Year in Review – Arts and Entertainment

The art of living in Nederland
Barbara Lawlor
Peak to Peak

Art is everywhere and so are artists. The written word has a home. Music fills stages and our events.
Nederland supports its artists, musicians and writers and many local businesses are proud to display the work of locals, to host concerts and to offer reading material. The economic slump has affected the sale of artwork, which is considered a luxury item, but the painters continue to paint, the sculptors build graceful, provocative pieces and jewelers mold and polish art to wear. Musicians practice and perform and boost our spirits.
Art goes on. The Nederland Community Center Foundation has become one of the largest supporters of local art in the area. With spacious hallways and meeting room walls, the NCC hosts quarterly shows with opening receptions and a chance to meet the artists and enjoy a lavish spread of finger food and wine.
Each show names an artist who is chosen by the show’s viewers, a written vote during the evening. Last January’s people’s choice was Claudia Ariss, whose Eye of Candy Glasswork was stunning in its color and clarity. It was the fifth Art at the Center Show.
The NCC Art at the Center featured Nederland Middle/Senior High School students at their sixth showing. These students included Esther Bergeson, Zoe PG, Harrison Dunham, Luke Harrison and Diego Lopez.
This fall, the Art at the Center people’s choice award went to Alex Stark, a Boulder student, who submitted three paintings titled Upon Reflection, representing his battle with cancer.
On Jan. 29, the Nederland Community Library opened its doors to the shiny, new facility that replaced the bays and former classrooms that were once its homes. Nestled along North Boulder Creek, the library is accessed by crossing a bridge and walking over donated engraved bricks. It is hard to remember the library not being there.
The grand opening featured Colorado Poet Laureate Dave Mason and many thanks to the Nederland people for supporting the bond campaign to build a real library. Seven hundred people came to welcome the new shelves, the fireplace, the computers and the space for more books.
Among February events is the annual Community Champion Award ceremony, a recognition of people whose efforts make Nederland a better place to live. This year’s recipients include the Lifetime Achievement Award which went to George Blevins; the Outstanding Youth Award which went to Grace Reis; the Government Award which went to Mayor Sumaya Abu-Haidar; the Town Employee Award which went to Jake Adler; the Educational Excellence Award which went to Little Bear School; the Business Award which went to Tom Boogaard of Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery; and Best Non-Profit Award to the Nederland Community Library.
Volunteer Awards went to Katrina Harms, Jan Tofoya, Susan Gallaudet, Dale Porter, Doug Cosper, Alan Brewer and Herb Pugmire. Local author and former Mountain-Ear publisher Kay Turnbaugh introduced her children’s book “A Mountain Pine Beetle: Tiny but Mighty” and had a book signing at the new library.
The Gilpin County Arts Association celebrated its 65th year of hosting a juried show in Central City. This year more than 100 pieces of art were on display.
After 11 years of organizing the High Peaks Art Festival in downtown Nederland, the Chamber of Commerce sold the event to Cathy Stiers who has been instrumental in keeping the festival alive and well. This year’s Best of Show Award was won by self-defined Art Magician Eric Abraham.
One year and one month after its grand opening on Memorial Day 2010, the Carousel of Happiness celebrated its 100,000 rider. Rachel West, 5, won a lifetime pass. The COH hosted several well-attended fundraisers and special parties during the year, including a popular Halloween party for everyone.
Nederland Community Presbyterian Church Pastor Don Dexter announced his resignation from his post as church leader. Dexter was the creator of the Mountain Community Music and Arts Association, which featured monthly concerts during the summer. The church officials said they will work on continuing the concerts. Five candidates for the position of pastor will be chosen and then voted on by the congregation.
The Pallette Gallery, one of Nederland’s first art galleries, announced its decision to close. In 2007, artists Phillys Wright, Bette Ventrella, Jan Ferrel, Kathy Spratford and Judy MacDougall started the gallery as a place for local artists to display their work. The women said they accomplished what they set out to do.
The Play-Ground Theatre duo of Jeff Haycock and Mia Sole showed the world premiere of their television Pilot, “The Funny People.” Based on 20 years of performing for children, the pilot episode one contains seven sketches, which include local children. Their hope is to have Public Broadcasting System pick it up and continue producing the show in their Rollinsville home.
Michael Bane of the Shooting Gallery filmed an on-location scene of the Zombie Show at the NCC’s West Wing. For a few days, the former classrooms were filled with bloody ghouls created by makeup experts. The Show was the last of the series of seven seasons.
Chris Benson, a Nederland High School student, won the Lion’s Club Peace Poster Contest and was recently announced as the first place winner at the district level. His poster was a warning that peace is a sinking ship and the world should save it or it will be lost forever.
Second place went to Natalea Cohen, third to Kendall Shankey and honorable mention to Caleb Pugmire.

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