On The Scene: Art on the Corner reception
I had one of the best times in awhile at the artists reception for Art on the Corner on Saturday night.
It was a night of newness: new art, new venue and new music.
The party was held in the former Certified Electric building at Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue. It recently has been stripped down to beautiful bare brick walls and has become an incredible space. Colorado Mesa University is currently using it for an exhibit titled “TETRAD,” which made for a colorful backdrop.
I walked into the room and immediately noticed writer Harry Brown surrounded by beautiful women. I made them all get in a photo: Artist and horsewoman, Diana Woods; artist and actress Marilyn Wilcox Anderson; Harry’s wife Carolyn Brown, who is a flight attendant for US Airways; and Dave Davis’ wife Judian Wyatt, who is a bereavement coordinator for Hopewest. Well done, Harry, well done.
Harry is working on his next book, “From Here to the Stars,” drawing from the two years he lived in China. Carolyn is soon to retire from the airlines and get back into music and sculpture with Diana.
I gathered another interesting group of people together who I did not know except for Robin Brown, the new Art on the Corner administrator for the Downtown Development Authority.
Tan Nguyen was visiting from San Francisco and riding the 18 Hours of Fruita Bike Race. Tim Long, whom I had only met over the phone until now, is a member of the West Slope Running Club and has his own nifty business of managing runs and races.
Matt Cuneo was there with his wife and parents, Marilyn and Michael Cuneo. The Cuneos hail from Philly and when I asked Michael what they do, he replied, “We’re grandparents, we don’t do anything.”
Matt works for S.M. Stoller as a GIS Analyst. Vanessa McClellan described him as her “lovely husband.” McClellan is a D.O. with Western Valley Family Practice.
Sitting sassy on the couch was Christy Williams Dunton and her husband, sculptor Michael Ford Dunton. They live in Castle Valley, Utah, where Christy is the program director at KZMU, Moab’s Community Radio Station. Michael had come to take down “Titus” from Art on the Corner.
The gallery has two big rooms, I went to the back to check them out. There was the scrumptious Bin 707 spread and standing at one of the tall cocktail tables was Harry Weiss, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, his wife Roberta Cole and art devotees, Stephanie and Thad Tuin.
Many know Stephanie as the city clerk and a member of the Grand Junction Kiwanis Club, but not everyone knows that she’s married to Art on the Corner sculptor, Thad. Thad takes his artistic talents one step further and builds street rods.
Harry Weiss and Roberta came from Ashville, North Carolina, and are really cool people. I’ve heard a general consensus that people think Harry Weiss is doing a great job for downtown.
I met Robin’s parents, Biff and Kathleen Messinger, at the installation earlier that morning. The Messingers love Grand Junction and made it their home. Biff works for Robin Brown Events and Kathleen rides horses and baby sits. She told me, “I finally get to be a princess with a pony after all these years.”
I sat down and listened to John Schultz and Alycia Vince. Holy moly! I knew John was great, but Alycia knocked my socks off! Catch her this weekend at the Downtown Art and Music Festival. She’s also the manager for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.
I finally pinned Art on the Corner founder Dave Davis for a photo with Troy Reynolds of FCI Constructors. The monumental task of installing and taking down the sculptures without Troy and his team from FCI. Thank you.
Damian Radice and Brian Harrison also were at the reception and are a couple Art on the Corner Committee members we couldn’t do without. They know art and they know what to do with it. They lift and grind and weld and put everything where it should go.
Damian was standing with glass artist Jim Miller. Jim’s work can be seen at The Working Artist Studio on Main Street. Robbie Breaux is a new committee member. She literally bolted a piece together this year. You go girl.
I had fun emceeing this year’s reception and got to announce the Best of Show winners.
Amyas Maestas won first place with his bronze, “Cow.” This is the second Art on the Corner exhibition for 10-year-old Amyas.
His grandfather, sculptor Huberto Maestas, taught him well. Amyas donated last year’s “Brontosaurus” to Dinosaur Journey museum in Fruita. The family brought the piece for installation that morning but had another show in Pueblo.
Go see Art on the Corner. Love it and respect it, because as the citizens of Grand Junction, we own it.
GET ON THE SCENE
■ The local band Redlands has a party for its “We Are Redlands” EP at 6:30 p.m. Friday at mesa Theater and Lounge, 538 Main St. Info: 241-1717.
■ The Downtown Art and Music Festival is Friday through Sunday with many artist displaying and selling their work and music from Firefall, Carrie Rodriguez, Ethyl and The Regulars, Alycia Vince Jazz Quartet, Bobby Walker Blues Band, Josefina Mendez Jazz, Jordan Soul, Shea Bramer and others. Info: downtowngj.org.