Explore the arts | SteamboatToday.com

Explore the arts

Steambat features strong art community

Dave Shively

Steamboat Springs has a collection of artist galleries rivaling that of a town 10 times its size.

The timing just seemed right.

This spring, when Steamboat Springs Arts Council Executive Director Marion Kahn nominated Steamboat for the 2008 Governor’s Arts Award – an annual award for a Colorado city or town that has “effectively utilized the arts to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of their community” – she had a couple of key factors in mind.

The first was Steamboat’s mountain landscape and climate, which have invited and inspired artists for years. Take the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. In its 95th year, no performing arts school and camp in the nation can boast as many years in continuous operation. Kahn also seized on the presence of internationally renowned artists and the city’s recent and explosive growth across art disciplines as evidence this little corner of the Yampa Valley has become one of the state’s premier arts destinations.

“There’s such a variety of expression from very modern to very traditional,” Kahn said. “The natural beauty is so striking here, artists have the urge to express that in their own medium while people are branching out, too.”

That means a broad section of local artist works – not only reflections of the surrounding wildlife and dramatic landscapes in photographs and paintings, but everything from bronze sculptures, master Navajo jewelry, ceramic art and stained glass to timeless custom-made furniture – in an ever-growing number of venues.

The gallery growth also has meant the discerning Steamboat viewer can browse more acclaimed international work, from tribal hand-woven rugs to fine art etchings from master printers.

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“One of the main things is that there are so many different kinds of practicing artists in so many different genres,” Kahn added, “and a lot of them are willing to teach.”

Ken Lee is one of the artists who is willing to teach. He moved to the Yampa Valley in recent years to set up his photography gallery after searching across the West for the ideal town.

“Before the last couple of years, Steamboat was not known as an art town, but it’s in the process of changing,” Lee said. “The art scene has been growing exponentially the same way the town has with the residential and commercial development.

“The fine art scene has been growing so rapidly, with about half a dozen new galleries in the last year or two, that it kind of reached that critical mass where it was time to do something as a group.”

Lee is now president of the Steamboat First Friday Art Walk Association, an organization of local independent gallery owners that began coordinating a series of openings from 5 to 8 p.m. during the first Friday of every month, starting in December. The concept took off, and by this spring nearly 20 galleries, businesses and non-traditional venues were participating, each showcasing work and offering everything, including drinks and live music.

“It’s nice that it has really turned into a community event,” said Lee, excited to the see the walks enter their first summer and looking ahead to Fridays to come, including the Fourth of July.

First Friday Art Walk maps are available at downtown art galleries and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association (1255 S. Lincoln Ave., 970-879-0880). Call the Arts Council at 970-879-9008 for details.

Abracadabra Gallery

Displays original, inspirational landscape paintings done on location in oil, watercolor and pastel by local artist Zanobia – noted and acclaimed Colorado artist and member of The Plein Air Painters of Steamboat Springs.

2135 Burgess Creek Road, Suite 302, 970-871-8000, http://www.steamboatgallery.com/portfolios.php, call for hours.


Offers a wide selection of unique art, jewelry, home accents and gifts from glass- and stoneware to folk art and artifacts. Online catalog available.

1875 Ski Time Square Drive, 970-879-6411 or 888-879-6411, http://www.ambienteinc.com, open daily until dusk.

Artisans’ Market of Steamboat

Founded as a local artists’ cooperative in 1982, the Artisans’ Market fine craft gallery features a large inventory of unique artwork from 150 established and new, innovative Colorado artists, including dozens of local artists. With ski, Western, Native American and wildlife antiques, collectibles and distinctive souvenirs, the Market also showcases antiques from local ranch auctions and vintage ski items.

626 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-7512, http://www.steamboatartisansmarket.com, 10 am-6 pm Sun.-W, 10 am-8 pm Th-Sat.

Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat

Exclusively representing artists working and living in the Yampa Valley, this 5,000-square-foot, artist-owned gallery and classroom facility in the historic 1909 Steamboat Pilot building represents emerging, mid-career and self-taught natural artists working in a broad diversity of mediums, traditional and contemporary.

1009 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4744, http://www.steamboatgallery.com, 10 am-8 pm M-Sat., 10 am-6 pm Sun.


Carries a selection of fine furniture, paintings, art, home accessories, upholstered furniture, case goods and lamps.

345 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-2524, http://www.steamboatzing.com, 10 am-6 pm M-Sat., 10 am-5 pm Sun.

Bedrock Depot

Gift shop features an extensive library of photographic images of Dinosaur National Monument with a huge stock of photographic prints and greeting cards from the local region.

214 W. Brontosaurus Blvd., Dinosaur, 970-374-2336, http://www.bedrockdepot.com, 11 am-7 pm daily.

Blue Sky Pottery

Working ceramic artist studio featuring the handmade work of Deb Babcock and a dozen other local artists, mostly functional pottery ware.

1475 Pine Grove Road, Suite 105, 970-846-9349, http://www.dbabcock.etsy.com, noon-5 pm F-Sat., also by appointment.

Copper Ridge Studio

Local artists’ studio featuring the work of Susan Schiesser, Pat Walsh, Fred Hodder, Monroe Hodder and Christopher Oar.

2570 Copper Ridge Circle, 970-846-7879 or 970-846-0791, http://www.schiessergallery.com, http://www.monroehodder.com, http://www.christopheroar.30art.com, hours by appointment only.

David Chase Rugs and Furniture

Downtown 12,000-square-foot showroom with more than 1,200 rugs in stock and an ever-changing inventory of varied classical, modern, tribal or antique hand-woven area rugs as well as distinctive furniture, unique tribal art, accessory lines and architectural pieces.

335 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-5667, http://www.davidchaserugsandfurniture.com, 10 am-6 pm M-Sat.

Dovetail Designs

This Oak Creek gallery space and workshop features fine hardwoods carefully tooled by skilled craftsmen and owners Mike Roach and Craig Rench, who seek to create timeless pieces of custom-designed furniture ranging from armoires and wine cabinets to tables, chairs, beds and benches.

100 Main St., Oak Creek, 970-736-8244, http://www.dovetailfurnituredesign.com, 9 am-5 pm M-Sat.

The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts at the Depot

Housed in the historic train depot building, celebrating its 100th anniversary, The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts houses two visual fine art galleries at the Depot Gallery, the Front Gallery and the Emerging Artists’ Gallery and occasionally hosts concerts and dance performances. Free tours offered on the weekends.

1001 13th St., 970-879-9008, http://www.steamboatspringsarts.com, 10 am-5 pm T-F, noon-4 pm Sat. and Sun.

Fawn Creek Gallery and Custom Framing

Features original wildlife and Western artworks, limited edition and giclee prints, plus a fine line of silver and turquoise Southwest Indian jewelry art and unique wood sculptures. Custom framing offered.

315 Sixth St., Meeker, 970-878-0955, Fawn Creek Gallery, 9 am-5 pm M-F, 9 am-3 pm Sat.

Gallery 11

Ken Lee’s fine art nature and wildlife photography provides images of Steamboat and the West with unique landscape, wildlife and flora photography prints. Workshops and private instruction available.

908 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-8887, http://www.gallery11.net and http://www.kenleephoto.com, 10 am-5 pm daily.

Green Otter Gallery

North Park’s co-operative gallery features exclusively local artists’ paintings, oils, water colors, pastels and lots of artisan crafts including hand-knit hats, glassware, jewelry, beaded items, pine-needle baskets, cards, prints and found-wood furniture.

454 Main St., Walden, 970-723-3323, 10 am-5 pm daily (except Tuesday).

Hacienda Collection

Huge selection of rustic, Southwestern/Mexican-style furniture with everything from home accents and lamps to handcrafted furniture and pottery of the Tarahumara Tribe of northwestern Mexico.

908 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-8887, http://www.haciendacollection.net, 10 am-5 pm daily.

Hayden Marketplace on Historic Walnut Street

Representing over 27 artists and artisans strictly from the Yampa Valley, the Hayden Marketplace displays gift items, artwork, paintings, photos, home furnishings, home textile products and jewelry, set in one of Hayden’s oldest buildings that dates to the 1890s.

144 S. Walnut St., Hayden, 970-276-2019, 10 am-6 pm T-Sat.

Imagine Design Studio

Displays Jan Willman’s custom ceramic sculptures, architectural tiles and original home decor. Also offers custom tile and mosaic installation and design.

2750 Downhill Plaza, Unit 205, 970-846-6957, http://www.imaginedesignarts.com, call for appointments.

Indian Art of Steamboat Springs

Offers quality Native American art and jewelry.

635 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-8481, 10 am-9 pm daily.

Karen Schulman Gallery

Fine art photography and giclee prints for the discriminating collector.

P.O. Box 771640, 970-879-2244, http://www.focusadventures.com, studio visits by appointment.

K. Saari Gallery

Showcases high-caliber local artists as well as emerging artists in a downtown gallery space highlighted by contemporary work by local, regional and international artists. New exhibits the first Friday of every month.

837 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-0188, http://www.ksaarigallery.com, noon-6 pm T-Sat., noon-4 pm Sun.

Leisure Mountain Studio

This gallery/coffee shop focuses on local and Colorado artists and roasts its own coffee, with exhibitions changing monthly.

158 Moffat Ave., Yampa, 970-638-4500, 7 am-4 pm M-Sat.

Mountain Traditions

Fine art gallery and gift shop in downtown Steamboat specializes in contemporary Western, Native American and wildlife artworks, featuring sculpture, limited-edition prints and canvases, giclee prints, framed pieces and home furnishings.

833 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-7976 or 888-588-1808, http://www.mountaintraditions.com, 10 am-8 pm M-Sat., 10 am-6 pm Sun.

Mary Pat Ettinger Studio

Home studio with an eclectic collection of landscape paintings, prairie prints, greeting cards, paper products and heart-woven textiles.

33374 N. Colo. 13, Craig, 970-824-4383, by appointment only.

The Portfolio Collection

Jim Steinberg’s fine art photography gallery features images from across the globe, but specializes in nature and landscape photography focused on Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Custom photographic tiles, calendars, travel books and custom imprint notecards available.

1016 Oak St., 970-879-3718 or 888-879-3718, http://www.portfoliopublications.com, 9 am-5 pm M-F, 1-5 pm Sat.

Riverhouse Editions/Van Straaten Gallery

Riverhouse Editions publishes fine master prints, specifically etchings and monotypes, working with top international artists and master printers. Relocated from a Chicago gallery, the Van Straaten Gallery is dedicated to offering only the highest quality etchings, lithographs, woodcuts and other works on paper.

2760 Acre Lane, 970-871-1559, http://www.riverhousevanstraaten.com, open by appointment.

Rocky Mountain Peddler

Features local and regional artist originals, from fine handcrafted goods and “one-of-a-kind finds,” to jewelry and home decor accessories, photography, framed prints, pottery, stained and hand-blown glass, metal art, unique gifts and souvenirs.

1875 Ski Time Square Drive, Unit C, 970-871-1569, http://www.rockymountainpeddler.com, call for hours.

Romick’s Into the West

For fine things for you and your home, Romicks offers fine art and prints by regional artists as well as local photographers, fine furniture, home accessories, lighting and interior design.

402 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-8366, http://www.romicksintothewest.com, 10 am-6 pm M-Sat., 10 am-5 pm Sun.

Sleeping Giant Gallery

Exclusively displays the artwork of Don Tudor and Cully Kistler. Tudor’s photographic specialties include local landscapes, nature and wildlife photography, sports and architectural work. Kistler’s oil paintings and giclee prints reflect her 30 years in the area and her favorite scenes from outside the Yampa Valley.

601 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-7143, http://www.dontudorphotography.com, 10 am-8 pm daily.

Steamboat Art Co.

Since 1975, Steamboat Art Co. has offered art, gifts, jewelry, home accessories and furnishings plus a wide selection of photography prints, sculpture, pottery and stained glass featuring local artists.

903 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-3383 or 800-553-7853, http://www.steamboat-art.com, 10 am-8 pm M-Th and Sun., 10 am-9 pm F-Sat.

Steele Images Studio

Shauna Steele Lamansky offers professional portraits and features a gallery of landscape images and her Floreo Series – notecards, calendars and prints of flowers, plants and trees.

2851 Riverside Plaza, Suite 5, 970-879-6213, http://www.steeleimagesstudio.com, 10 am-5 pm T-F, subject to change.

Thomas D. Mangelsen’s Images of Nature

Recognized as one of the world’s premier nature, wildlife and landscape photographers, Mangelsen’s gallery offers limited-edition photographs from across the globe and many from the Steamboat area.

730 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-1822, http://www.mangelsen.com, 10 am-8 pm M-Sat., 10 am-6 pm Sun.

White Hart Gallery

Seven distinct rooms at the White Hart Gallery showcase furniture, rugs, upholstered goods, lamps and other interior furnishings. Also carries a selection of paintings, jewelry, case goods and frames.

843 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-1015, 10 am-8 pm M-Sat., 10 am-6 pm Sun.

Wild Horse Gallery of Steamboat Springs

Located in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, the Wild Horse Gallery focuses on fine contemporary realism by local, regional and nationally known artists and includes original oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, drawings, etchings, limited-edition prints, bronze sculptures, blown glass, jewelry and other home furnishings.

Sheraton Steamboat Resort, 970-879-7660, http://www.wildhorsegallery.com, 9 am-7 pm M-Sat., 9 am-6 pm Sun.

Wild Horse Gallery of Steamboat Springs – Downtown

Opening June 15 with a grand opening July 4, this new 1,500-square-foot space has the same focus on contemporary realism as the Sheraton gallery, showcasing living artists’ works that bring the Western, mountain landscape to life.

802 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-5515, http://www.wildhorsegallery.com, 10 am-7 pm daily.


Features an array of functional and decorative handmade arts. Discover an eclectic collection of decorative arts, specializing in a whimsical variety of handcrafted furniture and gifts.

345 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-2524, http://www.steamboatzing.com, 10 am-6 pm M-Sat., 10 am-5 pm Sun.