The once-abandoned Transfer Warehouse on the corner of Pacific and Fir is bursting into creative flight like a phoenix from the ashes. Under the direction of the Telluride Arts District, the alluring ruin of a building has found a new lease on life as a venue for the arts in Telluride, providing a (currently) roofless space for everything from intimate concerts to art shows. This evening, it will provide the backdrop for a dance performance and artist talk, a “reveal” of the month-long dance residency and collaboration between Valerie Madonia and Kim Epifano. Thursday, painter Britt Bradford will offer a free live demonstration in the alla prima still life style during Art Walk from 5-8 p.m., with a class in the same style offered Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for inspired painters wishing to learn or practice the technique.
“The Transfer Warehouse provides a perfect, open-air space for a variety of arts, cultural, and community events always but especially this summer, when we're all trying to be both safe and stay sane!” said Kate Jones, executive director of Telluride Arts.
The dance reveal, titled “Swaying in Stone,” presents the work-in-progress of a site-specific dance theatre piece followed by a talk with the two artists. Madonia, an accomplished ballerina, danced professionally for over two decades with the National Ballet of Canada and other dance companies, performing in such storied historical venues as the Acropolis in Greece and the Alhambra in Spain. Epifano, founder of Epiphany Dance Theatre in San Francisco, has been dancing, choreographing, directing and educating around the globe for the past 35 years, including many local and international youth productions with Telluride Academy’s popular Mudd Butts Mystery Theatre.
“The reveal provides a little glimpse into their creative process,” explained Jones. “It is not meant to be a finished, polished piece, but more of a raw, work-in-progress. I think it's fascinating to see works at all points in their development, as it provides insight into the artistic discipline, and the hard work, craftsmanship, mastery, intuition, and magic therein.”
Thursday, Britt Bradford will kick off a painting series in the Transfer Warehouse with a live demonstration in the alla prima style, a technique in which the painter layers wet oil paints on top of each other without allowing the layers to dry in between. Bradford, who worked at Telluride Arts for four years, relocated to Barcelona four years ago to study 19th century style classical realism at the Barcelona Academy of Art, a departure from her previous focus on modern abstract styles. She then moved to New York, where she studied at Grand Central Atelier for two years.
“That's where i got really into the way the Dutch used to paint in the Golden Age, which is what I’ll be teaching in the workshop later this month,” she said, referring to the weeklong series “Dutch Bouquet Day-by-Day,” a five-day workshop beginning Aug. 24 during which painters will grow their skills and knowledge of the Dutch style while building a bouquet modeled from flowers provided by a local florist.
The class on Saturday, meanwhile, will provide a one-day opportunity to try the alla prima technique under Bradford’s tutelage, with artists of all levels encouraged to participate with charcoal or drawing media if preferred. While easels and boards will be provided by the Ah Haa School for the Arts, artists must supply their own paints and painting or drawing supplies.
“I would love to have people come and just practice drawing too,” Bradford said, noting that participants may also bring along objects to draw or paint if desired. “The one-day class will be a fun way to come try it out, feel out the setting, and see how I teach. This technique is great because it also helps you develop the skills for plein air painting. You’re working fast, with wet paint, so it helps to build those muscles to go outdoors and paint landscapes quickly. It’s also a great option for right now where we don't really have spaces where we can set up studios indoors. This is a way you can set up outdoors and enjoy a quick approach to painting.”
The painting workshops will be set up for appropriate social distancing so that artists can work in the outdoor space without wearing masks; Bradford will don a mask when providing individual instruction from closer than six feet.