by Shelby Winter
Trinidad’s Gallery Row is the eclectic representation of the culture and people of Southern Colorado. Gallery Row offers four galleries in one location, as well as the
Comida Market, at 149 E Main Street. (Comida Market is now Closed.) The may look small from the outside, but are packed with creations with the feel of a big-city art district. The galleries each offer a different take on what they bring to the Trinidad Community, and do so with a flair and style that is not the same anywhere else. The artists of Gallery Row represent the roots of Southern Colorado, and celebrate art from around the world.
The oldest gallery is the Corazon Art Gallery, managed by Mary Byington has been open 15 years. The Corazon Art League features 12 diverse and local artists. As well as having the local artists year-round, they also host art shows featuring art from other nearby areas. The Corazon Art Gallery specializes in pottery, jewelry, oil, and acrylics. The artists who display their work in the gallery are also the people who greet guests as they view the gallery, making it a genuine local artist experience. Everyone who wants to have their art displayed in the gallery must work at least three days a month ensuring they are open seven days a week all summer from 10-5. The Corazon Gallery can be found on Facebook and at corazongallery.com.
The Corazon Art Gallery is a welcoming and open gallery and has regular artists complimented by Guest Artists from around the United States. One of these regulars is Lora Nava, who has been at the gallery for 6 months. The distinct style, that is her own, is loose, funky and full of touch. Her intention is to be in the moment and create dramatic contrast, bringing joy with humor and dualistic imagery. She works primarily with hand building. She uses large coils, of highly grogged sculpture clay, to construct statuary and tiles that can withstand the weather and are durable fired to cone six, around 2200 degrees. A fine art background and knowledge of stone carving and woodworking lends a beautiful dimension to her clay work.
Mary Byington is another one of these regular and local artists. She is an expert bookkeeper and QuickBooks Consultant by trade, but on weekends she works on her art. Mary describes herself as a left-brained person, and sometimes struggles to create flowy, abstract or whimsical art. Her style is more quasi photo-realistic art where she can play with colors more than shapes. Mary loves her art. She knows that she creates lovely, colorful, brilliant watercolors. People say that watercolor is the hardest medium, but Mary finds it fairly easy. With watercolor, the paint moves and flows on its own sometimes – creating magic on your paper.
Rebecca Ontiveros (a.k.a. Becki Woo) is a Corazon Artist who lived part time in Trinidad in 2008 before she moved back full time in 2017. After 40 years as an educator in Denver, Trinidad is now her permanent home. Her interest in jewelry started in the 8th grade when she began beading pieces for fun. By the time she was in high school, she was selling Sara Coventry Jewelry via private home jewelry parties. Rebecca made her first silver piece while in college. Although it was a craft class, she fell in love with the art of jewelry silversmithing. In 2009, she started jewelry classes under the direction of Mr. Fermin Garcia, a well-known jewelry creator in Denver, CO. With Mr. Garcia, Becki Woo found interest and experience in the art of Navajo jewelry making. . In 2011, Becki Woo started a five year apprenticeship with Mr. William Gray of Anjevine Custom Jewelry in Cherry Creek, Denver, CO. Under Mr. Gray’s direction Rebecca expanded her skills to include the art of fine jewelry making. Her pieces are a marriage of fine gems and polished or earthy raw stone cabochons presented in metal. “Elegantly Rustic” best describes Rebecca’s pieces.
The Marketplace Gallery greets you with music as soon as you enter into Art Row. This gallery began as a convergence of like-minded friends, and is run by Joanie Hessling, Deborah Bernhardt, and Paula Little. The women met working as co-directors and board members of the Mitchell Museum, and developed their gallery to give the local artists a place to display their work. Marketplace Gallery is displaying many of the artists of this creative district taking over Trinidad. The gallery has been open two years now, features work from over 20 artists, and offers a wide and diverse range of art, including ceramics, steel, jewelry, handmade knives, sculptures, Trinidad souvenirs, fine wood-working, and more. As well as events hosted in the gallery like artist openings, Marketplace also puts time and resources into community events in the hallway of Gallery Row, including their popular Countdown to Christmas event, when there are artists, booths, and food, as well as a Winter Flea Market, and a Recycled Robot-Making Workshop. This broad range of events does more than benefit the gallery, or even just the creative district, but really benefits a wide range of community members, and can be a fun event for those passing through.
Frank LaLumia is one of the original artists of Marketplace, and he is a nationally recognized artist, teacher, and author, often featured in magazines like Southwest Art, and Plein-Air Magazine. Frank was featured in a PBS documentary about art titled, “Painting the American Landscape.” And even though Marketplace represents high quality artists like Frank, they really do offer something for everyone, with many different pricings and creations. They can be found as Marketplace Gallery on Facebook, at trinidadmarketplace.com, or by email at email@example.com. The gallery can be called at 719-846-8207.
The Golden Eagle Gallery features the work of the artist Carol Bourdo. She went coast to coast in the late 70s, and has been in Trinidad since 1998. Her art is a culmination of the places she has gone, from Alaska to Africa, and she uses the pictures she takes to inspire her creative expression. She has been an artist in Trinidad since 1998, and works with her daughter Lynette, a professional framer who frames all the artwork featured in the gallery, and creates custom frames. One thread weaved throughout The Golden Eagle Gallery is that the artwork puts its subjects in their natural habitats, capturing the feeling and spirit of the life and place.
Carol is fulfilled as a pioneer of the creative district in Southern Colorado, displaying her art in Gallery Row. “So many visitors and tourists stop for the art, there is a local group of over 400 artists,” Carol said. Carol is a huge part of the art scene, having once had Steve McQueen come into her gallery and commend her artistry, all before she knew who he was. In Trinidad, she participates in Quick Draws at the Baca House for the benefit of the Mitchell Museum, and is an active member of the art community.
The final gallery of Art Row has been described by The Chronicle as “An art-of-wellness kind of art gallery”. Moringa Oasis, run by Cindy Johnson, is definitely something special. While at a revival in Brazil, Cindy had a vision, and then when she returned home a few months later, a question popped into her head, “What is the healthiest tree on the planet?” After a quick google search, Cindy found that it was a tree relatively undiscovered. She found a miracle, the Moringa Oleifera Tree. In the place where Cindy displays her artwork, she also sells Moringa Oasis, a line of different products infused with healthiest plant of the planet, completely pioneered by Cindy and her husband. She also promotes VoxxLife products, furthering the health and wellness side of her artistry. In her gallery, Cindy features artists and lines from Denver and Ecuador.
Cindy’s art career began long before she found Moringa Oasis in 2015, but her health minded, and body/mind/spirit conscious shop is a work of art in itself. Cindy has been an artist since she was a child, and she embraces a diversity of art in her gallery. Cindy has a website for her products moringaoasis.com, as well as Moringa Oasis on Facebook. Her gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5.
Trinidad’s Gallery Row houses art from world travelers, as well as the local art you cannot find anywhere other than the welcoming art community and creative district of Southern Colorado. With events, galleries, and art ranging in style and dimension, stop in this summer and see what you can find!
From Pages 32 & 33 of our Summer 2018 Issue