Monday, May 17, 2010

A tale of two art stories in Durango

My daughter and I stop for a break to look at the overview of Durango.

Whenever I arrive in a new town, one of the first things I like to do is get the local alternative free paper and see what is going on and get a feel for the town. We drove into Durango yesterday afternoon and I picked up the Southwest Colorado Arts Perspective. The cover was Christo and Jean Claude's Valley Curtain from 1970. This caught my attention as I had designed a class project a few years back and had it published in School Arts Magazine. Wrap Up the Year with Christo and Jeanne-Claude May/June 2007. And also presented the lesson at the National Art Ed. conference in NYC that year.

When I read the cover article, I was shocked to discover it was a memorial piece for Jeanne-Claude. She had died from a ruptured brain aneurysm last November, over 6 months ago...and I had not heard. The author of the piece is a manager at a local gallery in town. I went down and met him and talked with him. I told him that I had talked with Jean Claude back when I was getting permission for publication. We swapped stories and he told me that Christo is still going to continue with the Over The River Project. It will run for 2 weeks near Salida CO. Summer of 2013 at the earliest. I was glad I popped in to meet him and the work in his Gallery Open Shutter Gallery was just beautiful.

The second art story involves an art store ( I saw advertised in the same paper. It was located down the block from the gallery hidden in the back of a mall. If I wasn't looking for it I would not have found it. It was small but packed with all kinds of goodies. The owner, Ellie, was in the back of the store restoring an old oil painting for a customer. As we got to talking, I found out that her husband of 35 years had just passed away but she wants desperately to continue on with the business. It has been in her husbands family since 1879! But times are hard. She asked were I was from and she commented, oh you must have wonderful art stores there and I said unfortunately that oldest and most popular one had just closed down. She said well I will ship for free! tell all your friends. I told her I would mention it on my blog and she gave me and my daughter a great big hug!


marianne said...

where near salida? the one i remember over royal gorge had to be later than 1970.... trip sounds fab! folk's cabing not too far from salida- wave as you go by

Pam McKnight said...

Marianne- Valley Curtain was in Rifle, Co in 1970-72. The one in the works is titled "over the river" and will be six miles of fabric over the Arkansas between Salida and Canon city. We did not pass that way today but went thru Pagosa Springs then Santa Fe.