ELEVATED | Neo-Nazis in Ouray, Dream Factory in Telluride, and Art on Trout Road
by Leslie Vreeland
Nov 15, 2012 | 1335 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ART ON TROUT ROAD - New ceramics by Bill Wilson will be at an art gathering of four artists on Trout Road near Montrose. (Courtesy photo)
ART ON TROUT ROAD - New ceramics by Bill Wilson will be at an art gathering of four artists on Trout Road near Montrose. (Courtesy photo)

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. – Albert Camus

Camus’ words were the preface for Choices, an evening of five plays presented by the tiny Timshel Theater company of Montrose a few years back. “Timshel” is a Hebrew term translated as “thou mayest,” meaning freedom of choice (as opposed to, say, “thou must”). This weekend in Ouray, Timshel, which specializes in thought-provoking theater, offers yet another play about choices: Cherry Docs, a play by David Gow about Mike Downey, a Neo-Nazi skinhead who has kicked a man to death, and Danny, the Legal Aid attorney, and liberal Jew, assigned to represent him. The title “Cherry Docs” comes from the crimson-colored combat boots Mike uses to commit his racially-motivated crime. Dalyan Pearson plays Mike, and Ouray physician David Olson portrays Danny. The play is about the clashing ideologies between the two men and their changing relationship. “It’s very fascinating and timely,” said Bill Bottomly, who is co-directing Cherry Docs with his wife, Ciel. “We’ve just gotten through an election. People can celebrate the outcome or moan about it – whatever they want – but the play does hint at some of the distinct dividing lines existing between certain sets of values. What’s interesting is how the characters’ relationship transforms both of their lives in several different ways. They’re forced to examine their own perceptions and prejudices. For one man, the changes are quite profound – which causes the other man’s life to be turned upside down.” The play will be presented on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., at the Wright Opera House. Admission is free. In coming weeks, the production will also take place in Montrose and Paonia. For a full schedule, see timsheltheatre.com.


“I take a lot of solace in knowing people have their hands wrapped around my work in the early morning hours,” says ceramicist Bill Wilson, who is once again giving over his home, his studio, and a piece of his soul to Art on Trout Road this weekend. The 22nd annual event four miles south of Montrose features pottery by Wilson – whose latest pieces incorporate a black glaze and bright colored glazes that lend an “abstract, painterly” quality to his work – western landscape paintings by Gina Grundemann, serigraphs and abstracts by Ron Hoeksema and mixed-media creations by Maya Nichols. Wilson has been a full-time potter since 1976. Every year around this time, “My home becomes an art gallery,” he says. “It’s a joy for me to have people visit and give them a better understanding of who I am and what I do.”

Welcoming visitors to his studio may be a joy, but Wilson’s art has also brought him pain. This accomplished ceramicist has been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for 26 years. He suspects it’s related to the chemicals. “Artists work with a lot of toxic materials,” he says. “The worst flare-up I’ve had was building a kiln about 15 years ago.” Yet ironically, “Because of my art, I’m able to keep doing my art,” he adds. “Without moving my fingers, they would’ve frozen up years ago.”

Ron Hoeksma, a 29-year resident of Log Hill, will exhibit the last of his serigraphs this weekend; he abandoned the form years ago due to the nausea, headaches and other reactions he was having to oil-based ink. “I used it for hours and hours, and years and years,” he said. To protect himself, “I had fans going. I wore a gas mask. I finally said, that was enough of that.” Today, Hoeksma’s main inspiration is abstractions. He hasn’t been showing them much around this region, though; patrons tend to favor “representational” works, “mementos of things they see,” he explained. (He does show them in Taos.) His new work “might not look like the San Juans, but it was the San Juans that inspired me to paint it. I’m getting into the joy of painting for painting.” And this weekend, “I would like to show the locals.” Art on Trout Road will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit is located four miles south of Montrose off Highway 550. Turn east onto Trout Road and follow the signs.


Another exhibit worth noting this weekend is in Durango, where it’s the last chance to see “About Light” at the Arts Center. The pieces in this exhibit, a group show featuring oil paintings by Caroline Reeves Johnson and Cynthia DeBolt, and ceramics by Ann Friedman, are serene and spare. “There is a thread of beauty, simplicity and plainness that runs through all the artists’ work,” says the show’s curator, Mary Puller. “That was what we were pushing for, and it’s what we got.” The show is in the Barbara Conrad Gallery at the Durango Arts Center through Saturday, November 17.

Finally, if your preferred artistic media is snow (or at least, films about snow), the two latest from Teton Gravity Research premiere in a double feature tonight at the Sheridan Opera House. Further, the second installment in the Jeremy Jones snowboard trilogy Further, Deeper, Higher, traces summits in Japan, Austria, Norway and Alaska. In Jones’ first picture, the director’s team took a mountaineering approach, by flying into the ironically-titled Fairweather Range. And that was the end of flying – to anything. Once there, they camped on the glacier for 20 days, hiked to every ski line themselves (as opposed to being plopped on top by helicopter) and overcame what the seminal mountaineer Walter Bonatti called “the barrier of the impossible.” Further features the work of a local. “Former Telluride resident Dutch Simpson served as an assistant editor and production intern for the film after he moved to Jackson Hole last spring,” says the Sheridan’s Kathrine Warren. The Dream Factory, meanwhile, is a paean to Alaskan skiing. As the late Doug Coombs, who pioneered heli-guiding in the Chugach in the early 90s, once remarked of the quality of coastal snow in the 50th state, “it’s all about the Velvet.” Teton Gravity Research has been producing films since 1996, and the Sheridan has been screening them for nearly a decade. “We’re very pleased to bring both a snowboard and a ski film to local audiences,” Warren says. With opening day just a week away, “it’s the perfect way to get amped up for ski season.” In addition to the films, there’ll also be a raffle of free skis, courtesy of Jagged Edge, ski backpacks from Osprey packs (out of Cortez) and lift tickets to Silverton Mountain. Raffle tickets will be free with entry to each movie. The movies play at 6 and 8 p.m. Skis will be raffled off during the second screening of Dream Factory. 

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