Old Town art scene: ‘Blossom’ summer shows set
Old Colorado City Gallery in 32nd year

       This is the second in an intermittent series on Old Colorado City art galleries.
       A jewelry store that started in a downtown kiosk 32 years ago has evolved into one of Old Colorado City's largest art galleries.
       Squash Blossom, 2531 W. Colorado Ave., is adding to its appeal this summer with monthly shows spotlighting a wall artist and a bronze sculptor in one of the business' five indoor rooms known as the Gallery Room.
       “It's a new thing we're doing to feature our artists,” said Emily Lincoln, Squash Blossom's art director.
       The Gallery Room was chosen, according to Gwen Bland, gallery manager, because it has more unimpeded wall space than the other rooms and “seems to be our center in focusing on art work.”
       An opening reception for the next featured artists will be Friday, June 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. These are sculptor Daniel Glanz of Loveland and painter Tom Lockhart of the San Luis Valley. Both specialize in outdoor scenes -part of the gallery's efforts to “pair off” artists who have certain style similarities, Bland said.
       The two also fit the Southwestern look and feel Squash Blossom has become known for - although this is going to change somewhat in the months ahead, she pointed out, as the gallery begins branching out by adding some contemporary works.
       Occasional changes to the store's look and feel is not unusual. The Cogswells, who also 7own the 116-year building at 26th and Colorado, “pretty much revamped it entirely” when they bought it in the mid-'80s and have continued to remodel the gallery as needed, according to Bland. “Every few years we seem to make changes,” she said. “We're always trying to update it.”
       Another thing the store prides itself on is artist exclusivity. “We try to carry artists' only works in Colorado Springs,” Bland said. “We put a lot of effort into that. I think our long-time customers appreciate it. You can't just go across the street and find the same work there.”
       In addition to paintings and sculptures, Squash Blossom has a reputation for jewelry, which carries over from the kiosk days. At the time, owners John and Patti Cogswell were newlyweds. They still own the business today. Over the years, the couple has expanded to Vail, which now offers the Cogswell Gallery and a Squash Blossom store focusing on jewelry. The Colorado Springs shop moved to Old Colorado City in the mid-'80s.
       A remnant of the original kiosk remains in the Colorado Avenue gallery. The small concrete slab the store originally sat on was salvaged and serves as part of the floor of the open-air “room” known as the Sculpture Garden.
       The garden, accessible only through the store itself, also gives the business a place to show off “life-size” outdoor pieces by several bronze artists, Bland said.
       The show by Glanz and Lockhart will remain up until early July. The next opening reception will be July 8 for sculptor Stephen LeBlanc and painter Thomas Owen.

Westside Pioneer article

An “art scene” in Old Colorado City? Before scoffing, consider the various galleries/ studios in the Historic Shopping District on Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets. The Westside Pioneer will be profiling artists from these locales in occasional features over the coming months.