Tree Hugging Cowgirl, Part 11

I’ve been working on my series, Tree Hugging Cowgirl, and have been doing a few paintings of these green gates that keep popping up in the areas of forest and grazing lands near where I live. The gates are always these big green ones and there are welded pipe fence on either side of the gates. Some of the pipe fences go for a long ways, others go for 20 feet or so. Either way, these are expensive. Ranchers might put up a gate but it would be a stretched barbed wire gate over a cattle guard. With a little side gate where a truck, ATV or people on horses could get through. They just don’t fool around with fancy expensive gates like that. Who belongs to these gates? And why do they seem big enough to let a semi trailer carrying extraction materials through? A lot of them have new wire fences with a really wide road cut running along it and disappearing into the forest or over a ridge.  These and other questions are needing answers.

My plein air and studio paintings were scheduled to be show in Paonia and Crested Butte during December (yes, that is less than 3 weeks away). However the owner of the space, The Cirque, where I was supposed to hang about 25 paintings and have an opening on November 30th called me earlier this week to say she had made a terrible mistake and double booked the date and space. We had agreed about a show early this summer and I’d kept going in there, measuring wall space, asking questions, etc. She had already signed a contract with the other artist just recently and didn’t know what to do. I suggested that the other artist (who makes willow stick frames with a piece of flat rock with a petroglyph painted on it inserted in the center of these stick frames) collaborate with me. We could hang half our works, each taking 1 of the 2 wall spaces. We could do that in December and in January switch wall spaces and bring in the other half of our work. The other artist refused to collaborate. And the owner of the Cirque told me I could have January or a month during the summer instead. I had already started marketing for the show and was glad I didn’t give the go-ahead on any printing or ads. I have been working with the Western Slope Conservation Center, they helped with maps, suggestions where to go, and were excited to be a part of the opening and exhibit. I was also going to donate a percentage of the profits to them from the sale of the paintings during the run of the exhibit. I was pretty upset but figured when live gives me lemons, I just make a Kamikaze.

My new showing will be one night only at WSCC’s offices in Paonia.  Here is the press release with the details. It was great that the staff and the Board of Directors from the Western Slope Conservation Center jumped into help. And my friends were very encouraging as well.

Cedar Keshet’s “Tree Hugging Cowgirl” series explores the impact of fracking and other events on the environment. Her plein air and studio oil paintings follow her journey this past year (2018) going to sites that are up for oil and gas exploration in the North Fork of the Gunnison area in Western Colorado. This series also includes her journey from Colorado to British Columbia & Alberta and back and the fires she experienced while on this journey. Cedar collaborated with the Western Slope Conservation Center in this series.

Join Cedar on Friday November 30, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Western Slope Conservation Center’s offices, 206 Poplar in Paonia. Artist’s Talk will start at 6 with WSCC information and Q&A to follow. Light refreshments will be served. 50% of the profits from this one night’s exhibit will be donated by Keshet to the Western Slope Conservation Center.

I hope to see a lot of you on Nov. 30. That is also our town’s Final Friday, so other galleries will be open. Including the Cirque where I was supposed to be exhibiting. Not like I’m bitter, but just saying its been a challenge. Glad I am a positive person and have found a way to share my art adventures with the community.

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Alternative Exhibition Space

Q: When is a tattoo parlor an Art Gallery?
A: When its an empty retail space in Paonia.

The front from the street

The entire storefront from the street.

The former tattoo parlor at 237 Grand Ave has been unoccupied for a while as are several other retail locations in our town’s two block downtown. They look like missing teeth from an otherwise beautiful smile. I approached the property owner and requested permission to hang some of my paintings in the front window until he rents the space. He graciously said yes to my idea of an alternative exhibition space. I got this idea from my friend Charlie when he told me what the town of Helper, UT did to its vacant storefronts.

Right side of the storefront.

Right side of the storefront.

I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries so I decided not to use any electricity for lighting. The front windows are west facing and pretty bright. I measured and graphed out the window space to display my paintings. I framed lots of really good ones. Allen & I got the supplies we needed to hang them with minimal expense and work. Then we set to work putting up the exhibit.

Left side of the storefront.

Left side of the storefront.

I am glad to have my paintings up and able to be viewed by lots of people. Paonia is a busy little town and people were walking by as we were hanging the paintings. I also hope to sell some of the paintings as every artist wants to be able to pay for their supplies sooner than later. I am happy that people will be able to understand what I do all day when they walk by and see the products of my labor of love. And my paintings are a lot happier being in the light than wrapped up in the “Vault” (that is what we jokingly call the shelves in the garage where I store art).

Left side window.

Left side window.

So stop by when you are in Paonia to 237 Grand Avenue and take a look at some of my paintings. You can go across the street to the Blue Sage Center for the Arts after next week and see a couple more of my paintings. I also have 2 in Grand Junction at the Art Center there. I hope to be hearing from some of you soon!

Right side window.

Right side window.