Art happens in New Castle |

Art happens in New Castle

Do you have an artistic little one at your house? Patti’s Main Street Coffee House is inviting children of all ages to display their original artwork describing “What Love Is” at the coffee house in February. Valentines, drawings, photography, poetry and paintings no larger than 8″ X 10″ are welcome. Children may take their creations to the New Castle Branch Library before Friday, Jan. 30.

Well-known local artist Carmel Walden of New Castle is displaying her watercolor art at Patti’s Main Street Coffee House this month. She will be bringing a bigger collection, including unframed prints for the artist reception, from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 23.

Munchies and drinks will be provided at the reception.

” I love that watercolor allows for both freedom and control,” said Carmel. “With practice, one can learn to paint realistically with exact detail, but the joy of watercolor is in the ‘happy accidents’ that take paintings in unexpected directions. I love leaving a little mystery.”

Carmel has several paintings in the Midland Arts Gallery in Rifle, but sells most of her pieces at art festivals all over Colorado and beyond.

“I’ve figured out that what moves my soul is nature, so I that’s what I paint … For instance, I try to bring the same detail, expression, personality and respect to a lone leaf or a tiny flower as I would a person.”

At Tuesday’s New Castle Town Council meeting, Michelle Halstead, the liaison from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Office of Governmental Relations, gave a power point presentation about what CDOT owns, what they do, how they are organized, how they determine what major projects will be funded, and CDOT’s extremely-tight budget.

Town Clerk Lisa Cain remarked it was good to get lines of communication open with CDOT, and the town will be more aware of the governmental process for its long-range planning.

A project which has been on town council’s collective minds is to improve pedestrian access to get across I-70. Currently, residents trying to get across the highway use the overpass, which can be dangerous. With more development happening on that side of the river, there will be more of a demand for pedestrian traffic, which is not something the town can fund. The town hopes CDOT can put this in their long-range planning and budget.

The state has put together a pilot program whereby communities can take over ownership of parts of the state highway system. New Castle is interested in Highway 6 from an economic development point of view.

“With the plan for the Main Street streetcape program, we’ve had plans to change the parallel parking on Main Street to angled parking, to increase the number of parking spaces,” said Lisa. “Council is also interested in reducing the number of lanes downtown from 4 to 2, as part of a traffic-calming plan downtown, taking over Main Street would allow the town to do that.”

If the proposed takeover happens, the town would be taking on the maintenance burden as well. The town has made an application to CDOT for the pilot program, CDOT is reviewing the application, and should hear from CDOT sometime this spring.

A few months ago, New Castle Town Council began taking their meetings on the road, to neighborhood council meetings. The next council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 20, at the Lakota Rec Center. This meeting will be open to the public, but will focus on Lakota.

Kay Vasilakis’ “New Castle News” column appears every other Thursday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. To contact her with news tips and inspirations, please call 384-9118 or e-mail

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