Selected artists from around the state took a break from setting up their booths in the hot sun and broke bread with each other during a reception to kick off Golden’s Fine Arts Festival.
Artists in attendance at the Table Mountain Inn on Aug. 16 were as diverse as their artwork, ranging in age and creative skill, from glass blowers to photographers.
“This is first-class,” said Patrick Kanan, photographer, during the reception event. “We just catch up on where the market is and what’s going on.”
“It’s really a pretty neat deal that Golden puts on here,” he added.
Kanan and his wife, Emi, produce most of their photos in Europe while teaching photography. They have made a home in Castle Rock, and participate in many art festival shows in Colorado and bordering states.
“It’s a very well-run show and very organized,” Kanan said. “We’ve done well in the past and decided to do it again this year.”
More than 130 artists participated in the Fine Arts Fest, including this year’s featured artist, Mary Staby, of Frisco. Her colored photo “Waves of Grain, Twenty-Mile Road, Oak Creek, Colo.” was unveiled during the reception as the featured artwork for this year’s festival. The artwork was used for the festival’s posters and other items for sale.
“I’m very humbled, it was a big surprise,” Staby said about being picked as the featured artist. “This is a great honor, it’s a prestigious show and I’m glad the people appreciate what I’m doing.”
Her specialty is black-and-white film photography to which she adds color by hand, using oil-based paints on the silver gelatin prints. It is a skill she took from the old art form of the 1860s, through which any color photo produced had been hand painted.
“You can make certain details come out you would never see in color photography,” Staby said. “It makes them highlighted, much more emphatic.”
Staby said she was inspired to take the photo selected while she was driving the back roads on the way to a show in Wyoming and noticed a plowed field with unusual patterns.
“It was one of the few times I took the picture and knew what I was going to do with it,” she said, explaining that she immediately wanted to add contrasting colors to accent the line patterns.
Staby said she grew up in Brush, and has always had an affinity for rural and agricultural life.
“It just pulls on my heart strings,” she said. “Something about going back to the farms, the grain elevators, the things that are going away ... and trying to preserve them. That’s why I paint them.”