Glenwood’s art show of a different color |

Glenwood’s art show of a different color

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler/Post IndependentArt Guild president Cynthia Thomas displays a mono-print during the guild's meeting Tuesday evening at Good Shepherd Church in Glenwood Springs.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Every year, the Glenwood Springs Art Guild comes together for a prestigious show. During the Fall Arts Festival, only fine artwork is sold, and the money raised is used to help further art education.

And then there’s that other guild exhibit, opening tonight.

GSAG’s member showcase may not have the notoriety or glamour of “Fall Arts,” but who cares? It still looks like a good time.

“Anything goes,” explained Cynthia Thomas, guild president.

For the 40-60 participating artists (of the group’s 250 or so) that means bringing out their crafts, jewelry, photos ” stuff that might get passed over at your average high-brow art gig. Of course there will also be a fair share of traditional paintings, prints and sculptures, she said. And where else are you going to find an “art bin,” filled with bargain pieces?

According to Thomas, it’s that sort of accessible energy that really defines the guild, which dates back to 1961. To the watercolorist, who came to it 30 years later, it’s always been a warm, welcoming place. She described it as having youngsters, older folks, anybody who loves to create with like minds. Every Thursday, they meet up and make art together. The more advanced artists help the newbies, and there’s just no rivalry between anyone.


Really, she insisted.

“I’ve been around other art groups, and I’ve never seen such a supportive group of people,” she said.

She recalled how, three years ago, she was commissioned to paint a lily for the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail. Though she hadn’t told a soul, her news turned up in a press release in the paper. Soon, she was flooded with notes and cards and phone calls by her fellow guild members. She was floored.

“If you get an accolade of some kind, people are happy for you,” she said, still sounding a bit surprised.

When people ask her about the guild, they always want to know about its “successes,” she said. How could one group sustain itself for so long, have members across the country? How did it draw the likes of famed locals like Dean Bowlby and Dan Young?

After Thomas brought up these questions, she sort of kicked them around for a minute, and at first said she didn’t know the answer. Then, as if all of a sudden, she did.

“It’s not about the ‘success’ of our show,” she explained. “It’s the people.”

She feels the appreciation of creativity and nature is a lifestyle, one that this valley certainly has.

“I think people value life (here), and they value the arts,” she said. “And I do know that.”

Perhaps more importantly, she knows what all of this has meant to her. When she goes to meetings, she feels inspired, ready to create all over again. For her, it’s a big, big deal.

“I need that encouragement,” she said, “and I really do get it.”

Wouldn’t it be lovely if art was always like that?

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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