By Jeffrey V. Smith
The Gilpin Arts 70th Annual Juried Art Show, the oldest continuously running annual juried art show in Colorado, takes place in one of the state’s most unique galleries, June 3-Aug. 6. The exhibition of more than 88 mostly Colorado artists at the historic Washington Hall gallery, as well as the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony, June 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., are open to the everyone. New Gallery Director Dawn Neu, who started her job in February, is excited for the upcoming summer season, which begins when the gallery opens its doors May 26.
Once it begins, the show is accessible daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On opera nights, the gallery remains open until 8 p.m. Paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass and jewelry will be available for viewing and purchase. On Aug. 6, the Juried Show will close, and the Members’ Gallery will expand throughout Washington Hall Gallery through Sept. 24.
This year’s 70th anniversary show proved popular with artists. “The gallery is going to be packed,” Neu said. “The jurors had to edit, they couldn’t fit them all. They had to go through and judge everything, and then edit it down so it would fit in the gallery. We have 39 different 2D artists who are submitting 60 pieces… 31 photographers with 56 pieces and 18 3D artists that have 20 pieces.” Selected artists drop off their work, May 20-21, and the show begins June 3 with an opening reception and slide show.
Each year, a jury of artists are invited to judge the show. This year, John Fielder is the juror for photography, Stephen Quiller for 2D submissions and Bob Smith for 3D works. The Awards Judge this year is Deputy Curator and Registrar for Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art Christopher Herron. More than $3,000 in cash prizes—including $500 for Best of Show—are awarded to first, second, and third place in all three categories.
Nationally-renowned photographer Fielder is author of more than 40 books, publisher and environmentalist. He has been capturing the beauty of Colorado for 40 years.
Many of his photos have been printed in his books, calendars, and note cards
Well known for his use of color, color theory and his approach to water media painting, Quiller has written many books and produced numerous DVDs pertaining to these subjects. Artists worldwide use Stephen’s products and books, and his work is now collected internationally.
Smith has been a studio potter for more than 40 years, starting in functional stoneware, but quickly moving to low-fire work, especially raku. Silhouette and form, with a quiet contained presence, have always been his major concerns.
The involvement of Herron and the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art is especially interesting. Artist Vance Kirkland was involved with the Gilpin County Arts Association from its beginning in 1947. Organizers are especially “pleased” to be partnering with the museum to focus on the group’s early history and Kirkland’s connection.
The new director is looking forward to getting more people into the gallery this season. “I think people don’t realize, not only is the building beautiful and then you see the art in it,” Neu said. “This rivals big town galleries. The atmosphere is really good and it’s free.
Neu has been a Gilpin County resident for more than five years and is new to the gallery scene. “I have an extensive business background that focused mainly on accounting and human resources,” she said. “Several years ago, I spent time in the museum environment as the Director of Group Reservations for The Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose California. I was in charge of bringing an average of 3,000 school children into the museum each day, putting together events for educators, and collaborating with IMAX movie producers and staff to create classes for the students.”
Once heat is installed in the gallery this year, Neu plans to add programs for kids. “During the school year we can bring in school groups and have artists talk to them about their different medium and maybe teach them how to do some stuff,” she said.
70th Annual Gilpin Arts Juried Art Show
June 3-Aug. 6 • 10am-6pm • $60+
Historic Washington Hall Gallery
117 Eureka St., Central City
Originally published in the May 2017 issue of the MMAC Monthly