Celebrate Mom with the Whimsical Women of the West | PostIndependent.com

Celebrate Mom with the Whimsical Women of the West

April E. Clark
Arts and entertainment contributor
The Whimsical Women of the West celebrate Mother's Day at their annual spring sale by including photos of and artwork by or about their own moms, including this handcrafted doll Four Mile co-owner and artist Sharill Hawkins' mother made during World War II. A set of Hawkins' mom's paintbrushes used in art school and for oil painting lessons will also be displayed in her honor. The show opens today at 4 p.m. and runs through Saturday at Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast.
Staff Photo |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — When moms visit the Whimsical Women of the West spring art show this Mother’s Day weekend, they will be in familiar company.

Opening at 4 p.m. today, the “Joy of Spring” craft show features photos and artwork of each of the artist’s mothers and grandmothers at every booth.

“I think everybody is having fun with it. They thought it would be a great idea, even if they just had a photo of mothers and grandmothers,” said the show’s co-coordinator, Sharill Hawkins, of Four Mile Bed and Breakfast. “I think a lot of people coming to the show will bring their mothers out.”

Hawkins’ own mother is highlighted in a color photograph displayed with her handmade dolls she handcrafted to raise money during World War II. She also enjoyed oil painting and tinting photographs in her life. A set of Hawkins’ mother’s brushes from her years teaching oil painting in Iowa will also be on display.

“We have a French café set up in the loft of the barn with food and plenty of places for people to relax and talk.”
Sharill Hawkins
‘The Joy of Spring’ co-coordinator

“She was always really sweet and really nice,” Hawkins said of her mother, who was raised in Chicago. “So I’ve loved having her picture out again, and it’s been sitting by my bed, so I’ve been looking at it.”

An only child, Hawkins is also displaying artwork her mother painted of her when she was 4 or 5 years old. Her mother, born in 1918, attended the Art Institute in Chicago. Hawkins said her mother married her dad after the war and later settled in Iowa.

“She taught oil painting for the extension service for the community college in a little town in Iowa. I’d go with her when she taught outdoor classes,” Hawkins said. “She’s been gone for 27 years now.”

Her mother’s early inspiration motivated Hawkins to major in art in college and commit to creating art for the community throughout her life, which she does through her work at Four Mile and with the Whimsical Women group. She had the opportunity to share some of her art training with her parents.

“I taught my mom and my dad how to make jewelry,” Hawkins said.

“The Joy of Spring” art event takes place from 4-8 p.m. Friday, May 9, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, 6471 County Road 117. Admission is free and Hawkins said local food will be served in the B&B’s red barn.

“We have a French café set up in the loft of the barn with food and plenty of places for people to relax and talk,” Hawkins said.

The spring art show is always a welcome seasonal change for the artists, Hawkins said.

“All the artists are always happy to see each other after the winter,” Hawkins said.

For the show, the 16 Whimsical Women of the West artists have created a variety of paintings, fiber and yard art, jewelry, topiaries, pottery, vintage fabric, collectibles and more. A portion of sales benefit Literacy Outreach.

“It’s a real eclectic group,” Hawkins said. “It’s going to be fun. There will be a lot of vintage fabrics and plants, along with the art. It’s quite a variety.”

The Whimsical Women of the West includes familiar faces such as multi-media Glenwood Springs artist Linda Drake, New Castle photographer Kelley Cox, and gourd artist Bobbie Van Meter, as well as newcomer to the show, Carbondale potter and jewelry artist Ro Mead, Hawkins said. “The Joy of Spring” Mother’s Day show also features sewing work by co-organizer Helen Collins.

“She’s a seamstress and does fiber work, and she has helped me put on the show for about four years,” Hawkins said. “She laughs because she says she and her own mom are opposites when it comes to sewing. Her mom would do anything not to sew on a button.”

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