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Carbondale’s 44th Annual Valley Visual Art Show

Enjoy the art of your neighbors with the 44th Annual Valley Visual Art Show in Carbondale. 

“My favorite thing is just to look for all the different kinds of media involved,” Brian Colley, gallery manager, said. 

The exhibit features all physical media that is within 30 inches in height and width. There is one sculpture that is taller, but they decided to display it since it still fits with the rest of the art. 

“We’ve got one artist who just graduated from high school with a found-objects sculpture, and then we’ve got more established artists like Shana Miller who just had a show with Art Base last fall, and everyone in between,” Colley said. 

When artists apply for the show, they get to show one piece of art that is ready to hang. They treat the show like a professional gallery would, “so they have some experience getting their work ready to display.”

All of the art is featured in a single two-room gallery space. 

“We have traditional things like painting and drawing, but we also have, in this year, some scratchboard art,” Colley said. “We have some work with textiles, and lots of different kinds of sculptures.” 

The annual People’s Choice Award gives out cash prizes to the top three vote recipients. Colley said that this year, the voting will be in an old-fashioned phone booth, kind of like the ones you might envision in England. 

The traditionally red booth is tall with a phone inside, that Colley said might be set up to work one day. Eventually, it will live outside as a public art installation project with the Carbondale Creative District, but it is in the gallery right now for a fun way to vote, he said.

Art pieces by various local artists cover the gallery walls at the Launchpad in Carbondale for the 44th annual Valley Visual Art Show.
John Stroud/Post Independent

“It was something our former director found a couple of years back and it was in a bad state of repair. One of our board members over the past few years has basically built it back up from scratch from the ground up,” Colley said. 

It’s a fun assortment of artists who contribute each year, Colley said. About a third of the group has usually been in multiple Valley Visuals each year, and then another third is in the show every now and then, and then there’s another third of the group who are first timers. 

“On Friday’s opening reception, all artists are invited to come and hang out and meet each other, and then the community can meet the artists,” Colley said. “It’s kind of a big art love fest for all the creative people here.”

Once you see the show, come vote for you favorite for the People’s Choice Award.

The R2 Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. and for more information call (970) 963-1680.

If you go…

What: 44th Annual Valley Visual Art Show

When: 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20- 5 p.m. Feb. 23

Where: The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St. Carbondale

Glenwood Springs area arts and entertainment happenings

R2 Gallery exhibition opens Friday

Carbondale Arts presents a new solo exhibition by painter and sculptor Tania Dibbs, opening at 5:30 p.m. Friday with an artist talk at the R2 Gallery in the Launchpad on Fourth Street. A reception is slated for 6-8 p.m. 

“Tania Dibbs is an internationally collected artist who explores the jagged intersection between the natural world, humanity and culture through painting and sculpture,” a press release states. 

Her show is scheduled to be on display through Aug. 11 at Carbondale Arts’ Launchpad, open weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday music in Sopris Park

Carbondale’s Second Sunday in Sopris Park music series features the Cruz Contreras Band on Sunday from 4-7 p.m.

The Americana band is described as “sweet southern music at its finest … telling whisky-soaked tales of love and heartbreak.”

Bring lawn chairs or a blanket. No glass containers, alcohol or dogs in Sopris Park.

Summer of Music welcomes Peach Street Revival

Next up in the Glenwood Springs Summer of Music concert series is Peach Street Revival, with opener Wild Flight starting at 6:30 p.m. July 13 in Two Rivers Park. 

Peach Street Revival plays classic rock. Coming up July 20 is the Johnny O Band. 

New Castle Market opens July 14

The New Castle Community Market is set to open for the season on July 14 at Burning Mountain Park on Main Street in New Castle, featuring fresh produce, honey, baked goods, canned goods, arts, books and food trucks.

The market is scheduled fro 4:30-7 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 15, a news release states.

The July 14 market features live music by Valle Musico, hosted by New Castle Recreation, plus a dunk tank fundraiser for YouthZone.

Carbondale Garden Music Series resumes July 14

The next in the Garden Music Series at the Third Street Center in Carbondale features classical violinist MinTze Wu performing “Johannes & Clara,” from 6-8 p.m. July 14.

“In this program, we trace back to the letters exchanged between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, and listen to the hidden longings inside the musical notes of these two celebrated musicians who deeply admire and influence each other, yet were separated by fate,” a release states.

English in Action benefit invites guest speaker Roya Hakakian

English In Action’s summer benefit feature guest speaker Roya Hakakian, author of “A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious,” and other works, from 5-7:30 p.m. July 14 at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. 

English in Action is a nonprofit organization serving the Roaring Fork Valley by helping immigrants who want to improve their English language skills through one-on-one mentoring and small group sessions.

The benefit event includes music by jazz vocalist Josefina Mendez during cocktails, followed by the program beginning at 6 p.m. 

“Hakakian deftly points out in ‘A Beginner’s Guide,’ there is no one American immigrant experience,” a release states. “This fundraiser will highlight the diverse contributions of immigrants here in our Roaring Fork Valley and the importance of building stronger communities through cross-cultural exchange and understanding.”

For ticket information, visit englishinaction.org.

Arts and entertainment happenings

Easter egg hunts and activities


The annual Rifle Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt returns this year to Deerfield Park, a news release states.

Beginning at 9 a.m. April 16 in Deerfield Park, 300 E. 30th St., children up to age 9 are eligible to come by for a chance to win Easter baskets and bikes as well as participate in the Easter egg hunt, the release states.

“If your child finds a piece of candy marked with a number, find that number at the participating business in town, and they will give your child another prize,” the release states. “If the business is closed on Saturday, go back during normal business hours.”

A longstanding tradition, the local Lions Club has held the Rifle Easter Egg Hunt for 86 years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Rifle Fire Department will be on site for kids to get an up close and personal experience, and it’s just a fun-filled morning for the whole family,” the release states. “It’s a Rifle tradition. … Come out and watch the kids have fun and celebrate spring.”

Glenwood Springs

The New Creation Church Easter Egg Hunt is on for this year at 10 a.m. Saturday at 44761 Higway 6 in Glenwood Springs. The event will be bigger than ever, and registration begins at 9 a.m. Register your children, toddler through fourth grade, by going to www.newcreationchurch.org.

The Salida Family Circus, Happy Day Express Train and Rugged Desperadoes 4-H Petting Farm animals will all be here. Plus, lots of food, prizes, candy and fun — and thousands of eggs. Call 970-945-5902 or email office@newcreationchurch.org for more information.


Carbondale Recreation sponsors its annual “Where My Peeps At?” team scavenger hunt for older children and adults and, for the first time, the “Little Peeps Scavenger Hunt” for children age 2-6, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Teams of two to six people ages 8 and up can sign up; same for the younger set. Info and registration at www.carbondalerec.com.

Art for autism awareness

The Launchpad in Carbondale is currently displaying a 4-foot-by-4 art piece that has been curated over the last eight months through the efforts of Ascendigo Autism Services’ Katie Alderson and seven children on the autism spectrum. April is Autism Awareness Month.

Second weekend of ‘Sound of Music’ production

The multi-school Basalt and Carbondale student production of The Sound of Music takes place at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Basalt Middle School auditorium, 51 School St., Basalt. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students and seniors (advance purchase available at eventbrite.com/e/the-sound-of-music-tickets-296917627617)

‘Picasso’ continues at CMC’s New Space Theatre

Continuing through April 24, Colorado Mountain College’s Sopris Theatre Company presents “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” an absurdist comedy created by screenwriter, actor and comedian Steve Martin.

Multiple showings of this off-Broadway play take place at the New Space Theatre at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus: 7 p.m. April 15, 22 and 23; and 2 p.m. April 17 and 24.

In addition to live performances, live streamed performances of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are slated for April 16 and 22.

All tickets are available for purchase at coloradomtn.edu/campuses/spring-valley/cmc-theatre/ or 970-947-8177.

Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association hosts final two performances of the season

The 2021-22 Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association is coming to a close with two performances April 25 and May 4.

At 7 p.m. April 25, the male vocal quintet Veritas performs in the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium. Their program features music from Broadway to sacred, pop to classical, and opera to rock ’n’ roll. The April 25 concert will also kick of the Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association’s 75th anniversary celebration with cake in the lobby.

The final community concert of the season is slated for 7 p.m. May 4 in the Glenwood Springs High School Auditorium. The Sons of the Pioneers will sing cowboy classics made famous by their founders, Roy Rogers and friends.

Adults can join the concert series for $50 for the entire season. Memberships will be sold at the May 4 concert, and new members will be invited to stay for The Sons of The Pioneers concert as a bonus. Go to http://www.gsconcertassn.org for more information.

Carbondale’s Day of the Dead honors lives lost, lives lived

Female dancers with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico practice a dance for this Friday's performance at the Carbondale Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Dia de los Muertos is an opportunity to bring the Carbondale community together in festive fashion Friday, honoring those who’ve died and recognizing those they left behind, organizers say.

“Carbondale, in general, has a lot of gatherings that connect people, but I think there is something special about this one — there’s really not anything quite like it throughout the valley,” said Amy Kimberly, the Carbondale Arts executive director. “Whether or not we agree on everything, we really come together to celebrate.”

On Nov. 1 — the traditional day to observe Dia de los Muertos — Maria “Judith” Alvarez set up an ofrenda, the altar where celebrants honor their relatives, outside The Launchpad at 76 S. Fourth St.

“For me, this is a way to teach to my son the ways of my home, Mexico,” Alvarez explained. “He was born here and doesn’t know the way I was raised. This is a connection for him to our culture.”

Gently repositioning a plate of meat and mole sauce beneath an opulent image of the Virgin Mary, Alvarez explained the food was for her husband, whose photo on the ofrenda was propped up by an empty bottle of tequila.

“This is a celebration of life, and mole was his favorite food,” Alvarez explained with a smile. “I love this event. It brings the Anglo and Latino communities together.”

Above the altar, strings of marigold flowers direct the spirits of the dead, creating a pathway to the living realm, Alvarez explained. Candles also light the way, ensuring the spirits do not get lost on the Day of the Dead.

“The altar brings humans and spirits together,” she said. “We celebrate the dead children on Monday and the adults on Tuesday.”

Kimberly said Carbondale’s Dia de los Muertos celebration is hosted during November’s First Friday event, a community-wide get together on the first Friday of each month.

“We’ve been doing Dia de los Muertos for about eight years now,” she said. “Because of COVID-19, we moved the ofrenda outside last year, and we’re keeping it outside this year out of an abundance of precaution.”

The event officially kicked off with establishment of the ofrenda Monday, and Kimberly said participants are encouraged to use the ofrenda to honor their loved ones throughout the week, but the celebration starts in earnest Friday with the unveiling and signing of a 56-foot-long mural painted with the help of the community on the CenturyLink building at the corner of Fourth and Main streets.

Gayle Embrey, the mural’s lead artist, said two Latina artists were among the painters as well as about 90 community members who are invited to sign the painting Friday.

“Diversity is an important part of our community, enriching it tremendously, and it’s amazing to be able to highlight that on a day we celebrate that diversity,” Embrey said. “It was great that we all came together to create this mural.”

The mural is a combination of several panels, each representing a section of Carbondale’s history and culture.

“We do represent farmers, hippies, dogs, cats and all sorts of people in our community,” Embrey said. “But we chose to celebrate those that came before us through the lens of Dia de los Muertos. The imagery of the skeletons and marigolds is especially vibrant.”

One of the mural’s artists is scheduled to paint a dandelion, Carbondale’s official town flower, on the final panel Friday, and community members who assisted with the project are invited to sign each of the dandelion’s petals, she said.

Kicking off at 4 p.m., Mexican hot chocolate and other treats will be served during the event, which is free to attend.

At 5:30 p.m., a procession featuring giant skeletons in the style of La Catrina — the Dame of the Dead — fire dancers and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico dancers will leave the Third Street Center at 520 S. Third St. and head toward the Fourth and Main streets intersection.

The term Folklorico is used in performance circles to describe all traditional Mexican dances, said Francisco “Paco” Nevarez, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico director.

“When I was a little kid, my mom worked, and she enrolled me in a Folklorico afterschool program in Chihuahua, Mexico,” Nevarez said. “I spent most of my life with a Folklorico dance group in Chihuahua, before I moved to New York.”

Nevarez was offered a job as the Folklorico dance director in the Roaring Fork Valley in 2002, and he’s been in the area ever since.

“Dia de los Muertos is a very traditional, holy ceremony in Mexico,” he said. “In Mexico, we used to go to the cemetery, clean the tombs and they would even put carnival rides and food outside the cemetery. It’s a celebration of life.”

On Friday, his dancers, a group of kids ages 10-17, will perform a number of traditional dances including the Maypole Dance, which signifies the circle of life. The dancers will wear ancestral costumes and La Catrina masks during their performance, he said.

“The celebration helps me fulfill my life here in the United States,” Nevarez said. “We are a special community here in Carbondale. We embrace and celebrate cultures and holidays from all around the world.”

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at ifredregill@postindependent.com.

Weed calendar opens window to Garfield County agriculture, vegetation management efforts

“Fall Gathering” is a painting by artist Lanny Grant that’s featured in the 2022 Weeds of Garfield County calendar.
Garfield County Vegetation Management/Courtesy

Though “weed” has taken on a different meaning in Colorado over the past decade or so, most rural counties have whole departments dedicated to educating landowners about the noxious varieties and how to control them.

If you want to get to know your Colorado weeds a bit better — complete with a gorgeous scenic photo of the month from the Garfield County countryside — just pick up a copy of the annual Weeds of Garfield County calendar.

The 2022 version is now available for free at all Garfield County Public Library District branches and the county administration buildings in Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

Steve Anthony has been Garfield County’s vegetation manager since 1999. For several years, he worked with the nonprofit Colorado Big Country Resource Conservation and Development Council to produce a statewide weed calendar.

That project was eventually turned over to the Colorado Weed Management Association, but after a few years of not doing it, Anthony said he missed it.

So about eight years ago he got permission from the county commissioners to produce Garfield County’s very own weed calendar. His department had a budget set aside for community outreach, education and awareness, and the calendar seemed like a good way to accomplish that.

“It’s a pretty good tool to, in a subtle way, get weeds out there in the vocabulary of people and increase awareness,” he said.

Each month features an image taken by a local photographer or painted by a local artist of scenic landscapes, residents, wildlife and livestock.

Accompanying each photo and monthly calendar is information about various noxious weeds, how to prevent them from spreading, best agricultural practices, wildfire recovery, what’s edible — if that’s your thing — and how to be careful to avoid dangerous look-alikes when out foraging.

For instance, the February entry tells of Queen Anne’s Lace, or wild carrot, which is popular with foragers. Beware its relative, poison hemlock, though.

There’s also a bit of Garfield County agriculture history featured in the calendar, including a January tribute to the Coffman family of Carbondale, who recently sold their ranch to the Aspen Valley Land Trust in order to maintain its ranching heritage.

The Grizzly Creek Fire behind the Spring Valley Schoolhouse by photographer Ann Driggers is featured in the 2022 Weeds of Garfield County calendar.
Garfield County Vegetation Management/Courtesy

Garfield County Vegetation Management Program Coordinator Sarah LaRose is in charge of lining up the artistic content for the calendar each year.

“In the past, we’ve hired photographers to go out and take pictures that we wanted to feature, but two years ago we started doing it as a photo contest and asked people to submit their photos,” LaRose said.

Featured photographers for 2022 are Todd Patrick, Tommy Sands, Chalana Wilson, Shania McCain, Ann Driggers, LaRose and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s own Chelsea Self.

The project has also expanded in recent years to include several paintings by local artist Lanny Grant.

“A lot of the photos illustrate the different vectors for weed-seed spreading throughout the county, like hay and cattle operations, and what they do to control weed spread,” LaRose said.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s probably the most favorite part of my job. It’s great education for landowners, because many people don’t realize how noxious weeds affect their lives and how they might be spreading weeds without even realizing it.”

A Garfield County hay operation by photographer Sarah LaRose is featured in the 2022 Weeds of Garfield County calendar.
Garfield County Vegetation Management/Courtesy

Anthony said Garfield County is constantly seeing new, non-native plants coming into the region and discovering ones that have been here for awhile but are just now propagating.

Colorado has a noxious weed list including about 100 plants with varying degrees of concern for spread. Garfield County has about 40 of them present, he said.

The Colorado Weed Management Association continues to produce an annual weed calendar, but not many other counties have their own, so Garfield County is unique in that sense, Anthony said.

“A lot of counties have gone more to social media for their education and outreach, and others do a brochure,” he said. “Every county’s approach is a little different.”

Garfield County this year printed 2,000 weed calendars — double that produced during the pandemic last year — and they’re going fast, Anthony said.

For more information, contact the Garfield County Vegetation Management Department at 970-945-1377, ext. 4305 or 4315.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Carbondale Clay Center welcomes new exhibit this Saturday through end of March

Photos of artwork from Carbondale Clay's Center February and March exhibit, "Complexities: From Surface to Form."

“Complexities: From Surface to Form” will open this Saturday, Feb. 6 at Carbondale Clay Center featuring artists from across the nation, according to a Jan. 29 news release. The celebration of modern art through the clay medium is meant to bring the subtleties of function and form together through various pieces of ceramic art, the release states.

Matthew Eames, the Gallery and Studio manager at the clay center, said all selected pieces on display were chosen intentionally to highlight the theme of the exhibit.

Photos of artwork from Carbondale Clay's Center February and March exhibit, "Complexities: From Surface to Form."

“Each and every step along the way of creating this exhibit has posed a wonderful set of questions about the ability to decorate and its continuing influence on contemporary pottery,” Eames said.

The exhibit will run through March 27 and those interested can view the artwork on the clay center’s online store and website, or in-person at the center from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. during the week from Tuesday through Saturday. The release also said the exhibit will feature everyday items guests will be able to recognize along with dishes designed with elevated surfaces. The artists who will be on display are Mark Arnold, Ashley Bevington, Naomi Clement, Matt Mitros and Chris Pickett.

Photos of artwork from Carbondale Clay's Center February and March exhibit, "Complexities: From Surface to Form."

Carbondale Clay Center’s ‘Parts and pieces coming together’

A woman makes a bowl during a February 2020 event at Carbondale Clay Center. Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Local favorite artist couple Wewer and Steve Keohane’s existential mixed media, painted and ceramic pieces will be exhibited today at the Carbondale Clay Center.

The exhibit is open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and runs until Jan. 30

One major piece from Wewer, a European-raised artist whose work can be found in iconic museums all over the U.S. and the world, includes a six-piece series called “Breakfast in Japan.” The collages exemplify the artist’s exploration into the human psyche.

“Shew studies dreams, and through her own dreams and journals she explores the subconscious of divine intervention,” Carbondale Clay Center Marketing and Communications Director Savanna LaBauve said. “There’s a lot of parts and pieces coming together in some of these three-dimensional works.”

Steve, who wields a lifelong fascination with the perception of reality according to his bio, will exhibit a fascinating piece that uses elements extracted straight from the Roaring Fork Valley. Using a piece of wood salvaged from the 2018 Lake Christine Fire, Steve has created a multi-element depiction of nature.

What: Mixed Media Marriage exhibit

When: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday. Exhibit runs until Jan. 30

Where: Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St.

How much: Free

“He took the piece of wood and it’s mounted on the wall and on top of that he has a ceramic sculpture that is in the form of a nest,” LaBauve said.

Friday’s exhibition marks one of many since September, said LaBauve.

“I feel like a lot of people are popping in,” she said. “They’re excited to see the exhibits.”

Carbondale Clay Center is located at 135 Main St. Reservations are not necessary and the event is free.