The 5th annual Gilpin Art Studio Tour, planned to coincide with aspen viewing, Sept. 17-18 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., is organized by local artists to foster an appreciation of the arts in the rural county. Enjoy a day meeting artists and crafts-people who will exhibit their art, demonstrate their craft and offer items for sale. A Meet-the-Artists Preview Night with live music and refreshments is planned, Sept. 8 from 6-7:30 p.m., at the Central City Visitors Center Art Gallery. All events are free and open to the public.
According to organizers, this is the most diverse year to date with 16 participating artists—including painters, illustrators, photographers, ceramic artists, jewelers, fiber, metal, glass and laser-cut wood artists—featuring a wide array of styles.
The studio tour welcomes five new artists this year.
Jacquelyn, a busy mom of two girls and holder of an M.B.A., is new to the tour. She is now owner, primary designer and business manager at HippieGeekStudios, which creates artistic wood jewelry and home décor with a laser.
Teree Gothard of Black Hawk Jewelry Designs is also a new tour participant. She transforms gemstones, jewels and precious stones into a variety of timeless fashion-forward necklaces and earrings. She shares a stop with her husband, Julian Gothard, a photographer who “showcases the beauty” of the Front Range. “It’s a huge honor to be in the company of such talented artisans and a wonderful opportunity for Gilpin artists to showcase their work in front of a wider audience,” he said.
Wildlife artist and fantasy illustrator Danea Fidler and Heather Carr, a painter and illustrator, are new to the tour and will share a stop. The pair were Artists in Residence at the Gilpin County Library this summer.
The tour also welcomes back several artists who are veterans to the event.
Forrest Anderson of Wabi Pottery has been a part of the studio tour since its inception and started making pots at his Russell Gulch studio in the ’60s. His gallery, at the southern end of the tour, is also on the property and is a great place to see the breadth of his work.
Les Barstow is a photographer inspired by nature who says photography “opens a window to the Divine… full of inspiration and wonder.”
Artist Mary Bell, owner of Mountain Goat Gallery on Central City’s Main Street, has been working with glass for over 28 years and specializes in large glass wall murals.
Tom Cowherd of Nature’s Elementals has been making jewelry for more than nine years. All his pieces are handmade, using natural stones with copper and sterling silver. Having done several years of study in Native American spirituality, Cowherd has gained an appreciation for the energies of the natural stones and the earth in which they are found.
Gabrielle Gewirtz has been working in clay on and off for over 20 years and when she isn’t “doing clay” she is making music. Her wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramic work has harmony and texture, color and fluidity. This year she will be unveiling some of her new clay and glass mosaic pieces.
Bambi Hansen has been displaying wax candles with the tour since its inception. A longtime member of The Environmental Group in Coal Creek Canyon, and creates earth-colored candles from recycled wax.
Dana Jones, quilter and photo journalist, returns to the tour this year and will showcase quilts she designed and crafted, as well as featuring her book Pagtinabangay: Quilts and Quiltmakers of Caohagan Island.
Sculptor Gary Kragenbrink has lived in Gilpin for almost 30 years. The Central City artist welds whimsical sculptures, both large and small, with imagination and a good sense of humor. His studio is open Saturday only.
Walter Perryman is a sculptor who has been carving since he got his first pocket knife as a boy.
Virginia Unseld, one of the founders of the tour, has a passion for painting “en plein air.” She moved to Colorado almost 40 years ago and has spent much of that time recording her impressions of the western landscape in pastels.
Letterpress and Book Artist Gail Watson, also returns to the tour with her printing work and unique book creations from Birdwood Press.
There are also three “group stops” including the Gilpin Clay Studio at the Gilpin Recreation Center, the Gilpin Arts Association in Central City’s historic Washington Hall and Central City Visitors Center Gallery, which is also the site for the Meet-the-Artists Evening, Sept. 8, and will display artwork from tour artists through Sept. 18. Look for signs pointing to tour stops. Maps are available at sponsor businesses, artists and other locations in Gilpin County.
The Central City Visitors Center Gallery is located at 103 Eureka St. in Central City. Visit www.GilpinArtStudioTour.org or www.facebook.com/GilpinArtStudioTour for updates, maps and artist information.
Originally published in the September 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly