Whimsical Women show: beautiful art in a beautiful setting
FOUR MILE, Colorado – You’ll find them five miles up Four Mile on the way to Sunlight this afternoon and tomorrow – 20 women, all artists, all from around here, sharing and selling their work. They’ll be set up in and around the big barn at the Four Mile Creek Bed & Breakfast, and around the grounds. There’ll be fine art and folk art, and a bit of other work in between (see artist’s list). “The Joy of Spring,” is the Whimsical Women of the West’s fourth springtime show. They’ve been getting together twice a year – once around the holidays and once during spring – to share their love of art with everyone who’d like to stop by. “Oh yes, and even men!” said Sharill Hawkins with a laugh. Sharill and her husband, Jim Hawkins, for the past 15 years have owned and operated the Four Mile Creek B&B, the show’s venue. “Men are very welcome,” said Sharill. “Men are such a part of this show. Although all the artists are women, Jim helps us so much. And there’s plenty of food and refreshments, and a fire to sit by and visit.”
There isn’t a definitive organization called Whimsical Women of the West. The group evolved more organically than that.”Helen Collins [who creates fiber folk art] and a couple of other artists started a Spring Thing art show a while back,” Sharill Hawkins said. “It was really low key with men and women participating. Later, [local artist] Jillene Rector participated in a Whimsical Women show in North Carolina.” That was all that was needed to start a western version of the southern Whimsical Women show. Now this group, who range in age from mid-30 to 70, come from the area covering Redstone to Basalt, and from Silt to Glenwood Springs. Participating artists are gallery and art store owners, from Pat Warman of Collage Creative Collections in Carbondale to Silt-based artist Joyce Webb, who creates, among other items, soaps, pottery, benches and birdhouses. Webb, who’s been a part of the show for the past three years, said it’s easy to want to be a part of Whimsical Women. “No. 1, the people in the group are fun and pleasant and really talented,” she said. “We have a great time. Also, the location [at Four Mile] is gorgeous. The barn is so beautiful and makes for such a wonderful backdrop.” Hawkins agreed with Webb about her barn. “Having the show in the barn, and in the loft gives us an expanded space,” said Hawkins, who strives to make each artist’s work flow into the others in an artistically balanced way. Webb also said that knowing that Whimsical Women is going to be taking place in the spring gives a lot of the artists needed inspiration for creating more work. “A lot of us are a little light on work,” said Webb, who participated in the Willits’ Farmers Market from November to March this past year, and is an artist at Gallery 809 in Glenwood Springs. “The show gives us a little push.” “It helps us get going for the upcoming art fair [season],” added Hawkins. And Whimsical Women offers another benefit – for a local nonprofit. “Every year we donate part of our proceeds locally,” Hawkins said. “One year, we donated to the round room at the Third Street Center [in Carbondale], and we were one of the first to donate to the community bread oven in Carbondale. We’ve donated to community gardens and to Glenwood’s downtown market.” This year, the recipient of the Whimsical Women show is the Glenwood Springs Garden Club. The group helps to coordinate the Glenwood Community Garden, and various gardening and planting projects in the community. Hawkins said that the artists involved in Whimsical Women are always more than willing to extend a hand to causes in which they believe. “It’s a goodhearted group,” said Hawkins.
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