Art starts young in the Mancos Valley

KIDS DO THE MOST WONDERFUL STUFF: The Mancos School Art Show is on right now at the Cortez Cultural Center. Kim Russell, our intrepid (and only) art teacher, has put together a very exciting show, featuring works by every student from kindergarten through high school from the Mancos School system. The very youngest kids created giant flowers, creating a garden where papier mache' cats roam, all in brilliant colors. Another panel features several dozen "Day of the Dead" skulls, with glitter, paint and great imagination. The high schoolers did huge face portraits on big sheets of black paper, and worked backwards with white and gray chalk. On the sidewalls were works in the style of Paul Klee and Claude Monet, two pioneers of Impressionism. Jellyfish created from large pop bottles hung eerily in one corner. Ceramics, fused glass and much more. Go see what our kids are creating in school.

ARE WE MISSING SOMEONE?: You may have wondered what has happened to Veryl Goodnight's sculpture, "New Beginnings" which has been stationed in front Zuma Natural Foods. Fear not. It has not been crumpled by an overzealous RV driver, but has been moved up to Colorado Springs to be in the Bronze Artists Show at The Hayden Hayes Art Gallery in the Broadmoor Hotel complex. Local sculptor, Patsy Davis' work will also be shown in this exhibit as well. If you're a Facebookie, you've seen Veryl's postings about her sled dogs, the Iditarod race, and all things huskie. Also on the calendar, "Sculpting the Burro" - a workshop being given by Veryl, June 3 through 7 may still have an opening. Contact Jamie Bade at the Gallery, 970-533-1177.

RURAL GOTHIC?: The Sideshow Emporium in Dolores is one of the most unusual places in our neck of the woods. Clothing (second-hand, new, funky and vintage), art, photos, weird stuff, fun parties and local musicians are only part of the equation. Last Saturday night, they will host "Rural-Gothic: Music, Art and Video," a collaboration of offerings from artist Rosie Carter, filmmaker Sam Lyons and photographer Dustyn Lyon. Music by The Holy Smokers, the duo of Chuck and Rosie Carter who played a Hawaiian take on the spaghetti western sound. Also on the bill will be singer songwriter was Ole Bye. Local Mancos musician, promoter and businessman Hardison Collins (think Beehive) featured as Kustom Fronts for his new solo work. He's half of the reverb-drenched folk duo Baby Toro. Collins paired up on this event with Sideshow Emporium owner Heather Narwid. "It's us embracing the darker aspects of small town America, through film, music and art," Collins said. "We're exposing the underbelly and enjoying it for what it is." That underbelly, although not necessarily a seedy one, is an art exploration of rural America, an important subject and one that may get forgotten about in larger art communities throughout the world. But that doesn't make them any less important, and at times can make for more compelling subject matter than anything found in art galleries in New York or Paris. "It's the juxtaposition of opposing things. To me, a gothic vibe would be thwarted endeavors, like trying and can't do it," Narwid said. "Opposing and intense emotions at the same time, creating tension and anger and darkness. We live these things every day, like the Hollywood burning down." The Hollywood Bar, a legendary Dolores watering hole, burned in August. A video exploring that event and its meaning for the Dolores community was featured at this eclectic evening. The event was a way for musicians, artists and fans to present and enjoy new works in a comfortable, homey, but somewhat avant-garde atmosphere. We all hope that they'll do more. I must admit I lifted some of the words about this event from the Durango Herald review by Bryant Liggett. He described wonderfully, so I'm forwarding his words to my fellow Mancosites!

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Do you do any artwork based on, or even made out of, cars? It's the great American obsession. My husband and I love to find and photograph interesting old cars and trucks wherever we find them. I got a shot of a gorgeous red Buick Roadmaster from the 50's right in front of a great red rock formation while visiting at Arches National Park. I learned to drive on my pop's 1956 dark blue Buick Roadmaster when I was in high school. Wish I had a photo of it now. If I did, I would frame it and get it into the CAR SHOW. We'll accept any medium, as long it has to do with cars (and trucks, of course) Opening reception is May 23. If you have any questions, please get hold of me, or Marilyn Kroeker at Raven House.

MIXING UP MANCOS: The Annual Mancos Mix show will open with the artists' reception on April 4 from 5 - 7 at the Cortez Cultural Center. If you want to submit your work, get it to the center on April 1 to be put into the show. For more information, contact Jan Wright through the Artisans of Mancos gallery downtown Mancos, 970-533-7040. It's always a fun and diverse show. Enter. Enjoy.

Contact Dian & let me me know what's happening in the arts community. I'd love to publish info about your event, show, concert, play, whatever! Call me: 970-533-7536.