Art at the Center – Nederland Community Center

Art at the Center curators Tracy Brewer and Annie Thayer with Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach

Art at the Center curators Tracy Brewer and Annie Thayer with Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach

The Peak to Peak region in and around Nederland attracts the most talented artist residents, and the Nederland Community Center has plenty of wall space. Therefore, since 2009, the Nederland Community Center Foundation Board has hosted a wine and hors d’oeuvres art opening called “Art at the Center” three times per year to feature new works of art by local artists at the Community Center.

The event has blossomed into a community extravaganza focused on the Nederland Area art scene. Details about how this art exhibition works can be found on the Community Center website.

The next Art at the Center opening is:

Thursday, June 5, 2014, 5:00-7:00pm
at the Nederland Community Center
750 Highway 72 North, Nederland CO, 80466

Co-curators, Tracy Brewer and Annie Thayer, have both lived in the Greater Nederland Area for more than two decades each. Annie said that back then, Nederland kept coming up randomly in peculiar ways, drawing her to the area. Both curators were willing to exchange a few inconveniences of living at high altitude, for the love of a small quiet mountain town among nature and wildlife. They recognize that many of the exhibiting artists and photographers are inspired by the protected open space surrounding Nederland.

I met with each of them separately, yet they both mentioned the satisfaction and joy they feel by providing a venue for local artists to gain exposure. A few works of art are consistently sold during each Art at the Center opening. Many local businesses and restaurants also come to Art at the Center to select artists, whose work they will display in their own establishments for the First Friday Art Tours which, as the name implies, occurs on the first Friday of each month.

This Art at the Center opening is sponsored by the High Peaks Art Festival, which is a juried art show in Nederland that draws artists from the wider western region.

[Related StoryHigh Peaks Art Festival]

Tracy mentioned that the original idea in 2009, was to use elementary student art to decorate the bare walls in the Community Center, but it quickly metabolized into a special occasion that people mark on their calendar, look forward to, and even dress-up a bit. (in Nederland ‘dressing-up’ can be interpreted as wearing a new fleece and jeans with no holes) Tracy says that when she is around so many artists, she is compelled to present herself in an artful way, to honor them.

I find the event to be an opportunity to have in-depth conversations with artists to discuss their process, which is often non-verbal, and fascinating when an artist explains their technique in their own words. I describe one such interaction in the following article about First Fridays, but Art at the Center also provides a safe venue for some moderately intense conversations that may not have been verbalized in years.

[Related StoryNed First Friday Art Tours]

This effect that Art at the Center, reminds me of another article about the Backdoor Theater, where the director took pride in providing a safe place for people to laugh out loud, or show their emotions while watching a feature film. Coincidentally, the Backdoor Theater is downstairs in the Community Center, and if the reader can indulge me, by stating that our Nederland Board of Trustees meetings are also in the same building. So, in an interesting way, the Community Center is a place where people can feel safe discussing art, culture and politics – sort of like a Renaissance Center, or the Acropolis of Athens, which is also on a hill above its city.

[Related StoryMayors’ Big Night at the Theater, dude.]

While Annie Thayer earned her PhD in bio-mechanics, she also became quite a disciplined artist later in life, creating hundreds of watercolor paintings. It is a common issue that after an artist’s own walls are filled, they must eventually sell their work in order to continue their craft, or even to afford more art supplies. So, being an artist takes on a new dimension when your work is shown at a gallery, discussed in public, sold, and hung in someone else’s home.

Therefore, it is a necessary process, and an interesting interaction among the creative process of the artists, the sympathetic appreciation of the observers, and deeper understanding of the buyers.

Art at the Center is such a treasure for our community.


[Here is a Video Valediction] It’s a trailer for the award winning documentary, ScrambleVision  produced by Yellow Pine Picture Company in association with Filmcartel.org, a local Nederland production company. It features the amazing artwork of Keith “Scramble” Campbell and the emerging live painting movement. [What is a Video Valediction?]


Mayor of Nederland, Colorado. You can find Joe on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Original content © 2011-2014: The NederMayor blog  is a Syndicated Column. The opinions expressed in the NederMayor blog are solely those of Joe Gierlach in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the official policy or position of the Town of Nederland, or any other entity of the U.S. Government.

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