The Telluride Film Festival is in town this weekend, and movies from all over the world are being screened in the box canyon.
Yet it’s worth remembering that another type of photographic image is indigenous to this spectacular setting.
Many, if not most, photographers who live here, or who exhibit their work in the San Juans, have a special interest in landscape and wildlife photography. It makes perfect sense in a region of – as Hollywood directors might say – stunning visuals. Here are some of the best places to see their work:
– Kane Scheidegger’s exhibit of sprawling vistas and high alpine lakes, entitled Local Color, opens tomorrow at Gold Mountain Gallery (135 W. Colorado Ave.). The show will focus on the peaks surrounding Telluride. Scheidegger knows them well; he grew up just down the road in Ridgway. In addition to photographing the San Juans simply for their beauty, Scheidegger pictures them as backdrops for one of his passions: extreme ski descents. He and local legend Scott Kennett have teamed up to photograph “some of the classic ski lines” around here, Scheidegger said. The project will continue over the next two winters (someone has to do the difficult work). Gold Mountain Gallery is at 135 W. Colorado Ave.
– Wildlife photographer Howie Garber’s works open in an exhibit at Melange in Telluride (109 W. Colorado) next Friday, August 5. Garber’s numerous laurels include two first-place awards in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest; his clients National Geographic and Patagonia. He’ll be exhibiting open edition and limited-edition prints.
– The Ouray County Historical Museum is displaying the work of local photographers created last September under the direction of iconic Colorado landscape photographer John Fielder, whose work you are probably familiar with through his numerous coffee-table books and calendars. Entitled Autumn in Ouray County, it runs through November 15. Fielder offers numerous photography workshops around the state each year; his final class of 2014, entitled Brilliant Fall Foliage, will take place in Telluride Friday, Oct. 3-to Sunday, Oct. 5. To learn more, visit johnfielder.com.
– Finally, a rich repository of western wildlife and landscape photography, the Canyon Gallery in Montrose is closing its doors this weekend. Owners Wil and Amy Harmsen have three children under the age of five and “they definitely want to take time and raise their kids,” says gallery assistant John Trainor. Saturday is your last day to swing by the gallery and see the work of its several contributing photographers but Wil Harmsen’s work – he is an avid wildlife photographer who tries to visit Alaska at least once each year – will still be on display at the family’s new shop just up the block, which will concentrate on prints and framing, Trainor said. “The carpet is going in this afternoon,” he added. “We hope to be open early in September.” Canyon Gallery is located at 300 Main Street.
In Ridgway: You Can’t Judge a Book By its Cover…or Can You?
That is the title of an exhibit up at the Ridgway Public Library, and a fundraiser next Saturday, Sept. 6. The idea behind it is simple, though not necessarily straightforward: popular books are on display, with a title on one side and a local artist’s statement on the other. Can you guess whose work is up for auction, based on the name of the book and the artist’s statement on the back? Beth Williams, director of the Friends of the Library, had good fun helping a few of the artists choose their titles. Williams employed the double entendre on behalf of artist Karen Day, who depicts wild horses. For Day, Williams chose the tome Galloping On Wings. You might think the book is about horses, just from the sound of it, but a glance at the cover throws you off the scent: this is a work about the famous WWII fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang. Clever!
For now, just books and artists’ statements are on display in the exhibit. Their works will be revealed in the early evening of Saturday, Sept. 6 at the fundraiser – and bidding will commence. Ridgway, one of Colorado’s Creative Districts, has an impressive lineup of artists; Williams reached out to more than 20 of them to donate their work. A decline in property values the last few years has left the Ridgway library – “A jewel for such a small community,” Williams noted – short on funds. “We hope this event is well-attended,” she said. “We’re just trying to keep the good vibes flowing.” Swing by the library this week and see Alice Ornstein’s Billings Horse Drawings, on display until September 5. ‘You Can’t Judge a Book’ is Saturday, September 6 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Beer and wine will be served. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for artists; no charge for ages 10 and under.
Women’s Retreat in Telluride
Ah Haa Visiting Artist Brucie Holler and local, award-winning poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer will team up this September to offer an intensive for women entitled Going Out, Going In, and this Friday, Aug. 29 is the last day to sign up. Over five days, from Monday, Sept. 22-Friday, Sept. 26, painter and scribe will guide participants in a quest to create something new from a confluence between the literary and the visual. As its title implies, the get-together will be held outdoors and in: “We will explore both inner and outer landscapes, ask questions and embrace paradox. A workshop for women who are ready to be pushed around a little by their art, moving more wholly into the creative process.” See examples of Trommer’s work at wordwoman.com and Holler’s at islandmassagehiltonhead.com. Then take a look at their detailed, supercharged – also warmly encouraging – plans for this class. Download a daily schedule at tinyurl.com/nihtuku.