percentage of local artists, with five of 15 coming from the Roaring Fork Valley. Visit for a video of each local artist explaining his or her piece, and a gallery of the 15 sculptures. Hear each of the 15 explain their work by downloading the app Otocast and allowing it to find your location.

“Hanging Flower” by James Surls

Surls’ sculpture, which hangs outside Thunder River Theatre Company, started with branches of aspen trees. He collected the branches, molded and casted them, and then welded the resulting pieces into a seven-segment floral configuration.

“I operate under the premise that life is made up of art and science and philosophy,” said Surls, who lives in Carbondale with his wife, Charmaine Locke. “Hopefully there’s science in this. Hopefully there’s a lot of creativeness in it. And hopefully, there’s some philosophical message in there somewhere.”

“Open Book” by Charmaine Locke

Carbondalian Locke’s work often portrays feminine essence, and that’s evident in her piece at Fourth and Main streets. The three-headed, six-armed figure holds symbols of nourishment for the mind, body and spirit, Locke said. The figure’s three heads and many eyes represent full awareness.

“And then we’ve got this element that says why can’t we find the path to peace,” she said, indicating bronze ribbons draped across the figure’s chest. The words are written in French, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. “Why does mankind have to squash to other people to make themselves better?”

“Pirouette” by Jack Brendlinger

Stop outside Town and take in Carbondale resident Brendlinger’s sculpture. Brendlinger specializes in capturing a single moment of sports action in sculpture, and his Art aRound Town piece depicts a ballet dancer mid-pirouette. He sculpts in wax around an armature made of a welding rod, which stabilizes the thin limbs of the figure.

“Portal” by Alicia Matensaz de las Heras

Walk around “Portal.” Imagine how you could open or close it. Imagine where you might find yourself if you were to step through it into another place. Carbondale’s Matensaz de las Heras invites viewers to imagine the different configurations of her piece, located outside Carbondale Animal Hospital. The oversized, rusted piece could be installed several different ways and could also change over time. “I love it, and I love the rust in the steel and the way it looks, the color does, and the way it changes with weather. I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of it, too, because it’s taking you somewhere.”

“Intercession 16 (Amour)” by Nancy Lovendahl

Lovendahl draws inspiration from the land around her, and the materials reflect that. “Making sculpture is a way of knowing where I am in the world, where I am in the landscape. It’s a call and response with my sense of place,” she said. The Old Snowmass resident’s “Intercession 16 (Amour),” located outside the Carbondale library, is a stack of hand-carved limestone and marble, representing the body, mind and spirit capped by the heart, a smooth, pink marble form.

“It’s more of a refined sense of who we are,” she said. “I like the idea that we’re made of pieces … Hopefully we’re being led by our heart.”

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