Depot Art Center features both event and exhibit at this month’s First Friday Artwalk | SteamboatToday.com
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Depot Art Center features both event and exhibit at this month’s First Friday Artwalk

The watercolor art of Barb Ross will be featured as part of the "Choose Hope" daffodil watercolor exhibit on display at the Depot Art Center in downtown Steamboat Springs. (Photo by John F. Russell)

The Depot Art Center is getting creative for this month’s First Friday Artwalk by featuring both a new exhibit and a new event.

The exhibit, currently hanging in Bliss Hall, is titled “Choose Hope” and consists of about 50 daffodil watercolor paintings that local artist Barb Ross painted for Northwest Colorado Health’s Hospice program over the past 20 years.

Ross had been a hospice volunteer on the Front Range before she moved to Steamboat Springs. When the hospice program came to Steamboat in the early ’90s, she knew she wanted to help out.



Although she was new to watercolors, when she was asked to create the flier and promotional material for the organization’s annual daffodil fundraiser, she agreed.

The fundraiser has been supporting the hospice program since 1993 when it was started by volunteer Susanne Bostrom, who owned Alpine Floral and Atrium in Steamboat. Selling 500 bunches in the first year, the fundraiser has grown to sell 5,000 bunches of daffodils and greeting cards created by Ross each year.



Now, nearly two decades later, Ross’s daffodil paintings will be on display and for sale for the first time, with all proceeds benefiting the hospice program that Ross has supported throughout the years.

“In many ways, hospice and watercolor are alike,” Ross said. “They are about learning to let go, about how the beautiful comes out of the most unexpected places and about how rich moments can be if we are right there — paying attention, listening and just letting the spirit of life flow through us.

The work of watercolor artist Barb Ross will be featured as part of the "Choose Hope" daffodil watercolor exhibit on display at the Depot Art Center in downtown Steamboat Springs. The display is part of First Friday Artwalk. (Photo by John F. Russell)

“Spending time with hospice patients has always made me feel so alive, because they only have time for what is genuine … and watercolor gives that same feeling of aliveness when it does its thing with the pigment and surprises you in ways beyond imagining,” Ross continued. “Both have been such gifts and influences in my life.”

The exhibit will be available to view until June 5.

While the daffodils brighten the inside of Bliss Hall, the outside of the Depot Art Center will be transformed into a flea market of sorts for a one-night fundraiser event Friday to benefit Steamboat Creates.

Local artists paired up in teams of two and scoured Milner Mall for items to refurbish or turn into something else altogether.

Each pair was given $25, donated by Milner Mall, to spend toward their purchases. The seven teams then spent a week turning their finds into new creations. For example, an old wooden wash basin has been remade into a more contemporary mini bar.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this,” said Barb King, visual arts coordinator at Steamboat Creates.

The evening will feature live music from Steamboat Folk, drinks and appetizers, and the refurbished items available for purchase. The team that sells their creation for the most money will win a free, all-day pontoon boat rental at Stagecoach Lake.

The watercolor painting of artist Barb Ross will be featured as part of the "Choose Hope" daffodil watercolor exhibit on display at the Depot Art Center in downtown Steamboat Springs. The display is part of the First Friday Artwalk. (Photo by John F. Russell)

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