Stunning convergence of passions |

Stunning convergence of passions

“Samantha: Oil on Wood” in one of many pieces by local artist Sara Gallagher, on display at the Bookcliff Arts Center’s First Friday’s Art Opening 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 3, at the BAC, 1100 16th St.
Courtesy of Sara Gallagher |

I am not originally from here. In fact, at 11 months in, I’m still very new. My lease is coming to an end, and my transient spirit is speaking up: “Where do we go next?”

Welp, Western Slope of Colorado, I have to say — you’ve done it again. You’ve won me over.

This past week I had the deepest pleasure of attending Mountain Rural Philanthropy Days conference here in Rifle. With some of the state’s largest private funders in town, along with the whole plethora of nonprofit attendees from across the mountain region counties, the convergence of passions was stunning.

The energy of this group provided an arena for intentional listening, fruitful connections and absolutely inspiring collaborative discussions. Three hundred people — funders and the funded — all cooperating together to share, understand and see the pieces we all don’t always tend to see.

I have been an artist since I could pick up a pencil. My oil paintings first began as an exploration of the subconscious; a few years into that I had delved deep enough to evolve the process into an exploration of the self. Here in Colorado, my paintings have ascended beyond this. Stepping the stones to the collaborative, I have begun to work with others as I create pieces inspired specifically by and for them.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

This sort of process requires deep listening, intentional dialogue and an openness to share with compassion.

This is exactly what I felt happening between the people at the RPD conference — the very folk that we share space on this beautiful land with.

So with that, my heart sang, my transient spirit gracefully stood this one out, and here I am declaring there are champions within these rural grounds and I’m going to stick around to see which ones I come into contact with.

There are whole-hearted spirits and voices to be heard. To those who are ready to speak, there are those ready to listen. However, you connect best — be it through art, through education, through engineering, through business — when there is a discussion happening, and I encourage you all to join it.

This Friday, July 3, I will be showing many of these paintings at the Bookcliff Arts Center’s First Friday’s Art Opening event with my series titled, “The Transient Come / the Transient Go / Your Feet Have Roots Wherever You Stand.”

I hope to see you all there 5-8 p.m. at the BAC. More so, I hope we can begin a dialogue. You can pick the setting.

Sara Gallagher is the special events director at the Bookcliffs Arts Center. You can connect with her at

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