Here in the Rocky Mountains, the aspen are turning bright gold and some are burgundy. They are truly magnificent against the turquoise Colorado sky. But the true mark of autumn is the Denver Gem and Mineral show, which just finished last Sunday. Though in reality I needed nothing, I cannot help going to see what Mark Lasater at The Clam Shell, Gary B. Wilson, Greg King-Falk Burger (the duo humorously known as “Burger-King”), Michael Hendrix and many more have in stock. They had less in stock after my friend, student and sister, Kathleen Krucoff, my students and I left. And remarkably, we do not fight over stones. We all have such different taste in our jewelry and colors that there is always plenty for all of us. Well, truthfully, Kathleen and I do tussle a bit over red jasper, Chinese Writing Stone, and petrified palm wood, but if you follow her blog, you know she is a purple lover, so she buys a lot more purples, while I go for the “earth tones”. (I’m such a child of the 70′s). As I predicted on my Tucson blog, Mark Lasater had some gorgeous Red Creek Jasper. Funny thing about names, it’s now called Cherry Creek Jasper, Cherry Creek Valley Jasper and just plain old Red Creek jasper. That’s the name the owner of the mine calls it, so I’m sticking with that until further notice. But there was a lot of it at the Denver show.
Fall is also the time for the Castle Rock Art Festival. The gem show starts the Tuesday after the Castle Rock weekend, so I’m pretty exhausted. The Castle Rock show was pretty good for me this year, though not even comparable to “The Glory Days” of the 1980-90′s art festivals. But I had a great time and I always love meeting the other artists. This year I traded some work with my newest friends, fabulous wildlife watercolorist Stephen Koury from Lakeland, FL and metal artist Pamella Goff from Brighton, CO. Pamella makes diverse art from old spoons, and her pieces are totally delightful. Her spoon flower hangs in my kitchen. It reminds me of a delightful and spiritual sister. Stephen does these unbelievably realistic nature paintings, and my painting features a Harris Hawk and my favorite petroglyph, the “Moab Man”. It is being framed now, and I can’t wait to hang it in my entry hall. Both of these artists are so outgoing and wonderfully talented that it makes it the whole show experience pretty wonderful. Plus, the Castle Rock Festival is one of the best run I’ve ever participated in. They take such good care of their artists. Kathleen and I have decided that it’s easier to do some shows together so we are looking forward to doing more shows next year.
A few blogs back I expressed my feelings about galleries and shows, and thought something has to be done about the way we get our work out there, and yet allow us to do more than “break even” on an event. After some thought, I realized that what we need is a group of sincere artists who come together and present their work at a well-known, but non-gallery, location and perhaps start a tradition.
Well, I’m very lucky to be on the Board of Colorado Metalsmithing Association (CoMA), so I took my idea to the Board, and they were receptive to trying something totally new. Previously, CoMA has only shown at galleries. Now we will have 28 artists, famous, notables, and emerging, those who answered our Call for Artists, and we will be showing and selling our work at the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens on Oct 16 and 17.
What is so amazing about this venue is that it is timed to take place along with the showing of Henry Moore’s monumental sculptures. It was Henry Moore who commented “The most powerful artworks are the largest and the smallest”. I was thrilled to find that quote, and we put it on our postcards.
I would like to thank Kathleen Krucoff of Krucoff Studios for the design of both our poster and postcards. Everyone has commented on how stunning and professional they are, and it makes them proud to be a part of the show.
So what I’m saying, along with please come see us at the show and sale, is that we, as artists, are creative people. If you are unhappy with shows and galleries, please take this idea and run with it. It’s nothing new, but it is a first for a great group of metalsmiths in Colorado.
Look for willing locations in your area. Look for people who will help sponsor a show, and put one together. Is it a lot of work? Yes, tremendously so. Maybe a later blog will be a step -by-step of how to do this, but I’ve put together many shows in Texas and PA. All it takes is a spark, and you can ignite a whole group of people’s creative processes. Helping others get “out there”, in turn energizes me, and I feel a lot more creative. I hope you will come to see us. I can promise you it will be worth your time to see what these artisans have created and maybe you will find that right item and become a collector!
Show dates / times / location: October 16 ad 17, from 9 AM -5 PM, Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver Co, 80206.
I’m off to create something for this “New Tradition”– I look forward to meeting you at this new event, “Jewelry at the Gardens”. Please mention you read about it in my blog as I would love to know. Thanks.