June ArtWalk

“So much joy in coming together” — a work by fine art and fashion photographer Rob Woodcox, on exhibit at Telluride Arts’ HQ Gallery. (Courtesy photo) 

“On the whole, I’d recommend taking the time to meander and see all the different spaces,” Evan Tueller said. She was speaking about Telluride ArtWalk: participating galleries and venues stay open a little later at this monthly event (usually until 8 p.m.), offering visitors a chance to enjoy a glass of wine into the evening. 

This month, there are not only more places in which to do that, but also more ways to do it. You needn’t drink alcohol — or anything at all, for that matter — to appreciate the way wine is incorporated into Red Dirt Gallery, featuring works by Eunika Rogers, who uses clay (as the title of the gallery implies), wine and pigments in her paintings. The clay is local: Rogers gathers it during hikes she takes in this region (the deep red-rock walls Down Valley between Sawpit and Placerville are a likely source of artistic, as well as geographic, inspiration). 

Red Dirt Gallery is one of four new venues officially debuting Thursday, the first evening of ArtWalk’s summer season. I say “officially” because many of these galleries opened last week during the first night of Mountainfilm, which typically hosts a gallery walk of its own but could not this year due to pandemic-related uncertainties. 

“Mountainfilm asked if the galleries would be interested in hosting an additional ArtWalk, because their own Gallery Walk couldn’t happen,” Tueller explained. “We rolled with it, and turned it into two weeks of fun. We call it a double-header launch into the summer season.”

New venues making their summer debut include South Fir Street, owned by Judy Haas, and featuring Haas’ sparkly, hand-embellishments on vintage posters (she uses crystals, diamond dust and more to get the glow going). 

A Pilates space, Studiotelluride, doubles as a new space for art: it will display pieces by Robert Weatherford, a beloved local instructor for the Ah Haa School (and formidable painter in his own right). Also new to ArtWalk this summer is the Telluride ArtCollective, a working studio with artwork by Rebecca McFarland and Joanie Schwarz that also exhibits fine jewelry, hand-embroidered cashmere, paintings and photography. 

Those are just the new spaces. New exhibits include Vessel, with works by artists “both new and familiar” to the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art; “Assorted Works” at Slate Grey Gallery by nomadic plein-air painter Lisa Lebofsky (the show is in partnership with Naturita’s Camp V); and landscape photography by Gary Ratcliff at Baked In Tellurde, which captures the range of San Miguel County, from craggy high-alpine to the wild horse country of Spring Creek Basin. It’s an inclusive show, with a breadth of vision and generosity of spirit — the exhibit is dedicated to the memory of longtime local Jerry Greene. 

In addition to the chance to see these works, there’s a new opportunity to learn more about them, through a Makers Series at the Transfer Warehouse. Fine art and fashion photographer Rob Woodcox, whose works are on display at Telluride Arts HQ Gallery (across from the library), was the featured speaker earlier this week. 

Woodcox’s pieces combine sinuous human forms with sprawling landscapes; he’ll be working in town these next few weeks, and is available to answer questions about his work at HQ. 

“It’s a special and unique show,” Telluride Arts’ coordinator Austin Halpern said of Woodcox’s work. “Rob’s projects are very personal, and he’s devoted to advocacy.” Two of Woodcox’s projects have been devoted to the U.S. foster care system (he was adopted) and queer identity, “also very personal to him. It’s awesome to have him for Pride Month,” Halpern said. “It’s a perfect fit for him.” Though many of Woodcox’s works “were inspired by a tumultuous time,” as Halpern put it, “he also saw so much joy in coming together.” The results are “these incredibly beautiful human sculptures, which speak to the connection between humans and landscapes.” 

It’s hard not to feel joy gazing at Woodcox’s works; Tueller said she’s been something akin to it as well, as health-restrictions ease and people gather again. “Everybody’s really excited right now,” she said. “You can feel it with the attendees.” 

For a complete list of what’s on tonight, visit telluridearts.org