Eagle couple envisions art center | VailDaily.com

Eagle couple envisions art center

Sarah Mausolf
Gypsum, CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colorado – Eagle residents Amy and Chris Pates plan to open a community center for the arts in Gypsum early next month.

They intend to offer a variety of art classes in an effort to expand the area’s cultural offerings.

“When I first moved to Eagle, I always felt there was a need for more cultural activities,” Amy said. “WECMRD (Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District) does such an awesome job with sports and recreation. I’ve always wanted to do more in the way of art for my kids. Schools, with their budgets being cut, that’s the first thing that does get cut.”

Amy has been reaching out to the local art community to find teachers for her classes. So far she has received 30 e-mails from artists who are interested in the paid teaching gigs and who work with all kinds of media.

So far, Amy envisions holding early morning classes for toddlers and their mothers or nannies. She also plans to have an art bar where artists can experiment with recyclable materials.

In the afternoons, Pates pictures holding classes for children, teens and young professionals.

Classes might include options pottery, sketching and clay sculpture. Artists have also approached Pates about teaching things like graphic design and painting black-and-white photographs.

“One of the missions here is to look for really unique types of art in the community and bring some uniqueness to the art center, so we probably won’t just have Drawing 101,” Pates said.

She likes the idea of fostering a cafe atmosphere where artists can wander around and socialize or lounge on couches as they work.

Amy hopes to collaborate with the local artists’ group, Eagle Valley Artists’ Alliance. Eagle artist Amy Dose, a board member of the alliance, said the art center is a great idea.

“Over the last two years since we tried to start the alliance up, a lot of what I’ve been hearing from the community is that the community would like to see something like this happen,” she said.

Dose said she’s interested in teaching a contemplative painting class, which explores the logistics of painting, along with the spiritual aspect of it.

The art center would stand in the Caddis Corner Shopping Center near Costco, which the Pates’ own. The art center is planned for 1,500 square feet of space, with room to expand, Amy said.

The Pates’ also run CJs Boardshop, a skateboarding boutique and ramp in the shopping center.

Along with coaxing out other people’s artsy sides, Amy likes to dabble in art projects of her own. She enjoys felting, knitting and working with clay.

“I have this urge and this need to create,” she said.

What: Community art center

When: Slated to open in the beginning of July

Where: 150 Cooley Mesa Road, in the Caddis Corner shopping center near Costco in Gypsum

Details: Classes for children, teens and adults, plus a recyclable materials art bar

Needed: Local art teachers

Cost: Early estimates suggest classes will start at $20

More information: Contact Amy Pates at egartcenter@yahoo.com or 970-977-0483

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