Group energizing arts |

Group energizing arts

1st show organized by Arts Council committee opens May 1

Margaret Hair

— A group of volunteers with the Steamboat Springs Arts Council has come together to plan visual arts exhibits and events for the nonprofit organization, starting with the May 1 opening of the group’s annual Routt County Youth Art Show.

Arts Council board member Mary Levingston said the all-volunteer Visual Arts Committee has come up with a schedule of proposed shows to hold at the Depot Art Center on 13th Street for the rest of the year. Committee members commit to leading the planning and execution of those exhibits, she said.

“They take on a show, they learn to set it up and put it all together, and they usually will pick people to work with them for that show and help them put it on,” Levingston said. “We just want to continue to bring Steamboat the great shows that we’ve always brought for 37 years, and just be able to have space for visual artists to show their work.”

The Youth Art Show will be the Arts Council’s first curated exhibit at the Depot since the end of February. The organization went through staff changes earlier this year, shedding its executive director and three part-time employees, including two involved in visual arts. Levingston said the Depot will resume its monthly spot on the First Friday Artwalk starting May 1.

Beth Banning, a Visual Arts Committee member who was visual arts director for the Arts Council from 2000 to 2007, said the volunteer group involves many of the same local artists it did when she worked with the Arts Council. The Visual Arts Committee has about half a dozen members and meets once a week. Levingston is accepting applications to join the committee from interested community members.

Banning said the group helps gather vital input from artists and community members about Arts Council programming.

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“That (the committee), I think, was a very important part of the visual arts program in terms of getting the community involved,” she said.

In addition to coordinating an all-artist-member show – set to open July 3 – Levingston said the committee hopes to book four or five out-of-town exhibits each year. The group also is accepting proposals from local artists for small group shows.

Looking back on her 25-plus years as an artist or board member with the Arts Council, Levingston said the organization has a rich history and is on track to continue providing regular programming in the visual arts.

“I really wanted to make sure that people knew that we were still here and we were still functioning,” she said. “It’s a really important program – it helped me and a lot of other artists in our earlier years.”

– To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail

If you go

What: Opening reception for the Routt County Youth Art Show, presented by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council

When: 5 to 7 p.m. May 1

Where: The Depot Art Center,

1001 13th St.

Cost: Free

Call: 879-9008

More information: The annual Routt County Youth Art Show highlights work by elementary, middle and high school students from public and private schools in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, North Routt and South Routt. The reception features refreshments and live music by student groups, including Knock on Wood, Baroque and Blue, and the Steamboat Springs High School Jazz Band.

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council also is accepting applications for people with an interest in the visual arts for its volunteer-run Visual Arts Committee. Committee members meet weekly to assist in planning and executing visual arts events and exhibits. For more information, call Arts Council board member Mary Levingston at 879-9008 or 879-5388, or go by the Depot Art Center to pick up an application.

The Arts Council holds the 35th Annual Art in the Park craft fair, sale and fundraiser July 11 and 12. To learn more about the Arts Council and its affiliate organizations, go to http://www.steamboatspri…