Varied mediums grace July’s First Friday Artwalk in Steamboat Springs

John Camponeschi
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
"Mischief Maker" is a collaborative piece in pencil glass by Sandi Poltorak and Jennifer Baker.
Courtesy Photo/Pine Moon Fine Art

The First Friday Artwalk for July comes on the tail of a busy week in the Yampa River Valley.

The celebration and revelry of Independence Day has passed, and with it go the crowds that flocked to the celebrations that occurred during the holiday.

For July, the First Friday Artwalk features a variety of artists, styles and mediums, many of which are linked with our fabled outdoor spaces, wildlife, recreational opportunities and stories.

Pine Moon Fine Art is presenting “Glass. Glass and Paper. Paper.” This two-person show features artists Jennifer Baker and Sandi Poltorak. 

A reception scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Friday will unveil glass work by Baker, as well as pencil pieces by Poltorak. Adding to the power of this exhibit is the fact that Baker and Poltorak worked collaboratively on several pieces, which involved the transfer of each piece back and forth between studios as it was completed.

The process behind the pieces involves the layering of glass over drawings, which results in the viewer having to adjust to a new perspective while admiring the changes that occur with light, color and shadow due to the glass layers. 

“Moonlighting,” an incredible pencil-based rendition of an owl, completed by Sandi Poltorak.
Courtesy Photo/Pine Moon Fine Art

At the Tread of Pioneers Museum, the focus on the Yampa River in June will shift to storytelling in the months of July and August as the 2023 Brown Bag Storytelling Series kicks off. This annual event, which has been held for the last 25 years, explores the Yampa River Valley’s rich history.

Every Friday through the end of August, local residents will share oral histories pertaining to a host of local topics. In an effort to preserve the history of the region, the museum records and archives each storytelling session and shares them via YouTube.

The goal behind this, according to Candice Bannister, executive director at Tread of Pioneers, is to “provide an archive and historical record for future generations.”

The storytelling series occurs each Friday from July 7-Aug. 25 from noon-1 p.m. at the Tread of Pioneers Museum at 800 Oak St. in Steamboat Springs. Entry is free and more information can be found at

Tread of Pioneers Storytelling Series:

• July 7 — “A Diary of Victims of Love: Banished in 1914 to Steamboat Springs”

• July 14 — “Marcellus Merrill: Pioneer and Historian of Steamboat Springs”

• July 21 — “Ranching on the Rocking C Bar Ranch”

• Aug. 4 — “Apertures: Findings from a Rural Life”

• Aug. 11 — “The Yampa River’s Role in the Colorado River Basin”

• Aug. 18 — “Ute Indian Ceremonial Dresses Revealed”

• Aug. 25 – TBA

Also still hanging at the Tread of Pioneers this month are the series “Lens on the River: A Photographic Journey on the Yampa River with John Fielder” and “The Yampa River: From the Flat Tops to the Green River.”

At the Schoonover Fine Art and Jewelry Gallery, two artists are being featured. First is Brooke Major, who hails from Atlanta. Her drawing and painting captures her love of horses and being an equestrian and presents stunning three-dimensional depictions of her connection with those worlds.  

Now living in Normandy, France, she pairs her love of breeding show jumper horses with her love of art. Using oils and pallet knives with concepts of shadow and light, she creates stunning depictions of the equines she loves so much to work with.

“Bronc Rider,” in oil, by Brooke Major.
Courtesy Photo/Schoonover Fine Art and Jewelry Gallery

Also featured at the Schoonover Gallery this month is Doug Monson of Afton, Wyo. Coupling his love of horseback riding with hunting, fishing and hiking, he uses charcoal and graphite to present visions of the Rocky Mountain West, Western culture and Western wildlife.

A reception at the gallery is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Friday.

Steamboat Creates and The Depot Art Center is hosting “Abstract Acrylics: Bold and Energetic” by Lawrence Fagen in Bliss Hall. Inspired by the styles and colors of Clyfford Still, this abstract and spirit-based exhibit captures the work of an artist who did not start their work until they were in their 70s.

Fiesta, by Lawrence Fagen, on display at The Depot Art Center.
Courtesy Photo/The Depot Art Center

Also at The Depot Art Center, in the Platform Gallery, is the work of David Winters. Winters is a woodworker who uses skiing and snowboarding as part of the inspiration surrounding his work. Many of his pieces use the concept of a “fair curve” which he defines as “a curve that is flowing with no straight section.” This is one of the concepts that Winters strives to achieve in his work.

A black walnut decorative platter, with maple veneer laminations, by David Winters is on display at The Depot Art Center.
Courtesy photo

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