Carbondale’s First Friday sees vibrancy reaching 100 block |

Carbondale’s First Friday sees vibrancy reaching 100 block

Jessica Cabe
Vase by Bryan Hopkins
Jessica Cabe / Post Independent |


When: Block party starts at 4 p.m.; live music starts at 5 p.m. on Friday

Where: Marble Distilling Company

Specials: $1 shots with the purchase of a Carbondale Clay Center cup; $3 shots; $8 for sample of three spirits; chance to win basket of gifts from the distillery, clay center and Harmony Scott Jewelry Design

How Much: Free entry

The Carbondale Clay Center has been a staple in the town’s art scene since its inception in 1997, and although its exhibition openings coincide with First Fridays, Executive Director Jill Oberman said the center’s location on the 100 block of Main Street isn’t exactly ideal.

She’s hoping the newly opened Marble Distilling Company can help change that.

“We love being here, and we love being part of First Friday,” she said. “Now, we’re super excited that there’s going to be increased energy on this side of the street. It’s always nice to have more businesses to bring people all the way down here. We’re working together on that.”

The folks at Marble Distilling Company, which is located directly across the street from the Clay Center and which will have its grand opening celebration on First Friday, feel the same.

“We wanted to really promote the businesses on the 100 block,” said Spirit Liaison Michelle Marlow. “We’re trying to get people to realize there’s more to Carbondale right down the street.”

The distillery, Clay Center and local business Harmony Scott Jewelry Design are working together on specials in the hopes that they can share their loyal customers and bring in new patrons, too.

One deal states that anyone who purchases a cup from the Clay Center and brings it in to the distillery will get $1 shots, which are otherwise $3.

Anyone who brings a piece of marble from the distillery to Harmony Scott will receive 15 percent off his or her purchase, a free cleaning kit or a complimentary brocade box with a purchase.

Another promotion is that anyone who makes a purchase at the distillery, Clay Center or Harmony Scott will receive a ticket to enter to win a gift basket that has products from all three.

Marlow said she hopes these collaborations will bring to the 100 block the strong sense of community seen in Carbondale’s downtown core.

“Community: That’s what Carbondale’s all about,” she said. “Our business is a family business; everyone who’s working here right now, we’re all partners. We’re all about community in our business and in Carbondale.”

In addition to the collaborative deals, Marble Distilling Company will host a block party beginning at 4 p.m. Main Street will be closed from Snowmass Drive to Weant Boulevard from 5 to 9 p.m., when live music from the Resident Power Hounds will fill the streets.

While the Clay Center will be selling shot and whiskey cups from its sales gallery, the main event for the organization is the opening of its new exhibit, “Pattern & Texture,” featuring nine national artists.

“I selected artists whose work either on the surface or via the form becomes a repetitive pattern or repetitive texture,” Oberman said. “So sometimes that can be with mark-making, and sometimes that can actually be built into the form. Some of it will be done with glaze, color, dots and marks, and some of it is actually repetitive shape or carving or texture you can feel.”

The pieces will run the gamut of ceramic art, from sculpture to utilitarian cups or dinnerware to jewelry, but they’ll all be tied together by the pattern and texture theme.

“My work is definitely all about pattern and texture,” said Leigh Taylor Mickelson, a New York artist with pieces in the show. “It’s inspired by botanicals and nature, where you see pattern and texture everywhere. My work is about repetition. So it’s very much a part of my process.”

Matt Repsher, an artist from Santa Fe who is currently an artist in residence in North Carolina, carves patterns into his forms.

“I think both pattern and texture are really important in my work,” he said. “I like repetition in pattern and structure. Texture is sort of that third thing for me: form, pattern, texture.”

Oberman said the artists who were invited are all people she’s met in her own career in ceramics.

“Ceramics is a very nomadic venture,” she said. “Many people who work in clay have traveled and worked in kilns and studios in different parts of the country. I am also one of those artists; I have traveled quite a bit, I have worked in many different states and also spent 10 years working at the Anderson Ranch, where people came through from out of town. So through a lot of that experience, I have met these artists.”

Oberman said while the Clay Center offers many opportunities for local artists to show their work, it’s important to her that it’s also a venue for national art that may be new to valley patrons.

“We’re always proud of exhibitions here at the Clay Center,” she said. “We show high quality ceramics that are made in this valley, and we show high quality ceramics that are made outside of this valley. We just are so appreciative that people keep coming.”

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