Red Cliff: An artist enclave |

Red Cliff: An artist enclave

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
HL Red Cliff Art 1 8-15-12

Over the years the Red Cliff Studio Tour has been taking place, plenty of artists have rotated through, taking part for a year or two before moving on. But Red Cliff residents and artists Barb Bomier and Joan Norris have been fixtures, as dependable as the date of the two-day art affair – always held the third weekend in August. It’s a tradition that Bomier and Norris hope is engrained in people’s minds.

The tour celebrates 15 years this weekend. Eleven artists will take part, exhibiting and selling their art and talking to curious passersby. There’s all sorts of mediums to discover –from Jim Lamont’s wordly photographs to Norris’ brightly colored oil paintings; and Bob Will’s contemporary wood-and-metal sculptures to custom made skis by Kendall Cobb or Joanie Barbier’s fabric collages.

Time never wasted

Barbier paints local landscapes, as well as rusty old trucks. One oil painting that she’ll display this weekend, called “Waiting for Car Repair,” was a piece she painted while waiting for her car to be repaired at Leadfoot Linda’s in Eagle-Vail, she said.

“There are some nice views along the river behind all the garages and other businesses,” she said. “After finishing, I went back to the garage and they told me that they had decided that my car didn’t need repairing after all. How honest is that? I was happy with my painting and didn’t consider my time wasted.”

Another truck piece, called “Buddy’s Truck VI,” is of Buddy Calhoun, a longtime local resident who passed away in 2007. Bomier first painted the truck in the early ’90s, when it was parked at his ranch in Lake Creek.

“I was so excited to see it again parked in Minturn, at Battle Mountain Trading Post, this spring,” she said. “I’ve since painted it three more times. It’s changed colors, a bit, over the years, but still an inspiration.”

One woman’s ‘man cave’

After attending the studio tour for a few years, Jenifer Hammond, an Eagle-Vail resident, decided to rent a studio in the old schoolhouse last fall, she said.

“It’s such a neat little artist enclave up there. We jokingly call (my studio) my ‘man cave,'” said Hammond, who has three children, age 8, 10 and 18 who will display some of their artwork alongside their mother’s.

Hammond does acrylic and mixed-media paintings and dabbles in photography. She’s a wedding planner by trade.

While Hammond’s studio will be open during the tour, and she’ll be showing all of her work, her focus isn’t on selling, as it is for some of the studio tour artists.

“That’s not the emphasis – I rented the studio mainly just to learn and have a good spot to get away, to play, learn and explore,” she said.

Most attendees could walk to each stop on the tour, and many of the artists will be showing in one spot – the old red-brick schoolhouse on Pine Street.

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