Art of All Ages |

Art of All Ages

— For the 20-plus years that Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus has presented an art exhibit for its students, faculty and staff, the youth of Routt County never was incorporated.

Not until about three years ago, anyway.

Now, preschoolers to 12th-graders also can be a large component of a tradition in the art cosmos of Steamboat.

“It gives the community a good perspective of art through the years,” said Olive Morton, director of community education at CMC.

Carolyn Peters, administrative assistant for community education at CMC, said students and staff from CMC can enter any piece of art made within the past year, including two- and three-dimensional art.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“Sculptures, ceramics, photographs, paintings … mixed media is a part of the show. The students don’t have to be in an art class now,” Peters said.

Information or news releases were sent to art classes that the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Hands On! Children’s Museum and Off The Beaten Path Bookstore helped sponsor.

Beth Banning, assistant for programs at the Depot, said there isn’t any one person more involved than another. With all the talent shown at the Depot, Banning said it has helped bring color and life to a dreary time of year.

Although the exhibit began April 5 with an opening reception for the Routt County Youth, continuing with a second opening reception for the CMC artists April 6, the Depot will display the art until May 4.

Karen Wallace, administrative assistant at CMC, said one year the Depot displayed about 200 pieces of art, but this year about 85 pieces line the walls, stand on posts or recapture a specific moment.

“This is real quality work. I had not anticipated the quality of work there is in this community,” Wallace said. “This says a lot about the art programs in the elementary, middle, high school and college level.”

Wallace said that many art students don’t ever learn about the next step in the life of an artist. Matting, framing, hanging and pricing artwork gives another element to the process, she said.

Wallace said artists learning which colors best complement their work or noticing that a little blue box in the corner would have made a world of difference is an integral step in learning about your own artwork.

Wallace remembered one woman’s work that demanded to be hung along because of its intense and rich color scheme.

“Some were so strong they had to be by themselves. Like the purple barn, it needed its own space,” Wallace said.

Morton began the exhibit in 1979 when she thought the outstanding teachers and students needed an avenue to present their artistic endeavors.

“It’s like the EMT I have no medical background, but I thought we needed the program,” Morton said of her nonexistent art history. “I just like to make the opportunity available. They deserve a chance to be seen.”

Morton said the exhibit was first housed at the CMC campus but outgrew the accommodations. She thought that was the perfect opportunity to get involved with the Arts Council and display the artwork at the Depot.

About three years ago, the Arts Council decided that adding children to the exhibit would better suit the community.

“There’s a lot of learning with the public when they go in and see the work,” Wallace said. “I had no idea there was this kind of talent here.”

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