Outdoor painters add color to Old Town

       A sunny weekend augmented the annual “Art on the Avenue's” first-time competition for plein air artists Sept. 25-27 in Old Colorado City.

ABOVE: Four plein air artists use historically dressed models (Dave and Nancy Stovall, far right) for subjects in the "Quick Draw" competition during Art on the Avenue Sept. 27. Kathyrn McMahon's winning work, titled "Old Times," can be seen, not quite done, on her easel (nearest to camera). Other painters in the photo are (from left) Janelle Cox, Patience Heyl and Don Fujimoto.
LEFT: Cox's painting, titled "The Creamery," which won her the Mayor's Choice Award.
RIGHT: In conjunction with Art on the Avenue, Old Colorado City artist Jason Baalman used chalk to draw a Sistine Chapel image on the sidewalk outside the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. On the wall behind him is his previously done (now slightly faded) "Wille Wonka" mural.
Westside Pioneer photos

Click for the finished chalk drawing

       Sharon Wolff of Hunter-Wolff Gallery and Nancy Stovall of Pine Creek Gallery organized the event, which featured more than 20 artists painting outdoors in various Old Town locations.
       The event attracted a number of visitors to Old Town and is giving a portion of its proceeds to the Multiple Sclerosis Alliance of Southern Colorado. It will “absolutely” return next year, again with an emphasis on plein air artists (who like working on location outdoors), Stovall said.
       One change she and Wolff are considering for 2010 is extending the event's time frame from 3 to about 10 days so that artists can feel “more flexible” about their painting and work it in as needed with other commitments. The exception, of course, would be the “Quick Draw” event this year that gave participants an hour and a half to produce a work the morning of Sept. 27.
       Monetary prizes went to the winners: Janelle Cox - Mayor's Choice Award for “The Creamery”; Roger W. Carlson - Juror's Choice Award for “Colbrunn Court Corner”; Gene Sanchez - MSA Award for “Behind Cucuru”; Marlene Kort - People's Choice Award for “Can You Do the Can-Can?”; and Kathryn McMahon - Quick Draw Award for “Old Times.”
       All the works will be displayed during the First Friday Art Walk Oct. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Old Colorado City among the following galleries: Hunter-Wolff Gallery, 2510 W. Colorado Ave.; Pine Creek Art Gallery, 2419 W. Colorado Ave.; Chrystina's Gallery, 16 Colbrunn Ct.; Cucuru Gallery Cafe, 2332 W. Colorado Ave.; Thunder Mountain, 2508 W. Colorado Ave.; Squash Blossom, 2531 W. Colorado Ave.; and All That Glitters, 2518 W. Colorado Ave. Receptions for the respective plein air artists at those galleries are also planned, Stovall said.
       About a dozen galleries in all will be open during the Art Walk, which is in the Old Colorado City historic district between 24th and 27th streets along and near Colorado Avenue.
       Other Art Walk activities that have been announced are as follows:
  • Mariya Zvonkovich, the painter who was the judge for the paintings in Art on the Avenue, will be on hand at Squash Blossom.
  • At Nirvana, 2616 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 16, sculptor Dean Sneed is scheduled to meet the public.
  • The Arati Artists Gallery, 2425 W. Colorado Ave., will feature its October exhibitor, sculptor Alice Ann Ochs.

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