Maybe it is the scenery, but it seems the artistic are 'drawn' to the Uncompahgres.
Ouray County has painters, welders, woodworkers, quilters, photographers, and glass workers, just to name a few.
Aspen Light Glass in Ridgway does amazing work with fused glass art and jewelry. Diane does wall hangings, bowls, dishes etc. She specializes in frit painting, fused glass and pique assiette mosaics. The studio is open by appointment only in Ridgway this winter.
Ann Cheeks moved to Ouray only a year ago, but loves the area. Her first time in Ouray she actually stayed at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs! She said she saw 2 deer that came really close while sitting in the hot tubs and a double rainbow. She has been inspired by our surroundings to paint mountains and waterfalls. She teaches for Weehawken Creative Arts in Ridgway and Ouray as well as Ah Ha School for the Arts in Telluride. She mostly does oils, but likes to play with all different mediums.
John Billings is known as the Grammy Man in Ridgway. Who knew that in a little unknown town in the south west corner of Colorado the Grammys are made. John is a craftsman who cares about his work, he creates the style and builds the mold. John also makes the Annie Award and the John Wooden Award. It takes about 15 hours to make 1 Grammy Award.
Natasha Payette is an icon in Ouray County. She started and has taken the Weehawken Dance program to amazing heights! Natasha produces all the performances the dance program performs. She does all the choreography music, costumes set design everything from start to finish is under her talented control. For such a small community we have the most amazing dance programs! The group performs 2 big shows each year, one in May and one in December. They have done everything from the traditional Nutcracker to Natasha’s own version of Wizard of Oz, a tribute to The Beatles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Peter Pan. There is also a smaller group of committed dancers in the Weehawken Company that put on 2 smaller shows each year. For the Company performances each member has to choreograph one of their own dances. This last year instead of the Nutcracker they did Polar Express.
Ouray has a quilters guild that produces some amazing quilts each year. Every September the Ouray County Museum does a quilt show to show off old quilts. There is a raffle of one of the Guild’s quilts. The drawing takes place at the Quilter’s Tea which ends the month long show.
Of course the area attracts photographers. We have many photographers living in the area as well as visiting photographers who come to capture our spectacular surroundings. You can see many of the local talent at the annual Ouray County Arts Association’s Artist Alpine Holiday the first week in August. This year the event celebrates it’s 54th year. They also have a winter show over the President’s weekend every year. This year the winter show also happens to be on Valentine’s Day as well. The show is held at the Ouray Community Center Feb 14-17. The Artist Alpine Holiday is also held at the Community Center with classes throughout the week as well as a plein air paint out.
Also each month in Ridgway over the full moon there is an art walk that features different artists each month. You can check out their website or facebook page to find out what is happening each month.
The Wildflower Boutique in Ouray boasts over 110 Colorado artists. From wall art to hand crafted pillows, candles and jewelry, the talent of local artists is highlighted in every corner. Since expanding their store in 2010 to include the Colorado Room, Dee and Robert have created a space filled with amazing works of all kinds.
As you can see, Ouray County is a treasure trove for the arts, and we have only just begun!
Come explore the galleries and shops, or bring your paints or camera. Capture the majestic beauty of the San Juans any time of year!
See You Soon!
About the Author: Faith Parry was born on a hippie commune in Southwest Colorado. After graduating with a degree in music, Faith has traveled extensively around the world, always finding her way home. She loves hiking, taking nature photos, baking, and throwing great parties. Faith founded the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival in Ouray; a fantastic party featuring all products from Colorado, which has quickly become an event not to be missed each winter.