Local artists showcased on Second Friday in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Local artists showcased on Second Friday in Glenwood Springs

Julie Adriansen has less room to practice art than she did back in Lake Villa, Illinois, but she's doing more than ever.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

While Carbondale’s First Friday has grown away from the art focus it began with, the art walk tradition is alive and well in Glenwood Springs’ Second Friday.

This month, the big openings are at Cooper Corner Gallery and Artist’s Mercantile from 6-8 p.m.

The Glenwood Center for the Arts will stay open until 7 to encourage locals to pick up 6-inch-by-6-inch canvases for the February exhibit. You can also browse their ongoing Noemi Kosmowski exhibit, although there won’t be an opening.

Meanwhile, CMC ArtShare Gallery’s exhibit on Lisa Ellena’s “Dreaming About Thinking,” will be open until 5 p.m., with an official opening scheduled for Friday the 15th.

“We want to do it as a group so people get to see all the art in one evening out,” explained Steve Legersky, co owner of Artist’s Mercantile.“It gets people out more and involved with local artists.”

Legersky estimates that tradition is about a decade old, and it still results in a decent turnout.

According to Cynthia Thomas of Cooper Corner, people couldn’t get in the door when the gallery opened in September.

“It’s been successful every month since then,” she said. “I hope that the interest continues. We try to constantly shake it up and keep it fresh.”

Artist’s Mercantile

A wide array of beginner and established artists adorn the walls of the cozy art shop, but this month the big focus is on Julie Adriansen.

It’s an interesting inversion for Adriansen, who used to run an art studio café in her home town of Lake Villa, Illinois.

“Art is a priority for me. Art is something we can all share. It brings people together; it creates community. I believe there is an artist in every one of us,” she said.

Her own style comes out in eye-catching watercolors, viewable at http://www.comasurart.com.

“I believe it should be as vibrant as it can possibly be,” she said. “My subjects are people and animals of all kinds. I use watercolor to put their image on paper, using the colors that I see when I look at them. Sometimes the paint calls for more — adding found objects, decorative papers, graphite, pen and ink or words to send a more direct message. My goal is to stir the same feelings in the viewer as I feel when I paint my subjects.”

Although she’s been doing art since she was a kid, Adriansen has actually had more time for creativity since she and her husband moved to the area a couple of years ago.

“It was just time to take the show on the road,” she said of their decision to take jobs at Destination Hotels and share a small apartment on Missouri Heights.

“It’s a shock. No one passed through Lakeville without me knowing them. Now I’m here and I’m a stranger.”

She won’t be for long.

“It’s all about not being afraid to put yourself out there,” she said.

Cooper Corner

In conjunction with Sunlight Mountain Resort’s daytime event, the cooperative gallery will feature an Apres Ski Party, complete with hot toddies and fondue. The theme is enhanced by winter scenes by three local photographers: Steve Vanderleest, George Cutting III and Amelia Eshelman.

Cutting, originally from Oyster Bay, Long Island, learned the essentials of photography in Cardigan Mt. School’s black and white darkroom. He has been a faithful Nikon user since 1981 and transferred to digital in 2004.

“Composition and lighting and patience are essential in creating the beautiful images I bring to print,” he wrote in a statement. “From New York to Washington State, North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska, plus a couple of trips to the tropics, I have captured film and digital images of many beautiful sights.”

For Eshelman, the closest thing to formal training was traipsing through the beautiful hillsides of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with an old Kodak camera in tow. Now a Canon shooter, she believes the artistic calling was passed down from her ancestors.

“They had ‘the artistic eye’ and some showed their abilities by building beautiful stone homes and barns that have lasted hundreds of years, blessing the passer-by with the allure of their beauty,” she wrote. “My grandmother was blessed in the ‘art of fabrics’ (her pieces could earn her a spot on Martha Stewart’s staff.) As for myself, I have felt blessed to be able to capture God’s images through the use of a chunk of metal that we refer to as a camera and the lens.”

The Colorado native of the trio, Vanderleest has served as an engineer for the city of Glenwood Springs beginning in 1995. More recently, he has become more interested in pursuing his photographic passions, and in addition to his self-taught studies, he has attended various photography seminars and workshops, most recently at the Grand Canyon. He places unusual emphasis on the actual printing process, displaying his work on aluminum for “an almost magical luminescence” or stain to allow for backlighting.

“The art of photography is visual choreography — the practice of composing the scene for the photo before it is taken, adjusting the settings of the camera to capture the intended mood, and then ultimately processing the digital negative on the computer to render the intended image,” he said.

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