See work of local artist Ellie Dwyer at Avon Public Library
AVON — During May, you can enjoy the work of local artist Ellie Dwyer at Avon Public Library. Dwyer’s work will be on display at the library as part of an effort by the Vail Valley Art Guild to feature local artists.
The Vail Valley Art Guild was started by Joanne Carhart Levy a few years ago in an attempt to give artists such as Dwyer a larger platform to showcase their work.
“It’s a very small membership fee,” Levy said of the guild. “We host workshops all summer long, we host art classes weekly, we have exhibits and more.”
For Dwyer’s exhibit, expect to see some familiar faces and stunning landscapes that also may be familiar.
But it’s the many relationships in Dwyer’s life that spur on her art. Dwyer receives her inspiration by meeting people, photographing them, then painting portraits of them among scenery that fits their heritage. At Colorado Mountain College, she met a young woman with Mayan heritage, and painted her among some Mayan ruins. While on a trip to Canyon de Chelley, she met a young Navajo family selling wares.
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“I put them in a background with the original Hogan (traditional Navajo family dwelling) view,” Dwyer said. “I just thought they fit really well in that scene, being Navajo.”
In Buena Vista, she met a young Apache woman.
“She put on her grandmother’s clothing, which she enjoyed being photographed in,” Dwyer said. “I put her in alongside a river in a setting where her ancestors may have been.”
Dwyer used to live in the Vail Valley in the 1980s. After moving to Buena Vista for a few years, she is now back home, living in Avon. She hikes around the area to get the images of her backdrops in mind. Sometimes, it works out as she intends. Other times, a wrong turn or a day trip that doesn’t go as planned will result in a painting that she never expected she would create.
“We tried to get to Upper Piney one day, but didn’t make it all the way,” Dwyer recalls. “Instead of the lake, I ended up with a stream that turned out really nice.”
Dwyer’s work will be on display in the conference room at the Avon Library though the end of May.
To lean more about the Vail Valley Art Guild, visit http://vail valleyartguild.com/.