Summer is a heady time in the San Juans. You see it in the rich variety of local comestibles on display at the Telluride Farmers Market Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at the Farmers Market in Ridgway’s Hartwell Park (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Palisade Peaches approach perfection in August, and local corn has ripened. The Olathe Sweet Corn Festival takes place this Saturday in a new location, at the Montrose County Event Center.

There’s an explosion of color and variety when it comes to visual arts in this region, as well. If you missed Telluride ArtWalk last night, no worries: the variety of new exhibits remains on display for the next several weeks (for a complete list of what’s on, visit

In Ridgway and Ouray, visual arts are ramping up as well. The 59th Artist’s Alpine Holiday Exhibit just opened, and will remain on display at the Ouray Community Center through next weekend. Judged by artist Meredith Nemirov and mountain photographer Jack Brauer, both of Ridgway, the juried exhibit features drawings and printmaking, photographs, works in oil, acrylic and pastels, sculpture, pieces in mixed media, and more. There are awards for students 12 and under and for youth aged 13-18. This year’s grand prizewinner is Telluride artist Molly Perrault, who was awarded for her work, “A Massive Drop in Shark Sightings.” See a complete list of winners at The Ouray Community Center is open daily through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and daily through Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


This weekend in Ridgway an exhibit opens that is not only by an artist, but about a group of artists whose creations have made our lives easier.

Titled “Portraits in Fashion,” it’s at the 610 Arts Collective. Its subject: famous fashion designers, “some current, some past,” as artist Leslie Plimpton puts it, “who have either changed the direction of fashion or changed how we live our lives as a result of the designs they created.”

The works are in dry point etching or monotype; one is of French couturier Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

The great designer was both famous (for her clothing, accessories and perfumes) and infamous (for reputedly collaborating with the Nazis). In Plimpton’s monotype, the expressions “No. 5,” for the eponymous 1920 fragrance; “Pearls” (for costume jewelry); and “LBD” (meaning “Little Black Dress”) float above an image of an impeccably coifed businesswoman, chic and inscrutable. The work, along with several others in this exhibit, is sewn onto a piece of fabric the designer was known for, in this case boucle with braided trim, to evoke Chanel’s signature, easy-fitting attire.

“Coco was instrumental in getting women out of corsets and allowing them to wear loose fitting garments that were so much more comfortable and allowed them to play tennis,” Plimpton said. The clothing “created a sense of freedom for women that they didn’t have before. If you look at the way that Victorian women were dressed, there’s a certain amount of repression there. Going forward, Yves St. Laurent,” who is also depicted in the show, “created a women’s version of a tuxedo. He called it ‘Le Smoking.’ When women first wore St. Laurent’s ‘tuxedos’ into chic New York restaurants, they were asked to leave! These pieces revolutionized fashion. Today, everybody’s wearing pants.”

The exhibit includes portraits of Coco’s predecessor at the House of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, in signature ponytail and sunglasses, and Gallic designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Here, too, is a depiction of “a local guy,” as Plimpton put it wryly. Her portrait of American fashion magnate Ralph Lauren, mounted on blue denim bedecked with brown suede fringe, is a nod to the way folks around here know the designer best: as a fellow rancher, the owner of a working cattle operation on the Dallas Divide.

“Portraits in Fashion” is open Friday at the 610 Arts Collective at 610 Clinton St. from 5-9 p.m. The show’s official opening reception is Sunday at 6:10 p.m.