Roaring Fork Studio Tour showcases new Glenwood gallery, working studios |

Roaring Fork Studio Tour showcases new Glenwood gallery, working studios

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The new Gallery 809, which opened in downtown Glenwood Springs earlier this spring, is one of the stops on the seventh annual Roaring Fork Studio Tour taking place Saturday and Sunday.

The gallery officially opened in March at 809 Grand Ave., in the downstairs space of the building to the south of Citizens Bank. It features 29 local artists exhibiting in a variety of media.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from artists, and from the public,” said Cynthia Thomas, the gallery manager and one of the featured artists herself. “We run the gallery ourselves, so it’s very hands-on.”

Some of the gallery’s exhibiting artists were included in past Studio Tours, an annual fundraiser for the charter Carbondale Community School.

The event opens the work and show spaces of artists from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to the general public to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of artists at work.

Gallery 809 has a demo space set up in the front area, where artists often paint or do other artwork while they watch over the gallery.

Other Glenwood Springs artists included on the Studio Tour are Mary Noone, Lily and Joel Belmont, and Jonathan Mason.

Altogether, more than 90 artists are participating in this year’s tour, either by donating art, by opening their studio doors to guests, or both. It includes 42 galleries and artist studios up and down the valley.

The tour takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

Maps for the tour can be purchased for $15 at Alpine Bank locations, with proceeds going to the Community School’s art program. Funds were also raised through the sale of works at Friday night’s opening reception auction and exhibit held at the new Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities Center for the Arts, located in the Third Street Center.

This year’s tour is being held in memory of Carol Rothrock, a Community School art teacher and artist who founded the Roaring Fork Studio Tour as a fundraising event for the school. Rothrock died earlier this year. Her work can be viewed this weekend at Amore Realty in Carbondale.

According to Seana Lee, a parent of a Community School student, and Liz Penzel, co-director of the Studio Tour, Rothrock originally envisioned a juried art show to raise money for the school’s art activities. Quickly, though, the concept of a studio tour took hold, and today between 1,000 and 4,000 maps are sold each year.

“You can interact with the artists face to face, and see what they do, maybe even get to try out what they do,” Lee said. “And you can buy a piece directly from the artist, which can be really fun.

“It’s more than just a school fundraiser,” Lee added. “It’s a community event. It brings together the community, the artists and the school.”

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