Roaring Fork Valley artists pay tribute to Wulfsohn Ranch
When mounds of red clay were first excavated from the Glenwood Meadows outdoor mall site, painter Mary Noone likened it to “an open wound bleeding on the town.”On Friday, she and 25 other artists will offer their creative takes on the new development, located on the former Wulfsohn Ranch property, at Main Street Gallery’s Artist of the Month reception. “Vanishing Point … Wulfsohn Ranch: An Artists Tribute” features acrylic, watercolor and oil paintings, photography, mixed media, and clay sculpture illustrating the landscape’s past and present at the base of Red Mountain.”The goal is for people to acknowledge the passing of the land,” Noone said. “It’s a phase that has a major impact. We have to struggle to maintain our small-town persona.”Noone organized the nonpolitical event, which benefits the Aspen Valley Land Trust – Colorado’s oldest land trust – with the Main Street Gallery and other artists who have fond memories of the area. Martha Cochran, executive director of the land trust and a painter who has lived in the valley for 31 years, recalled painting on the land while her kids played outdoors in the mud beside her.”I always liked the idea that I lived in a town with cows and horses in it,” said Cochran, who now has two horses of her own. “Our goal for the show is to kind of let the land go. It’s like a mourning process. It’s the homogenization of America.”Much of the artwork in the show uses vibrant colors to reflect the natural beauty of the area. With shades of blue, red, green and orange on her canvas, Noone’s acrylic painting titled “Community Center” – named in 2000 before the Glenwood Community Center even existed on the property – is one such example.”I’ve always painted outside,” she said. “Now that so much of the land is disappearing I have to paint really quick.”The exhibit also features works by Deane Bowlby, who was raised in Glenwood Springs but now lives in Silt, “then” and “now” photography of the area by Walter Gallacher and Ed Kosmicki, respectively, and Steve Keohane’s scrub oak cane hand-carving inlaid with turquoise, jasper and sterling silver.Bernie Boettcher created his mixed-media piece titled “Reclamation in Rock Minor” by using the front of an old washing machine and images of the Mona Lisa and a floating baby chasing a dollar on a string – which Nirvana’s breakthrough album, “Nevermind,” made famous. It’s another work that Noone and Cochran said adds diversity to the exhibit.”This is community art,” Cochran said. “It’s a statement that people care. It seems that (Wulfsohn Ranch) has passed quietly, but this shows that people do care.”The “Vanishing Point … Wulfsohn Ranch: An Artists Tribute” opening reception will take place from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Jan. 29, at Main Street Gallery, 817 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, 945-4817.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518, firstname.lastname@example.org
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