History on Skis, and at the Sheridan
When you picture a historical museum, what do you think of? A building – maybe an old musty one, with aging exhibits. The Telluride Historical Museum is in an older building, to be sure (it’s located at 201 West Gregory Avenue, the original site of Hall’s Hospital, completed in 1896). And, yes, it has exhibits about the past. But this history museum also has the uncanny ability to make the past spring to life, by getting interactive with the community. On Thursday mornings through the end of this month, the museum gets out into the snowpack with History on Skis, a free event hosted by local historian and thespian Ashley Bolling. The tour embarks from the Peaks Resort. From there, Bolling will lead a survey on skis to see properties once held by old mining claims, and other marks of Telluride’s past as a small mining town. He will also tell the story of Telluride’s big cultural shift: how it was envisioned, and designed, to become a ski resort. The tour is quick – just five stops – and takes about 45 minutes. “It’s engaging and interesting,” said the museum’s Executive Director, Erica Kinias, “and you won’t get cold: we keep moving.” On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the museum steps out into the community yet again, when it sponsors a tour of the Sheridan Opera House by local architect George Greenbank. The architect is uniquely qualified to lead visitors through the opera house – the heart of Telluride’s cultural life for a century, as of this year. Greenbank not only understands buildings inside and out, he has a special relationship with this one. “He’s had his hand in almost every phase of the Sheridan’s life since 1972,” Kinias said. “He loves that place dearly.”
To learn a little more about what drives artists in this region, and how they fight their demons, this column will devote some space on occasion to a local artist and his or her media of choice. Up this week: poet Kierstin Bridger of Telluride and Ridgway. Bridger, a winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Award whose work is in a show on exhibit at Ah Haa, was in a reflective mood when we reached her recently. “Major themes that have emerged for me this past year are coming to terms with a new decade of my life. It has been deeply humbling,” she said. “I think there is a lesson in not seeing black and white, or that our youth or maturity have precise starting and finishing lines. Appreciating the idea that cycles abound has been key for me. Just as something ends, something else is beginning – and they are concurrent and timed unevenly. It’s like spinning a handful of pennies on a table. While some are in a blur of motion, some are coming to rest. And then, of course, others are in your hand waiting to be given a spin.” In the end, Bridger said, she realized that “We can’t really determine the trajectory of each day or season, poem or coin. So many variables are out of our hands. Most days we don’t even notice what is beginning or ending – that is usually determined in hindsight. We just have to show up for the process.”
This Friday evening, Around the Corner Gallery in Montrose brings Bill Wilson and Lynn Vogel together in celebration of their latest exhibit, Wired Two. As you might expect from the title, it’s the second time these artists have come together for an exhibit. Or rather, their works have come together – literally.
Wilson, a ceramicist, and Vogel, who works with copper, both live in Montrose. They’ve been friends for 30 years. In 2011, Vogel invited Wilson to consider collaborating on a few pieces for an art show in which she was scheduled to appear. “I always thought the copper weaving and the clay would be stunning together,” she said.
Wilson and Vogel have worked together pretty much the same way since that beginning. He designs a ceramic piece, and then gives it to her. “We don’t talk about that. We just let it happen,” Vogel said. This is their second show. The creative process has been lovely, she said, and more than that: “It’s been wonderful helping each other kind of grow.” The reception is from 5:30-8 p.m. Wired Two is up through the end of the month.
History on Skis, and at the Sheridan