Snowmass local starts monthly art show
November 13, 2014
A Snowmass Village resident is trying to create an outlet for up-and-coming valley artists to showcase their work.
Heather Quinn, who has been creating and selling her own art since elementary school — she used to charge her classmates 50 cents to have her illustrate their notebooks — threw herself into painting after tearing her ACL and losing her job at a local restaurant. Now a full-time artist, she started a monthly show this summer at Ryno's in Aspen that's free for any valley craftsperson to participate in.
Called "Elsewhere," the show "helps locals support their hobbies and get a taste of what it's like to be in an art show," Quinn said.
The show takes places the last Wednesday of every month, although this month it will be on Nov. 19 to avoid the holiday week. The art includes pottery, jewelry, essential oils, body scrubs, paintings and woodworking.
"It's basically a melting pot of everyone's ideas," Quinn said.
"Elsewhere" also supports a different charity every month. Donations at the November show will be directed toward a Ugandan program that creates jobs for women, something one of the "Elsewhere" artists is a part of. Individual artists choose whether to keep the money they earn or donate it.
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"It's kind of a way to show people that they can sell their art here," Quinn said.
Next month, Quinn plans to do a similar show at Base Camp Bar & Grill. The date is still to be determined, but she wants to have a wine tasting in conjunction to attract more out-of-town visitors.
The media that the "Elsewhere" artists work in are clearly varied, and so are their styles. Quinn's paintings are street-art influenced — she uses spray paint, acrylic and ink, usually on a recycled piece of furniture or old snowboard.
"I'll tear apart dressers, old car parts … I try to make something that was meant to be trash into art," Quinn said.
Quinn has gained a lot of visibility by displaying her work at Ryno's. Some of her most popular pieces incorporate imagery and quotes from Hunter S. Thompson.
"I love Hunter Thompson," Quinn said. "That's a big part of what I think got my name out here. Most people ask for those pieces."
Quinn gets a lot of requests, but whatever she's asked to paint, it always comes out in her personal style.
"If someone asked me to do an elephant on top of a skyscraper, I would Google a picture and do it," she said.
She wants artists in "Elsewhere" to feel free to express their own personal style, too. The shows are casual: Artists can bring however many pieces they want, there is no theme, and they can play their own music at their tables.
"It's just a very comfortable thing," Quinn said. "Anyone can come and bring whatever they want."
Quinn credits Ryan Sweeney, the owner of Ryno's, with allowing her to hang her own art there and for letting her start "Elsewhere."
"It's great that people support (artists) around here," she said.