Haberlein’s work back on display at Glenwood Springs Arts Council gallery
The Roaring Fork Valley lost one of its premier members when Fred Haberlein died in 2018. Nearly four years later, his impact is still felt in his murals around the community and through the relationships he made.
“That was really important to leave a good legacy,” Haberlein’s widow Teresa Platt said. “He was real enthusiastic about making some kind of difference. Mostly, he wanted to make people appreciate where they lived.”
It’s no surprise, then, that an exhibit of his works currently on display at the Glenwood Springs Arts Council’s Sixth Street gallery — entering its final weekend of showings — heavily features the valley. There are oil and other paintings of Mount Sopris, of valleys and red canyons.
There are also other works, not of landscapes and the local flora and fauna, but portraits, some of which feature subjects in their natural state.
Haberlein’s legacy to most, beyond his outgoing personality, is of landscape murals on the area’s buildings. To a smaller group, it’s the entire range of his work, dating back to a master’s degree in printmaking and teaching figure drawing at Colorado Mountain College.
“It’s just understanding the depth of his artistic ability,” Platt said of the show.
Platt, who was married to Haberlein for more than 30 years, had not yet seen some of the works — including the nude figures — before curating this show, going through his canvases at his former studio.
She said it allows her to keep learning about the man she loved.
“It’s fun, it’s amazing,” Platt said. “Every time I start going through stuff I learn things and I appreciate more about him.”
It gives new life to a man whose works can be seen across western towns, from Glenwood Springs and Carbondale to Leadville, Gunnison, Alamosa and Antonito, among others.
Locally, Platt said people would tell her Haberlein always made them feel like his best friend. Among them is Terry Glasenapp, a fellow teacher at CMC and long-time friend.
“One of my best friends was Fred,” Glasenapp said. “He enlivened things wherever he went and improved communities.
“He had such a broad knowledge of all things in the natural world, … and I think he also asked us to kind of look at what was before us.”
Glasenapp highlighted Haberlein’s connection with the landscape that translated into his art. Haberlein became close with Native American tribes, who have, ‘Been on this land a lot longer than we have,” Glasenapp said.
The current exhibit, which closes Saturday, may be one of the final showings of Haberlein’s works, Platt said.
It all makes the current show one of the limited opportunities to view the work of an old friend.
The gallery is open Friday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at 216 E. Sixth St. More information is available on Glenwood Springs Arts Council’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/GWSARTS.
Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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