Weekend in the West

Weekend in the West – June 24-25, 2016 – Evergreen, Colorado

This was one of the most fun assignments that I’ve given myself. Who can resist a weekend of Artists, Fine Art and Wine?

Evergreen Fine Art Gallery has been a part of the Colorado art community for twenty-five years. In that time, it has built a reputation for representing the region’s best artists. That list includes Kim English, Ramon Kelly, and many others, whose work you are probably familiar with. In addition to those well known names, though, the gallery also continues to support excellent emerging artists.

Six years ago, the gallery sponsored the first Weekend in the West.  The three day event begins with an invitational dinner, allowing collectors to get acquainted with the participating artists. The following evening is a fancy, public opening, with wine and finger foods in abundance. Most of the artists attend, so it’s a good time for a Vagabond to meet a few of them, and see their work close up. The final day is a “Quick Draw”, followed by a champagne brunch, and live auction. Proceeds from the auction go to a local charity. This year, it was Bootstraps, which provides funding assistance to help with the rising costs of college.

Stephanie Hartshorn and Robert Spooner


I’d never attended this show, so when my artist friend,  Stephanie Hartshorn, made me aware that she had work hanging there, I decided to go. Not too many years ago, I visited  Evergreen quite often. Then life got busy, and I stopped going as frequently. That’s something I intend to correct.

The gallery is a two story affair, with a large open area in the middle of the first floor, encircled by several smaller viewing areas, and a couple of separate rooms. The upper level consists of two viewing rooms, and a framing area.


When I arrived, it was still early and the staff was busy with last-minute tasks. It was a good time to browse around, so I took advantage. There’s something about being alone in a great gallery with dozens of masterful pieces of art. It’s calming, inspiring, and uplifting to me.


As the evening went on, I was able to chat with and photograph several of the artists. Most of those photos will be included in a slideshow, on YouTube.

Susiehyer and Carol Jenkins, enjoying the cool patio air.
Jeff Legg and Laura Kratz having a laugh.

I really like this photo of Jeff and Laura, because it kind of reflects the whole atmosphere of Weekend in the West. It’s a fun and relaxed way for artists, collectors, and other folks to share in the wonder of Art, while making a difference to people in the community.




It was a good evening, I think. There were plenty of red dots (signifying sold paintings), and wine, not to mention the marvelous artists who made themselves available.

Thanks to all of them, and the fabulous staff at Evergreen Fine Art Gallery.  You all made it a memorable evening, and I appreciate the opportunity to cover the event.

Don’t forget to check VagabondStew on YouTube for the Slideshow. There are lots more photos.

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Colorado Latino Festival

Colorado Latino Festival – Longmont, Colorado – June 26, 2016

Whenever I see the words Latino and Festival in the same context, I get excited. Why? Because those words mean things are going to get interesting. You can bet your hat on it. There will be bright colors, cheerful music, beautiful women and fabulous food. What’s not to get excited about?



So, I was not disappointed. The streets were crowded. People ambled about, checking out the booths of the various vendors. Everywhere you looked, there was something to see. Food trucks, bands on stage, dancers on the street, and bright sunshine made it a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon.







In the literal middle of it all were the classic and custom automobiles. Splendid and surreal, as they sparkled in the sunlight, they represented a part of the Latino culture that spans generations. Young men, their fathers, even grandfathers all can share the appreciation for a well customized, or restored, piece of machinery.



What would a street festival be without music? This was certainly not going to be an exception. With three stages, at a given time, one could hear traditional music from Mexico or Puerto Rico, alongside more modern strains of contemporary jazz, hip-hop, or reggaeton.

In all, it was an excellent day. My spirits were lifted and my senses were satisfied with the spectacle of it all. My only complaint was that it didnt last into the night, ending at seven o’clock. A later start time, allowing things to continue after dark, might have made it an even better experience. But what do I know? I’m just a guy with a blog and a camera. I certainly wasnt disappointed.



Viva los Latinos!



There are lots more images to share, and I’m putting them into a video, which you’ll be able to view on YouTube soon. Keep checking back here, or there, for the latest.

Thanks for everything. Dont forget to follow on Facebook and share with your friends!

Lessons Learned

I generally try to be prepared for most things that might pop up in an average day. I have an umbrella in the Stew Wagon, along with a small tool bag. There’s a a tiny emergency kit in my leather bag, a sketch pad and pencils, pen and a spiral notebook. What I didnt have last week, though, was a business card.

This girl was at my local Panera Bread store, and let me take a photo. What I wanted to do, though, was to see if she’d be interested in doing an interview for the YouTube channel. I think she’d have been a very interesting person to talk with, and I’m positive she has a story to tell.

Another lesson was that I need to get a Day Planner of some sort. I’ve started doing some Mystery Shopping for different agencies (video on this later), and yesterday almost killed me. The truth is, I didnt even get all my assignments done, and had to ask for an extension. This happened because I wasnt paying close enough attention to what i was scheduling, and how much driving I’d have to do. Some kind of planner is definitely on the shopping list, to help me stay organized.

Every day holds something new. Yes? When we arent looking, life suddenly throws something at us and we have to learn to deal with it. That’s how we grow.

See you soon, and dont forget to check me on Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube. You’ll be doing me a big favor.