Garman: Feels self restored along with business
For a while last year, Michael Garman was losing his will to sculpt. “I could go into the studio, and it wasn't fun anymore,” he said in an interview last week.
“It was a hard time,” he went on, referring to the shock of doctors having told him last summer he had terminal congestive heart failure, followed by his initial business decision to shut down the facility where he had made and sold his internationally popular character figures in Old Colorado City for 34 years.
Despite his health, he started having second thoughts about the closure. “I felt it was wrong,” he said.” Old Colorado City has been home. I hated to leave it in hard times.”
His change of heart can be seen in his own higher spirits (“The last few months have been fun”) and in the operation itself at 2418 W. Colorado Ave. Now called the Garman Museum (instead of “gallery”) the business features the artist's expansions to his Magic Town miniature street scene, the display of several rare character figures and a limited return to production (in-house only) of replicas.
His figures continue to be sold, but now command “museum prices,” he said.
The museum is free, but there's a $7 cost to enter Magic Town (discounts for seniors and children).
The museum's grand opening was May 16-17. Garman was visiting for the occasion - he can no longer live permanently in this climate because of the thinner air. He walks with a cane now and has to breathe through an oxygen device.
As for the future of the business, Garman did not offer specifics, but praised the way his daughter Vanessa has managed it for the past two years.
Westside Pioneer article