Showing Eagle’s artistic side | VailDaily.com
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Showing Eagle’s artistic side

Shauna Farnell
Special to the Daily "Red Barn," oil painting by Micah Eaton.
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EAGLE – Micah Eaton was never a shining student in his second-grade art class. While his sister could draw remarkably realistic-looking dogs at the age of 3, Eaton didn’t tap into his painting talent until he was inspired by a landscape in New Mexico a few years ago.And now, thanks to a new co-op in Eagle, Eaton and a slew of other local artists have a venue in which to display their work.Twist, formerly known as The Strawberry Patch on Broadway in Eagle, launches its grand opening and art show from 6-8 p.m. today.

“It’s a big introduction,” said Twist owner Kym Manula. “It’s an introduction to Eagle that we are here. It’s a unique place to get one-of-a-kind art. It’s a venue for artists that can’t just rent space. I took out all of the retail besides greeting cards, so we’re not competing with the artists with our things for sale. Strawberry Patch had been around for 25 years. It needed a change. We have space for 15 artists. I expect it to grow and mature along the way. I don’t know where else they could go, besides an occasional art show or the library.”All mediums of art will be for sale and on display at Twist – every medium of painting, metal sculptures, photography, candles and jewelry. The artists range from fairly renowned local artists such as Mike Crabtree, to new, up-and-coming artists like Eaton.”I wanted to get a mix like that to give a vote of confidence to people who are going to be using this show and this co-op as a springboard,” Manula said. “Artists just starting out are not going to have the confidence to walk up to a gallery in Beaver Creek and say, ‘I want to display my things here.’ Plus, each artist works two days a month in the shop, so it’s nice for people when they come in to talk to somebody who can provide a lot of first-hand information.”Eaton, who paints in oil, hopes to use the co-op art show as a vehicle to build experience for displaying his work in a gallery in Denver. Most of his work depicts landscapes, and while he takes photographs to reproduce with a paintbrush later on rather than taking the open-air approach, he feels a painting always represents the ambiance of a place more than anything captured in a camera.

“If you make a lot of road trips, there are so many times when you go, ‘Oh boy,’ that’s an image I’d like to take with me,'” Eaton said. “But you look at the image when it’s developed and think, ‘Oh, that’s nothing like what I saw.’ So, I thought, there’s a better way to get what you saw, or at least the spirit of what you saw. It’s all about light and shadow, not as much line. It’s more just working for color and nuances of shade and dark.”As to the art co-op’s presence in Eagle, the artists involved in the show and Manula hope that the exhibit will eventually help thrust Eagle into a new image as the artistic end of the county.”It would be nice for Eagle to become an artists’ community, for it to become known for something,” Manula said. “I would like there to be three or four galleries opened here. We would have art walks and receptions, and hopefully we’d bring in more tourists, rather than having everyone drive right by Eagle.”

Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or sfarnell@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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