As anyone who has spent time in Telluride understands, the town is overflowing with creative talent. And this weekend some of the best, in all its forms, will be on display. “Art and Architecture Weekend” offers a chance to tour artist’s studios, taste culinary works of art, and visit local homes designed by some of the finest architects in the region. The weekend kicks off tonight, Oct. 4, with an opening reception at Rustico, featuring a dance performance choreographed by Valerie Madonia, a former principal with the Joffrey Ballet. There’ll also be a fashion show featuring the work of several working designers, including Danielle DeRoberts of Onerary Clothing, and an abbreviated version of the much-loved “Twenty by Telluride,” in which locals give a short, energetic presentation on why they do what they do. In tonight’s version of “Twenty,” artist Nicole Finger, designer Danielle DeRoberts, architect Peter Sante and chef Ben will speak about what inspires them.
Saturday will be devoted to studio tours of 16 local artists; to complete the sybaritic experience, each studio will feature wine and hors d’oeuvres pairings from local chefs – a feast for all the senses. The weekend concludes on Sunday with a walking tour of the town’s architecture, followed by tours of six local homes – a chance to peek not only into gorgeous spaces, but into the brains of architects who developed the homes and learn their philosophies. Bruce and Jodie Wright of One Architects, for example, whose work will be featured, bought two old, narrow cabins on adjoining downtown lots and turned them into their office and studio spaces. The renovation was so successful – and the Wrights were at work so much of the time – they decided to purchase an additional lot nearby and turn it into their home. “We think it’s important for those two elements [work and home life] to be cohesive. If we wake up inspired, we want to get to it right away,” Jodie Wright told Mountain Living. “At the same time, because this was the first house we had designed for ourselves, we wanted to put our money where our mouth was, so to speak, by incorporating elements in the design that we’d often encouraged our clients to consider.” This weekend, you’ll get to see their work. You’ll also get to see the work of prolific architect Tommy Hein, who follows the paths animals make up hills to help him determine how to situate a home. “Animals know the easiest way up the hill; they create switchbacks naturally,” he has noted. “I look at the matted grass and droppings, then follow their lead. An exceptional building…is nothing more than an extension of all the natural attributes of a particular place.”
The weekend’s events are sponsored by Telluride Arts, and have been in the works for several years, says Tell Arts’ Director Kate Jones: “This grew out of a desire to coalesce and promote the excellence that is happening in the Creative District. We hoped and tried to include every artist, architect and designer in town.” The opening reception is free and open to the public; the tours Saturday and Sunday cost $35, which also gets you a membership to Telluride Arts. For more information on this weekend’s events, visit telluridearts.org.
In Ouray: Mr. and Mrs. Paulson and Their Books
They are otherwise known as Beth and Don Paulson, both distinguished in their fields (she’s a poet, he’s the curator at the Ouray County Historical Museum). And although they’re married and live in Ouray, it’s sheer coincidence that they both have books published at the same time. Hers has been in the works for years. Canyon Notes is Beth Paulson’s fourth book of poetry. In it, Paulson touches lightly and briefly on autobiographical subjects. But mostly she writes about the natural world. Paulson is a precise wordsmith with nerves of steel. She is neither afraid to feel lost or disconnected, nor to write about it. From Kites:
Sometimes the string you hold breaks
and there’s nothing you can do.
Sometimes people just leave you.
How tenuous are all connections:
we are, far as we can see,
just holding on at wind’s mercy.
Don Paulson’s work, too, is about the natural world: he’s the author of Peaks of the Uncompahgre. Jeff Burch took the photographs. If you’ve ever wondered about the names of the peaks we see every day around this region, this book’s for you. Paulson, an accomplished researcher, has written about local mountains and had the formidable resources of the Ouray County Museum at his disposal. In his book, he identifies every prominent peak in the Sneffels Range; around Ouray, from Yankee Boy Basin and Ironton Park to Red Mountain Pass; and in the Cimarron Range. Paulson also explores how the peaks got their names, and gives a bit of their history, as well as some history of the region. The prominent formation resembling a jutting tooth called Chimney Rock (in the Cimarrons), for example, looks across Debbie Park, so named because it is where Debbie Reynolds was standing when the wagonmaster proposed to her in How the West Was Won. Paulson’s favorite peak is Mount Abram, “a signature mountain for the Ouray area, and the focal point of all views coming up the valley from Ridgway.” He likes it because “I see it all the time from my living room window, and I’ve climbed it three or four times.” Both of the Paulsons’ works are on sale at Cimarron Books in Ridgway and Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray. Beth Paulson will give a reading and signing of Canyon Notes at Cimarron Books this Sunday, Oct. 7 from 3-5 p.m. Don Paulson and his co-author Jeff Burch will give a reading of Peaks of the Uncompaghre Tuesday night, Oct. 9 upstairs at the Citizens State Bank Meeting Room at 600 Main Street, Ouray at 5:30 p.m. The event is hosted by the Ouray Public Library; the author will donate 40 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each book to the Library.
Finally, speaking of Ouray, the Michelle Wilkinson jazz trio will play the Wright Opera House this Friday night, Oct. 5. It’s the second installment of the Wrighteous Jazz series, new this winter. Wilkinson has played with the Colorado Mesa University Faculty Jazz Ensemble, and as a guest vocal and jazz artist with the Grand Junction Symphony. The trio, which includes Dennis Woodrich on bass and Rob Labig on percussion, has performed together since the 1990s. It should a fine show. Tickets are $15, available at the box office or online at thewrightoperahouse.com.