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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Susiehyer and Carol Jenkins, enjoying the cool patio air.

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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.

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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.

Also, follow on Facebook at http://facebook.com/VagabondStew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Viva los Latinos!

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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!

Breakfast with Tiffany!

Meet Tiffany!

This little moth dropped off my tablet this morning, when I pulled it out of my bag. As you can see from the photos, the poor thing suffered some horrific damage to its wings, and couldnt fly. There’s also something going on at the right “shoulder”, which looks pretty substantial. I felt bad for the little thing, but what can you do?

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Doing some research, I discovered that it’s a White Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis), which is not native to this continent, but was introduced in the 1920s, from Europe.

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Eventually, I took it outdoors and set it on the ground, letting nature take its course. Because there are crumbs on the ground and tables, birds frequent the area. I dont imagine the creature lasted very long, but that’s how nature works.

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Cheyenne

On Tuesday, I had to make a trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

By reputation, it’s easy to think of Cheyenne as a rough-around-the-edges cowboy town, and there are parts of that legacy still apparent. You’ll find the Cowgirls of the West Emporium and Museum very reminiscent of those bygone days. There are other reminders, as well. I met a couple of young women, walking down an alley, who told me that every building in Cheyenne is haunted. IMG_6702

As Old West towns go, though, Cheyenne seems to be following the lead of its northerly sister, Jackson Hole, and has become quite cosmopolitan in flavor. You’ll find all kinds of surprising things, if you walk around a bit.

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Then, there are the not so surprising places, like Sanfords. It’s a local place that serves a good plate of food and a good pint of beer. It was highly recommended by a few people I talked to

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The place I hung out was an old, burned out theater, that has been remodeled and re-imagined as a coffee shop, called The Paramount Cafe. Most of the old theater was destroyed by a fire in the 1980s. That portion was torn down and turned into a parking lot, where there’s some really fine artwork hiding out.IMG_6666

If anybody knows the artist who did this, buy them a cup at The Paramount for me.

Inside, the place is what you might expect, with lots of wood and vintage touches. There were also a couple of really nice baristas, serving up whatever the clientele asked for.

Luke and Sadie were excellent sources of information about Cheyenne. Luke moved up from Fort Collins, Colorado a few years ago, and Sadie is native to the town. We talked a little about the place’s western reputation, at which they laughed and said, “That’s just one week a year, during Frontier Days. The rest of the time, we’re just like anyplace else.”

So, my recommendation is, if you’re looking for a place that’s just beginning to blossom, but still has some of its Old West flair, then spend a few days in Cheyenne. I’m going back soon and will give you a full report.

Thanks for reading. Dont forget to check out the YouTube channel and the Facebook page. Meanwhile, here are some more pics from my afternoon.

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I forgot to mention that Sadie also does Henna Tattoos.

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Yes. It’s more East meets West, as the real Indians move into downtown.

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