May’s First Friday Artwalk welcomes new virtual galleries |

May’s First Friday Artwalk welcomes new virtual galleries

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — While it may feel like this spring has lasted at least a decade or two, May 1 marks just the second First Friday Artwalk to take place since Colorado’s social distancing measures were put in place. The May Artwalk again exists as a virtual event and features plenty of new works to explore right from home, with viewers able to virtually stroll their way through displays of a collection of online galleries and studios at their own pace.

This Art Walk also celebrates the debut of a brand-new chatroom feature, which allows participants to log into Zoom and discuss various exhibits via video.

For the first time, Artwalk will include the category of architects and interior designers, featuring Gerber Berend Design + Build, Rumor Design, Stel House + Home and Vertical Arts. Artwalkers can virtually tour through several homes via striking photographs, peering at everything from marble tiled fireplaces to cable light fixtures to exposed rafters. Notes by each architect or designer delve into the themes, colors, chosen materials and finishing touches of each space.

The Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition also brings a new series to the virtual artwalk. Entries to this year’s crane-inspired creative arts contest, open to high school seniors in Routt and Moffat counties, will be on display. Fifteen seniors entered their essays, stories, poetry, digital art, drawings, paintings and photography that originally and accurately reflect characteristics, behavior and habitat of greater Sandhill cranes for the chance to win a $1,500 scholarship. Judging will take place and winners announced during the month of May. 

The Steamboat Springs Writers Group joins Artwalk for the first time. David H. Parish, Trudy Wells, Karen Leslee, Graydon Dee Hubbard, Linda Collison, Patrick Curran and Ken Proper explore the idea of staying home through a mosaic of lenses and writing styles. Artwalkers get a preview of each piece on the Artwalk site, with the option to download the rest of the text, or in some cases, purchase the full-length book at Off the Beaten Path.

“Creative Inspirations” features the works of a group of painters who paint together weekly at the Depot Art Center, including Mona Bedell, Ellen Bonnifield, Cher Dooley, Mary Ann Duffey, Sandy Fisher, Kendall Geer, Margaret Huron, Lynn Kelley, Diane Kelly, Mary Levingston, Leslie Lovejoy, Chris McGrorty, Annie Meyer, Nancy Perricone, Jeanne Schneider, Diana Simon, Maggie Smith, Jan Spencer and Cindy Wither. Works include watercolor, oil and acrylic, many depicting peaceful scenes in nature and wildlife, along with several portraits.

Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp offers artwalkers videos exploring its history: one a 26-minute PBS episode, the other a four-minute overview on Youtube. Both films offer original photographs depicting rich stories from throughout Perry Mansfield’s 106-year-old existence. 

Steamboat Creates Artist Members features artists Denise Bohart Brown, RC Dieckhoff, Karen Gordon Schulman and Carlene Heald.

“We’re trying to get a good mix of the arts around town,” said Barb King, of Steamboat Creates. She notes that April’s virtual Art Walk drew more than 430 views on the first evening it was live, followed by several hundred more views over the next week.

“That’s a pretty good size, so we wanted to open this up to more artists and share the love,” King said.

In addition to the new galleries, the virtual Artwalk also welcomes back its exhibits that are familiar to any regular artwalker: Gallery 89, Imagine Studios, Jace Romick Gallery, Off the Beaten Path, Pine Moon Fine Art, Riverwalk Collective, Solar Flare Glasswork & Design, Squire Studios, Steamboat Art Museum, Tread of Pioneers Museum, the W Gallery, Wildhorse Gallery and Windfall Fine Art Gallery.

Many of the pieces on display during the virtual Artwalk are available for purchase; find more information at each artist’s or gallery’s website, available on their Artwalk page. 

May’s First Friday Artwalk is set for May 1, but the material can be accessed at any time at While the Artwalk is a monthly event, new content will be added to the Artwalk website every Tuesday.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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