December’s First Fridays has a holiday feel |

December’s First Fridays has a holiday feel

CARBONDALE, Colo. – There will be more than the usual glow to downtown Carbondale for the monthly First Fridays art walk today, as the town decks the halls … and trees … and lightposts … for the holiday season.”Feng shui” guru Tony Coia and his town landscaping crew have been busy stringing the lights throughout downtown in recent weeks. And the work was finished not a moment too soon, as Tuesday’s snowstorm put the final touches on the holiday mood that takes shape today.The Carbondale Recreation Department, along with the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities and the Downtown Preservation Association, co-sponsor the Light Up Carbondale celebration, from 5-7 p.m. today on the Fourth Street Plaza.Crystal River Elementary School fifth-graders sing carols as Santa makes his appearance around 5:30 p.m., just as the switch is flipped on Carbondale’s holiday winter wonderland. While the kids visit with Santa, there will be free hot chocolate and cookies around the bonfire.Later, the Waldorf Revelers Madrigal Singers will set the mood up and down Main Street, as art galleries and shops get into the holiday spirit for the monthly art walk.Here’s a rundown of what’s on tap starting today:The CCAH Gallery, 645 Main St., hosts an opening reception for its Holiday Show from 6-8 p.m., featuring seven local artists showcasing and selling their works.Featured artists and their media are: Roger Dale (glass); Sandie Gardner (pottery); Elle and Jim Gould (wood); Brigitte Heller-Ulrych (clothing); Barbara Sophia Ulrych (jewelry); and Sam Perry (glass). Regular gallery hours throughout the holiday season are Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.Perry was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley.”As an artist and a human being I am fascinated with discovery and exploration,” he said. “Through my art I hope to pass on the incredible adventure of discovery to my audience. This awakening can transpire internally as well as externally.”Ulrych grew up in Aspen and strives to create high quality jewelry for her customers, incorporating Venetian and Murano beads, varieties of pearls, Swarovski crystals, gem-stones and elegant clasps.Her mother, Brigitta Heller-Ulrych, was born in northeast Germany and has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 40 years. She explains that when she was a little girl her mother would take her to her tailor and she would be amazed how a beautiful ensemble could evolve out of a bolt of fabric.Years later, when she could not find what she wanted to wear, she would dream up a garment that would fit her lifestyle. She would then design it, cut it and sew it.Gardner’s art has taken her in many exciting directions during the last 16 years. She is currently exploring the aesthetics of African and Oriental design with concentration in porcelain. “The medium is so multifaceted that it is all too often a challenge to narrow one’s focus,” she said. “The ‘unearthed’ qualities and exquisite simplicity for these design elements have always intrigued me. Each time I digress, I come willing back to them. It is a naturally comfortable place for me to be.”Dale says his love of life and experiences as a wilderness guide over the last 27 years in the Grand Canyon are his motivational forces.”As a glass artist, I felt the need to master the art of glass blowing before I could become creative with the content of my work. I pride myself on both the craftsmanship and the quality of my work. William Morris and Lino Tagliapietra inspire me; their works are both creative and finely crafted.”• • •A Holiday Boutique at The Village Smithy Restaurant begins at 4:30 p.m. today featuring arts and craft vendors, appetizers, and beverages for holiday shoppers. Marilyn Mac exhibits some of her smaller pieces of photography and paintings in the show, and her blacksmith husband, Sean McWilliams, features his ironwork.• • •Dancing Colours Studio, 968 Main St., hosts a Holiday Gift Show featuring three local artists, with a reception from 5-9 p.m. today. Artists include Cyndy White, whose artful scarves are created using fine fabrics, rich combinations of color and texture, and beaded elements; Leslie Maya-Charles, who creates unique hand-wrought brass and copper jewelry; and B.J. Parry, whose holiday winterscapes are sure to add to the holiday magic. • • •Swiss Gourmet, 335 Main St., hosts a First Fridays reception from 5-9 p.m. today for its Early Bird Pottery Show and Sale of new soda/salt-fired works by Diane Kenney, along with watercolors by Judy Milne. A special performance by the Marvelous (Singing) McCormick Sisters (Anne and Laura) takes place at 8:30 p.m.• • •The Carbondale Clay Center’s Holiday Show & Sale continues at 135 Main St., including the CCC Student Sale from 6-8 p.m. today. The holiday sale continues through Jan. 15, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call for special weekend/evening hours.• • •The GEO Store, at 559 Main St., features works by Theresa Anne Beaumont, a Western Slope artist who creates abstract acrylic paintings that bring together her philosophy regarding spirituality and healing. Also on exhibit will be new works by Redstone artists Cheryl Haddock and Lauren Taylor. There will be organic hors d’oeuvres created by Lisa Ruoff of Eco Goddess Catering, and live music by Kendra Carpenter and Jerry Gasau from 6-8 p.m.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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