Reception celebrates book award, art with 'Monumental Majesty'
Ginny McBride called it a “love letter.”
For Christmas, McBride, the board chairwoman for the Colorado National Monument Association, sent her brother in Philadelphia a copy of “Monumental Majesty” 100 years of Colorado National Monument” marked with sticky notes to highlight the monument’s sights and sounds through her eyes. She wanted to share with her brother, whose cerebral palsy prevents him from traveling to western Colorado, why she and her husband love the monument so much.
“(The book) helped us convey to him how much we appreciated (the monument),” McBride said. “It was a way to send a love letter from Grand Junction.”
The combination of local art and topical essays to commemorate the monument’s 100th anniversary in 2011 helped the book win the 2012 Colorado Humanities Center for the Book Award in the anthology category, said Christine Goff, a member of the adjudication committee for the Colorado Book Awards.
To recognize the work of The Daily Sentinel staffers and area artists who contributed to “Monumental Majesty,” a public reception with refreshments and a silent auction of local art will be from 6–9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Kurtzman/Lintott Gallery, 412 Main St.
All money from the silent auction will be given to the Colorado National Monument Association, which supports and enhances the work of the monument through things such as visitor brochures, ranger programs and concerts.
The artists participating in the silent auction and featured in “Monumental Majesty” include photographer Steve Traudt and oil painter John Lintott.
Traudt, whose wedding was on the monument, lived on Glade Park for 13 years and drove through the monument nearly every day to get to work as a pharmacist at City Market. He estimated he has taken nearly 1,000 photographs of the monument at various times of day, seasons and locations.
The images Traudt has placed in the auction are very different. One is a vista shot from the top of the monument looking down on a winter inversion that blanketed the Grand Junction area several years ago. The other is of fresh snow and was taken with a telephoto lens.
“You don’t see many people up there in the winter, and there is some incredibly beautiful scenery then,” Traudt said.
Unlike Traudt, Lintott admitted he hasn’t always looked at the monument for inspiration. It wasn’t until he graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1994 and went off to study art in college that he was struck by the majesty of the monument’s red rocks, colorful flowers and dramatic lighting.
The gallery he co-owns with photographer Rob Kurtzman, who also will have work in the silent auction, features numerous pieces inspired by visits to the monument.
“Every aspect of the monument is so familiar to everyone here,” said Lintott, who likened painting the monument to painting a portrait. “In a sense, it pushes your artistic ability.”
In addition to the silent auction, numerous other pieces of art highlighting the monument will be on sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the monument association.
The association raises funds through the Visitor Center bookstore, membership dues and in-kind contributions such as the contributions the public will give through the silent auction, purchase of other pieces or the purchase of discounted copies of the award-winning “Monumental Majesty.”
But even McBride admitted a public reception highlighting the monument in such an artistic, creative way to benefit the association is a first since she joined its board nearly two years ago.
“To tell you the truth, we’re a little bit blown away by this,” McBride said.