Wandering Red Cliff’s artistic wonder
August 20, 2010
RED CLIFF, Colorado – Art is where you find it, and this weekend you’ll find it in Red Cliff.The 13th annual Red Cliff Studio Tour runs Saturday and Sunday, featuring 14 local artists and the chance to take a sunny stroll through Red Cliff’s burgeoning art enclave.”Not only is the Annual Red Cliff Studio Tour a great opportunity for people to view and purchase art work, at reasonable prices, by local artists, it’s also become quite the opportunity for old friends from all over the Vail Valley to run into one another and catch up with what’s going on in their lives,” said Barb Bomier, who’s helping coordinate the event.Years ago there was a countywide gallery tour, run by a cooperative gallery in Vail. It lapsed and no one else picked it up. Joan Norris, Sydney Summers and Barb decided to take a shot at it, but keep it Red Cliff-centric.They started with Red Cliff’s Art on the Fence, and it grew from there.”We decided to make it an event for artists who live and/or work in Red Cliff,” Bomier said. “People press us to open it up to other artists, but we want to stay true to its original idea.”
In Red Cliff this weekend you’ll peruse painters and potters, oggle oils, wonder at water colors and marvel at metal and glass. So many ways to look at everything, and think about it all.Kendall Cobb and Stan Morris might be artist industrialists.Cobb designs and builds furniture, specializing in skis & snowboards. He’s building a larger business creating skis and snowboards with local artists’ work applied as top skins. Your skis and snowboards are an alpine art gallery every time you ride a lift, when Cobb is finished with them.Cobb has a ski/board press in his Red Cliff studio so you see how all this works.Morris works in glass, iron and just about anything else that helps bring life to his vision. You’ve seen his work. One is a massive silver Christmas tree topper shaped like a star with a glass globe in the middle.”We’re just trying to make a living with a smile on our face,” he says.Four new artists are part of this year’s Red Cliff Studio Tour.Cheryl Roberts paints wildlife, and not the kind you’ll find in Mango’s after the tour. Shanna Dempsey is a painter with a political bent. She tends toward commentary about the plight of American Indian, and is an unabashed sympathizer.For Maddie McCaulley, this year’s tour is something of a homecoming. She’s a painter who started coming to the tour when she was a teenager. She says she was inspired by work of Red Cliff Studio Tour artist Sydney Summers. McCaulley rented some studio space at old Red Cliff School, and is working on her Masters in Fine Arts at Adams State College in Alamosa. She returning to show at this weekend’s tour.Dustin Zentz is a painter and woodworker in Red Cliff. He’s originally from Michigan, but migrated west in 2004 after earning his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art and Design. These days, his work depicts memoirs of people, places and experiences juxtaposed with ominous landscapes. He says the figure/object/landscape interactions are social and personal metaphors. Bob Will is a sculpture and says his creative process varies.”Sometimes I will see a wonderful form in nature, or in architecture, or simply in my mind and be inspired to recreate that form using altogether different materials,” he says. “At other times I look at the exotic wood in a fine lumber store, or the rocks on a riverbank and instantly see them in my mind’s eye as a finished piece.”There are no constraints in contemporary art, Wills says.”There are no rules, no forms or norms to follow, no constraints,” Will says. “I am free to indulge in my fantasies, to use whatever materials intrigue or excite me, and to put them together in any way I find pleasing.”Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.