A collection of community in Carbondale
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Co Colorado
CARBONDALE ” “We’ve created a community within our unique community,” said Ro Mead, from her desk at the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities.
Sometimes, these sort of grand words can get people in trouble, but not Mead, not now. She was talking about the Roaring Fork Valley and its artists, and it seemed as though she was just telling it like it is.
As the executive director of CCAH, Mead is one of the main forces behind the “Valley Visual Arts Show,” now in its 28th year. Officially opening to the public tonight, the exhibit features work from 48 people around the valley. Mead described the show as an “anchor” for the kind of support her organization gives artists. She knows how hard it is to make a living with art, she said, and how scary it is to show your work if it’s just a hobby. This show, like most of what she does, is an attempt to support both realities.
Tuesday afternoon, as she spoke, it was snowing outside, making the warmth and light of the gallery all the more inviting. Artists breezed in and out with their work. When asked, they were friendly, up for sharing.
And you know what? They did feel like a community.
At least Redstone resident Bruce Lemire, 63, seemed to think so. In fact, he echoed it.
“Between this and the Co-op, this is my community,” he said.
The wood sculptor was sitting by his newest creation, carved out of juniper. He was lightly touching “Blind Truth,” a twisting work, with two, pained faces peeking from its top. He didn’t want to say much, remarking instead that he’d rather have his work speak for itself.
“When people see this, they’re going to wonder ‘why,'” he said, sounding happy about the effect.
“Well, I don’t have any choice about making it,” added fellow artist, Lisa Singer. It was a few minutes later, and she was talking about her primitive, almost tribal mixed media pieces
“It’s like I have to make it. Like I have to eat and I have to sleep and I have to make art,” she continued.
She was holding up “Window,” a photograph of an African boy, combined with fabric, seeds and paint.
Like many in the show, the Snowmass Village artist is no big time exhibiter. She’s a mom, she said, and in the past she’s done craft fairs. While she’s moved around, done so many things in her life, she feels now is the time for creating art ” for letting it be seen.
“It feels very at home and very appropriate and just perfect,” she said, of the show. “It feels absolutely great.
And there was Tom Semborski, 28, hanging his green-tinted, copper and antler chandelier. Tall and lanky, he said much of his art now stems from his career in blacksmithing, which he’s done for the last eight years. He described his love for his material, about how it could be both so permanent and so malleable, and how something in him makes him stick with it.
“Art is good for the soul, you know?” he said.
He then looked around the room, which was slowly filling with work. He was asked to explain what he likes about showing, what sustains his interest. Really, what keeps him coming back to this collection of like-minded creative types?
He paused and thought, and then spoke.
“It’s just amazing,” he said. “You can look at people’s art and so see the time and patience it takes to make it. It’s just…”
His voice trailed off then, but it didn’t matter. It seemed that he had said what he had meant to. And, probably, he also could have been speaking for everyone else in the room.
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.