Glenwood’s holiday gift central |

Glenwood’s holiday gift central

Stina Sieg Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” As Christina Brusig talked about this year’s “Winterfest,” her pep was remarkable.

“Personally, I’m really, really excited about this exhibit,” said the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ young, new assistant program director. “And I’m probably overly excited about it because it’s my first one, but it’s just great!”

That’s not exactly the average response to a holiday craft fair.

In Brusig’s opinion, that’s because this one isn’t like anything people have ever seen before. There are fine art photographs, classy pottery pieces, colorful linens ” and not a Santa to be found. But that’s not all, Brusig stressed. Even though this is in its eighth year, it’s full of fresh blood. This time around, nearly everyone involved is a “Winterfest” newbie.

And that’s about all these artists have in common.

Scot Gerdes, for one, knows well the world of art. The photographer simply isn’t used to marketing himself. For the last 13 years or so, he’s been capturing Mount Sopris in photos, in all kind of weather and light. He jokingly called his work an “addiction,” but didn’t seem too worried about it. As he’s known about this show for years, he decided it was time he finally get off his duff and entered. Having an audience, he explained, is a big part of the photographic process ” as risky as it can feel.

“I get a kick out of their reaction when they like something,” he said. “It reaffirms why I do my photography, I guess.”

With his work, he wants to record the natural world for people, he went on. While they might not always notice the bright sunset or glistening snow in their backyard, at least they can buy one of his images. In that way, he’s helping remind people of what’s around them, even if they only get a postcard.

Lynn Eisenbrey is trying to impact folks with something far less tangible: Joy. Her small, ceramic figurines are bright and fun little animals with huge personalities. Begun after she witnessed her former Coaldale students go through a giant fire, the only hidden message in the pieces is one of happiness. The brand new art teacher at Parachute High School has shown her work in all kinds of exhibits and galleries, yet this is her Garfield County debut. It’s always nice, she feels, to put your work out there, to see what the world thinks.

“I’m just trying to get people to have something enjoyable in their household ” and usable,” she said. “I realize that we need something more happy.”

There are those fairly new to exhibiting, as well, like 15-year-old Lydia Claussen. A painter nearly all her life, she’s recently taken up mixed media. When you walk into the art center, the first thing you see is her ornate, paper collage, fitted snugly on a mannequin. This marks her first real show ” and she’s tickled.

“It would be really cool just to know that someone understands my work and buys it,” said the aspiring designer.

What she really wants to do, she added, is show people “a new outlook in art and beauty.” Of course, she must imagine this exhibit as just the very beginning of that.

For all the artists with lofty hopes for this exhibit, however, there are probably even more like Dara Barth. A mother of two (and seamstress for only a year) she decided to enter her cute, homey pillow cases in “Winterfest” pretty much on a whim. When she saw the call for submissions, she simply thought it would be fun.

“I don’t know,” said Barth, trying to articulate her creative motivation. “I just like incorporating art into life.”

Though she wasn’t aware of it, her words got right to the heart of this show.

Not to mention the soul of the art center itself.

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