Young Bloods Collective First Friday Artwalk show inspired by sandhill cranes, Muppets creator Jim Hensen costume |

Young Bloods Collective First Friday Artwalk show inspired by sandhill cranes, Muppets creator Jim Hensen costume

For September's First Friday Artwalk, the Steamboat Smokehouse will showcase new works from the Young Bloods Collective group show.
Danielle Zimmerer Photography
If you go… What: YBC’s “Sandhill Crane meets The Dark Crystal Group Show” When: 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1 Where: Steamboat Smokehouse, 912 Lincoln Ave.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Inspiration for this month’s Young Bloods Collective group show started with a costume.

But not just any costume.

“It struck at the Fourth of July Parade,” said Brie Kole, co-founder of YBC and local artist. “Sista Luna and I were watching the parade with Suzie Gil Jackson, and the Crane Festival group went by with this beautiful costume leading the way.”

They learned that the late Jim Henson — American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, screenwriter and filmmaker, known as the creator of the Muppets — created an original crane costume for his daughter, Heather, who is involved in crane conservation.

In that revelation, the group found their theme: “The sandhill crane meets Jim Henson’s birds and characters.”

Featuring eight of the Young Bloods Collective members, “The Dark Crystal Group Show” will open during the First Friday Artwalk from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Steamboat Smokehouse.

“His movies were such a big part of our childhoods and formed such creative and inventive worlds for our young minds,” Kole said. “It really felt like kismet.”

Artists include Luna, Kole, Amanda Berg, Sarah Valentino, Ashley McKinstry, Katie Moore, Emily Waldron and Tracy Norman.

After YBC’s previous “Breaking Boxes” group show, in which members created unique works of art from cigar boxes, Kole said she thought nothing would top the creative expression, wide variety of materials and stunning visuals the members created.

“I was happily proven wrong,” she said. “The members that have participated really stepped up to the plate and produced some truly unique and awesome crane art.”

Materials used for show show include Kole’s scrap acrylic and plastic she repurposed from Steamboat Specialties; McKinstry’s first felting piece, a new medium for her; Norman’s piece made with delicate wasp nest paper for the crane body; and Waldron’s original poem with accompanying creative visuals.

“While the festival is not totally on the radar for our members and demographic, it seemed an apropos opportunity for us to create that bridge, collaborate and use this as a platform for our members to show their work to a really engaged and excited audience,” Kole said.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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