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2015 Locavore Gift Guide


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Joan Semi

Joan Semi

Joan Nguyen loves creating art that reminds people of fond memories and new beginnings – that’s why she created Joan Semi. “After getting my interior design degree from SCAD University and moving to Colorado, I realized how important it is for designers and artists to share their gifting to help others see more in life,” Nguyen says. “I started envisioning Joan Semi while creating romantic floral paintings to help celebrate several friends’ weddings. After starting Joan Semi on Etsy this past June, I started to combine the warm and delightful wedding designs to my original roots of creating minimalistic art. By mixing in both contemporary elements with the romantic and whimsical style I hope to bring a style that is both modern and timeless.”

 

As it is a new brand, Nguyen is her own creative team managing all the photos, branding, marketing, product design, and packaging. And as for the products: “The holiday prints that I’ve created will be great additions to your walls, adding more personality and a modern touch to your holiday decor. These prints were carefully hand painted, showing the simplicity and beauty of the holiday season. I wanted to create simple silhouettes of small leaves wrapped around in a wreath and cookie ornaments with light decorative detailing. I love the use of typography and calligraphy in prints, so I’ve included simple yet fresh little quotes as well.”

 

“I honestly don’t know what the future holds for my newly started brand,” she adds. “Just keeping my mission in mind to share my art with others, and taking each day at a time. I am excited though for what’s ahead.”

 

HB Woodsongs

HB Woodsongs in Boulder isn’t just a musical instrument store, it’s so much more. The guitars, ukuleles and other instruments sold here are works of art worthy of display, even if you don’t play. If you do play, these are gems to treasure. Gorgeous craftsmanship, and something for every budding musician, and price-range. From the expert to the beginner, HB Woodsongs is worthy of a visit.

 

Scrumptious

Sat on Main St. in Longmont, this awesome ice-cream store that sells some glorious home-made ice-cream (by an ice-cream scientist no less), as well as kitchy and classic candies. But it is on the walls where the artisan treats sit. Paintings of much-loved children’s characters given a creepy twist (imagine Tim Burton given free-reign over pop-culture) offer unusual décor. There’s a serial killer-looking Ronald McDonald, plus horror movie images of Batman, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, the Sesame Street gang and characters from Alice In Wonderland.

 

Tribal Rites Tattoo

Looking for an off-the-wall artistic gift (perhaps literally)? Tribal Rites in Longmont (they have other branches too) is a great venue for a tattoo of all styles, and they offer gift cards, making for an excellent and unusual gift for a loved one. There are some great artists working here and, as usual, we recommend that you check out their respective portfolios carefully before committing to any of them.

 

Colorado Glass Gallery

There are head shops, and then there are head shops. Colorado Glass Gallery is not your regular head shop. The glass on display here is functional, but it also makes for a beautiful piece of three-dimensional art to sit on display. Artists like Andy Roth, BlueGrass Man, Jason Burruss and many more create water pipes and bubblers that will blow your mind.

 

The prices can get steep, but this kind of art is intricate and will raise the eyebrows of visitors. If nothing else, drop by and look around.

 

La Momo Maes

 

Nestled in a cozy corner of Longmont is this wonderful bakery. Perhaps cakery is a more appropriate term, because the cakey desserts that this family whips up are divine. And, taking a cue from their European counterparts, they look amazing too. Each little treat is a work of art in the truest sense.

 

Time Warp Comics

Yup, for the most part Time Warp sells mass-produced books from the likes of DC and Marvel, plus action figures, t-shirts and that sort of thing. But, dig a little and you can find the local books box, packed with excellent comic books, some glossy and some apparently photocopied, by a range of super-talented local writers and artists.

 

Lumonics

Lumonics Light and Sound Gallery, under the direction of light sculptor Dorothy Tanner, relocated to Denver in 2008 after years in South Florida. “Our goal in the performance space is to provide people with a multi-sensory experience to relax and energize them,” says owner Barry Raphael. “We present weekend events and also rent the space for private events. In addition to individual luminal free-standing and wall sculptures, Dorothy also creates “moodscapes” for people’s homes with her light sculptures, in which the lighting in a room emanates directly from the art, and is controllable for the desired atmospheric setting.”

 

“We showcase the light sculptures of Dorothy Tanner and Mel Tanner (d. 1993), and our location is the studio in Denver where Dorothy creates the work. The studio and gallery is open by appointment and on event nights.”

 

Golden Chalice and Merlin’s Wand are tabletop sculptures that emanate light that “washes” the walls and ceilings so that the atmosphere has a glow. They are both limited editions, and were featured in ballet performances by the Zikr Dance Ensemble. Golden Chalice is $500 and Merlin’s Wand which is more complex is $1200.

 

“We eventually hope to move to a larger facility where we can show the entire collection of art. Many of Mel Tanner’s light sculptures are still in storage. We also want to develop more limited editions.”

Alive Studios

 

For something a little different, a gift that reeks of severe thought, how about treating your loved ones to a shoot at Alive Studios in Boulder. The folks that work there are experts at getting the very best out of you in the warm and welcoming environment. Maybe a sweet family photo, or a makeover and glamorous fashion shoot for the wife or hubby?

 

Superhero Nap Time

Superhero Nap Time’s Cole Brenner says that he’s been an artist and designer for his entire life. “As a freelance designer my studio [BRENNERds.com] created apparel designs for Tapout, J!NX Gear for Gamers, the UFC and helped to develop successful new startups like the sports safety line of RZ Masks,” he says. “But my true artistic journey began when I became a dad; then lost my own dad, comedian David Brenner, a few months later. My dad was my personal superhero. Now I see the glimmer in my own son’s eyes as he discovers heroes of his own and knowing that I am one of those superheroes keeps me smiling. Wes is not just a part of the story, but he sometimes gets his paintbrush out and adds his own touches to the canvas. One night, about a year ago, Wes placed his five favorite action figures on our windowsill, each laying next to the other, then he turned back to look at me with his devastatingly cute smile and said ‘Superhero nap time.’ He didn’t know that he had just named his Dad’s first art collection [SuperheroNapTime.com.]”

 

“Now, when I paint one of his favorites, I look for the moment when I can tell exactly what feelings or thoughts the character is having; feelings that are often connected to Wesley’s own imagining of those characters,” he continues. “Pooh sulks over his empty ‘hunny pot.’ Tigger wants you to bounce with him. Suddenly, I’m Wesley’s age again, on my own hero quest. I hope that what I’ve created reminds you of your own inner Superhero, gets your imagination going, and inspires you to be a bit of a kid again.”

 

Brenner says that showing his Superhero Nap Time collection at the first Jackalope Denver was an amazing experience for him as a new artist. “Kids slid by my booth and a smile would light up across their faces,” he says. “Then a few minutes later they would re-appear at my booth, this time with their parents in tow, to show off their favorite piece or art. So many people had such wonderful comments about my art. Since the first Jackalope I have been in contact with some of the fans I met, and have been able to create beautiful commissioned paintings for them. My focus for the November Jackalope has been the holiday shopping crowd, painting and creating a great range of gifts to be enjoyed by kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, grandparents and loved ones.”

 

“The future of Superhero Nap Time will continue to be focused on sharing my artwork with more people,” Brenner says. “Through my shows at The Great Frame Up in Longmont, doing more live painting like my first featured artist event at Longmont’s Art Walk, and connecting with more people looking to have a commissioned painting become a personal treasure. I also see more opportunities for Superhero Nap Time art to be displayed in the metro area at galleries, coffee shops, video game bars and more places where hopefully my Superhero Nap Time collection can bring out the kid at heart in more fans… but that all fits into nap schedules. Each day when a breeze blows over Wes and me, I stop to think that there’s a Kiss in the wind from my very own superhero dad.”

 

Superhero Nap Time Holiday Items available online…

Etsy.com/Shop/SuperheroNapTime

 

Sundara Divine Jewelry

Sundara Divine Jewelry officially started in 2005, during owner Kimberly Loeb’s last year in undergrad. “During that time, I was living ‘off the grid’ in a yurt in Northern Arizona,” she says. “My girlfriends and I would get together when we weren’t in class, drink wine, make jewelry, and teach one another beading and metal-smithing techniques. Before too long, friends wanted to purchase my pieces as gifts, and would stop by my yurt to see what I had available. Eventually, a gallery in Jerome, Arizona began selling my jewelry and I decided to open my Etsy shop.”

 

“I hold a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism and, in addition, I’ve studied beadwork, ceramics, graphic design, metalsmithing, precious metal clay, watercolor painting and weaving. Over the years, I’ve worked in bead stores and taught jewelry making, and I continue to take classes in order to improve my techniques. Today, Sundara Divine Jewelry is still a one-woman show. It’s just me! I pick out all of my beads and cabochons, and create everything by hand in my home studio. I enjoy creating jewelry for art fairs and my Etsy shop, and especially love making one-of-a-kind custom pieces for my family, friends and customers.”

 

“I have always loved working with my hands to beautify myself and the world around me. During the years following undergrad, I went on to study massage therapy, Rolfing® Structural Integration and Yoga, all of which aim to help people feel better from the inside, out. ‘Sundara’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘beauty’ and it refers to a natural radiance that shines from within. In all of my work and everything I do, I am most passionate about supporting others in recognizing their own source of inner beauty, confidence, grace and strength. When you wear my jewelry, it is my sincere hope that you be reminded of how beautiful you truly are, from the inside, out.”

 

Jackalope Art and Craft Fair

The Jackalope Art and Craft Fair takes place this month, so we spoke with organizer Laura Fischer…

 

Yellow Scene: When did the event start and what was the mission?

Laura Fischer: Jackalope Art and Craft Fairs launched just last Spring and Summer with our inaugural events in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO. Both events proved to be a huge success in bringing the community together to celebrate local artistry. Our mission is to create a shopping experience with the highest quality, locally handcrafted goods. We strive to support local artisans who devote their lives to their creations. More than just a chance to shop, Jackalope Arts offers an opportunity for the community to meet the makers. At the fair you can expect to see a spectrum of talented and trendsetting vendors and artisans of all types.

 

YS: What have been highlights of previous years?

LF: 2015 is our inaugural year with the Denver launch fair over the summer. The launch fair had an incredible amount of talented vendors with guests saying they had never seen so many well curated and top quality handmade vendors in one place.

 

YS: What can we look forward to this year?

LF: We are excited to come back again with a tightly curated show of the top handmade vendors in a variety of genres for the Holiday shopping season. We also have interactive crafting workshops for attendees, henna and face-painting from Juiced to Go, the bar will be open for Holiday shopping libations and we have some delicious food trucks. Also keep an eye on Jackalope Arts as we move into 2016 and have some exciting, new partnerships TBA.

 

YS: What does the future hold for the event?

LF: Jackalope Arts will continue to grow in the community, holding our two day fairs in both winter and summer and becoming the premier destination for shopping local and handmade.

 

SmithKlein Gallery

In 1984 the SmithKlein Gallery opened its doors on Boulder’s historic Pearl Street Mall. The gallery was started by Deborah SmithKlein to express her passion for fine art and today the gallery is owned and managed by her son and his wife, Nathan and Ann Klein.

 

According to their website, “Housed in an expansive 2800 square foot space, the gallery has provided enrichment through art by exhibiting the work of some of the most distinguished artists in the country for more than 30 years. The gallery offers an eclectic mix of quality art in a wide variety of media from jewelry and glass to large sculptures and paintings. There is a wonderful ambience to SmithKlein Gallery, with its high ceilings and wood floors flooded with natural light from tall windows, that attracts both major collectors and first-time art buyers plus everyone in between. With its highly knowledgeable and motivated staff always available to assist anyone with questions or purchases, the gallery takes great pride in insuring a unique experience for all who pass through its doors.’

 

Mary Williams Fine Arts

Mary Williams Fine Arts is an art gallery located in Boulder. “We specialize in antique prints and maps, contemporary Rocky Mountain artists and fine custom framing,” they say. “We offer art design for projects of any size, residential, resort and commercial. Our presence in Boulder since 1996, combined with more than twenty-five years of experience, makes us a trusted source for your fine art needs.”

 

Plant Inspiration

The idea for Plant Inspiration came last winter, says Robyn Tighe. “Looking at my favorite plant hanging in the kitchen, I happened to notice just how ugly the macramé and plastic pot were,” she says. “After researching the alternatives, I set out to create a planter that would look good AND work well for plants. The planter would also need to be space-saving and versatile. I designed and tested products in cardboard and duct tape for months before prototyping in metal. Plant Inspiration launched May 2 at the opening day of The Big Wonderful market with the Wall to Table planters and In and Out Window Boxes.”

 

Tighe says that her mission is to help more people in urban environments enjoy the benefits of plants, and that Steve at The Right Angle in Wheat Ridge, Colorado is the metalsmith who bends and/or welds each Wall to Table planter and In and Out Window Box.

 

With a modern, minimalist design, Wall to Table planters can be hung in a kitchen, wall-mounted in the living room, or arranged on a patio table. These versatile planters offer unique and space-saving ways to decorate with plants.

 

Wall to Table Planters can be used to create practical and affordable living walls. Check out Plant Inspiration’s living walls at Infinite Monkey Theorem, Denver Denizen, and at the River North Workshop, an urban home décor shop opening on Nov. 28th in the RiNo Arts District (which will also be carrying Plant Inspiration products.)

 

For information on new product releases, culinary herbs, and vertical gardens, sign up for the monthly newsletter at, www.plantinspiration.net, or follow Plant Inspiration on Instagram @walltotable.

 

Art + Soul Gallery

Art + Soul Gallery’s people say that it was created in the spirit of fun and contemporary creativity. “We offer a unique and sophisticated variety of fine art and jewelry presented in an atmosphere that is colorful and welcoming. The gallery occupies 3000 square feet on the East End of Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. We represent artists both locally and nationally, working in media as varied as oil on canvas to reclaimed object sculpture. Our selection of jewelry is unparalleled. We offer a diverse representation of internationally recognized designers in men’s and women’s styles with an emphasis on unique design and craftsmanship. We specialize in wedding sets, commitment rings, and special order custom work.”

 

Vilona Gallery

Vilona boasts its philosophy is in creating a space for a broad range of artwork that includes sculpture, mineral and fossil arts, functional artwork, painting, photography, mixed media and more. “We represent work that resonates with our philosophy of blending contemporary art with a historical or traditional component. It could be subject or selection of materials or artistic process, or a combination. We are passionate in representing diverse artwork that, through these various artistic touches, translates our cultural and artistic history into contemporary artwork and meets the highest aesthetic standards. We’re always interested in new and innovative artistic talent to represent and nurture both locally and nationally. Our grown children are artists, and you’ll also get to see alternative process photography and wood and steel sculptures in the gallery from their studios. Conveying an understanding of the artist’s signature and engaging visitors as to each artwork’s unique dialogue is our mission. When guests enter our gallery, they most often comment that it’s the most unique gallery they have ever visited. Fossils, minerals and functional artwork are seen in combination with bronze sculptures, mixed media, paintings and photography. Our gallery will hold rotating shows exhibiting collections of contemporary art by outstanding emerging and established artists and we are committed to showcasing exciting and innovative artistic perspectives.”

 

Spagyric Apothecary and Supply

The idea for Spagyric was born while Warren Kistenbroker was going to school for biochemistry. He went to college wanting to learn how to make high-quality medicines from plants. He soon found out about the spagyric method of plant extraction and was able to apply all his organic chemistry knowledge to the subject. After 3 years of Rand D, The Spagyric Apothecary was born in February of 2015. The mission was to make spagyric extracts available at affordable prices along with educating the public about the science behind spagyrics.

 

Warren Kistenbroker is the Founder/Owner. He went to school inspired to make high-quality herbal medicines. Backed by three years of university research and two years of working in a homeopathic laboratory, he moved to Colorado in pursuit of starting his own business. Kelsey Gowen has been with The Spagyric Apothecary for eight months helping with marketing, sales and creative ways to advertise. The business wouldn’t be the same without her. Warren and Kesley work side by side working the booth at local farmers markets and festivals helping educate the community about herbal medicines.

 

High-CBD Hemp Extract (Cannabis sativa)

Introducing the first Spagyric Hemp Extract in the US.

 

This non-psychoactive spagyric hemp extract is made from a Cannabis hybrid called “The Remedy.” It is 75 percent indica and 25 percent sativa.

 

“Our specialized spagyric extraction is done under vacuum with organic grape alcohol leaving most of the cannabinoids in their raw acid form. This is the form most prevalent if the plant were to be juiced. CBD among other cannabinoids are preserved in their rawest form (CBD-A). When spagyrically prepared, the potassium rich mineral salts added from the mineral extraction form ions that keep the cannabinoids water soluble (solubility in water plays a key role in bio-availability). This makes spagyric processing the most advanced and sustainable way to extract cannabis and all its medicinal chemicals. This increases the plants potency by making the terpenes, cannabinoids and minerals more bioavailable to the body. It’s made with organic hemp, organic grape alcohol and distilled water.”

 

Virtual Funk

Yellow Scene: How did you company get started and when, and what was the mission?

Shellie Funk: Moving to the US from the UK in 2009 with my husband Brad, and my son Tom, gave me a unique opportunity to start something new and fresh and different. In my previous life I was a line producer in the UK film industry responsible for the production of approximately 20 films – a fantastically interesting and exciting life which I loved. In those days I was always envious of the movie creatives – the costume and production designers who were able to pursue their creativity in the line of work – now I had the chance to explore my own creative possibilities. I have always loved silver jewelry and have collected interesting and unusual pieces from my travels around the world. I set up Virtualfunk LLC at the beginning of 2011 with the idea of sharing alternative jewelry designs with other people who appreciate something different.

 

YS: Who are the creatives involved and what is their background?

SF: I started out exploring ideas for making my own jewelry with wire wrap and beads but silver has always been my first love. My amazingly supportive husband encouraged me to venture into metalsmithing by presenting me with a comprehensive kit of tools and equipment for Christmas of 2011. I learned some basic techniques through a couple of metalsmithing classes which started me on an exciting path of experimentation.

 

YS: Describe some of your designs for us.

SF: My jewelry has been described as earthy and different. Familiar shapes, which are eternally found in nature resonate with people. I handcraft each individual piece using traditional metalsmithing techniques with sterling silver and copper. My designs are constantly evolving as I build each item from sheet metal, wire and recycled scrap metal, experimenting with different shapes, dimensions and textures incorporating mixed metal elements and semi precious stones with soft colors to create pieces that are original, distinctive and individual. I also try to carefully balance the materials that I choose for each piece so that the final design will not only be appealing but it will also be affordable.

 

I do have a shop on Etsy but I prefer to sell at art and craft shows. I started out at the Boulder Farmers Market monthly art show and and my success there inspired me to explore other venues in Denver and reach more people this year. Meeting and talking to people about my jewelry is truly inspirational and I usualy come away from these shows bursting with ideas for new designs.

 

I could not do this without the incredibly generous support of my very talented husband who has created all the graphic artwork that supports my business. He is also singularly responsible for putting together my vision for displaying my jewelry. He built my unique, eco-friendly display completely from recycled and natural materials – beetle-kill pine, bamboo, burlap and plants to create an alluring setting with a tropical feel which draws people in looking for personal treasure. The wood panels, stained in varying warm dark golden hues, provide a singularly attractive backdrop for my style of bold, modern jewelry with an organic edge.

 

YS: What does the future hold for the company?

SF: I love challenge and diversity, and designing and creating with metal presents me with endless possibilities for creating jewelry pieces which give people pleasure. Jewelry is an art and I think art is hugely undervalued in our society and I would like to one day be able to truly call myself an artist and stand proud alongside the local community of incredibly talented artisans.

 

Tinker Art Studio

Tinker is a dynamic art studio founded by educators and artists. “We are passionate about creating our own art as well as working with others,” they say. “Providing authentic art opportunities for children and adults to grow as both skilled artists and creative individuals, Tinker Art Studio is a unique space. At Tinker, you will find a lively studio balanced by a calm and aesthetically pleasing environment.”

 

Red Canyon

Red Canyon Art is growing and changing, getting ready for a Grand Opening under new management. “The Gallery features an amazing array of local art in a wide variety of media. Ceramics, Art Prints (including work by Android Jones), Photographs, Woodwork, Jewelry, Wearable Art, Leather, Bead work, Rocks and Crystals, Books, CDs, Cards; a great selection for giving as gifts or for treating yourself.”

 

Firehouse

The mission of the Firehouse Art Center is to raise cultural awareness and understanding of the arts in the regional community through classes for all ages, lectures, events, and visual art exhibits of regional and national artists.

“Since 1986 The Arts Studio, Inc. of Longmont, Colorado has served the community by promoting art education for adults and children, by creating opportunities for exhibition, and co-founding ArtWalk Longmont. In 1987, the Arts Studio,Inc. and the Longmont Council for the Arts collaborated on the renovation of the old firehouse, a historic landmark in downtown Longmont,” they say. “This provided a facility for art education and classes, which was our main focus for the next ten years. In 1999, the Arts Studio, Inc. unveiled a renovated interior of the Old Firehouse Art Center creating a permanent art gallery and improving the member’s gallery and classroom. Since that time, the Arts Studio, Inc. has increased the quality and frequency of programs and endeavor to provide exhibitions that engage and energize the community. During the past five years the Arts Studio’s programming has expanded in response to the increased demands of the area’s growing population. Our commitment to raising the standard of artistic quality has been recognized in reviews and feature stories by the newspaper, magazine, online and television media. Also noteworthy is our receipt of the 2001 and 2003 Arts Nova Awards from the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, recognizing entrepreneurism and innovation in a non-profit organization.”

 

KCP Gallery

Kay Carol and Priscila Gallery and Working Art Studio exists to promote local arts and artists in Longmont. “The location in the downtown arts district includes affordable space for our resident artists, classes and events,” they boast. “Several local business groups meet at KCand P. We work cooperatively with Longmont art centers, galleries and schools to encourage and showcase creative community arts in Colorado. Uniquely, KCand P also offers in-house design, branding and marketing resources and services to support the business side of art.”

 

Rabbit Brush

Rabbit Brush Gallery was conceived by Liz Durfee, and opened in November 2010 to feature the diverse, beautiful, creative and handcrafted work of primarily local and regional artists, as well as fair-trade goods from overseas. “Her background in studio art and art history includes a BA from CU Boulder, and stints at the Arvada Center and Boulder’s former McLaren Markowitz Gallery.”

 

pARTiculars

Located in the heart of Old Town Lafayette, pARTiculars is a cooperative gallery and teaching studio owned and operated by 10 local artists. They also proudly show the work of over 40 Colorado artists. “Our doors opened on August 1, 2008,” they say. “We are committed to excellence in art and art education, with a purpose to nurture and promote artistic passion in artists, students, and the community by running an artist-owned cooperative gallery and teaching studio.”

 

Creative Framing

As one of the most trusted picture framers in Boulder County, Creative Framing Art Gallery in Louisville has built its reputation on honesty, integrity and quality. “Creative Framing delivers unbeatable value, quality, service and competetive prices to meet everyones budget, with the finest quality materials the industry has to offer,” they say. “Janet Russell has owned and operated the shop for over 15 years. Previously located on South Boulder Road, the new location in historic downtown Louisville boasts beautiful high ceilings, bright ambient light and a warm, welcoming gallery with professional gallery lighting. Janet’s assistant, Kym, has a degree in Fine Art and cheerfully guides customers seeking a professional opinion in selecting artwork, mats, colors and moulding styles.”

 

Aar River Gallery

The Aar River Gallery is the premier art gallery located in the heart of old Westminster. “A family gallery with original fine art, fine art photography, and fine art reproductions at reasonable prices. We also feature notecards, jewelry, and pottery by local artisans. Each month a different outside artist will be invited to display art work and teach a class or workshop.The gallery and classroom/studio are available for rental for special events and classes. An outside flower garden area, patios, and sculture garden are available when weather permits.”

 

Acme Wand Supply

The Acme Wand Supply prides itself on arming some of the world’s most powerful and prestigious wizards and sorcerers, passed and living, since the last millennium. Of course, they can’t list any names due to confidentiality, but they promise you have seen the fruits of their labor many times, and will see them many times in the future.

We aren’t dense over here at Yellow Scene, and know that Acme Wand Supply doesn’t really make magical wands, but they do make beautifully crafted decoration wands. Located outside of Lyons, the Acme Wand Supply has been creating one-of-a-kind wands for years. The shop provided wands to Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

 

These wands aren’t simple. For example, wand #4003’s endcap is made from copper and silver, while the handle is formed from buckhorn with amethyst and the shaft is made from blackwood.

 

Every wand is original, and costumers can even make their own at acmewandsupply.com.

 

Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery

It’s impossible to talk about local artists, and where to buy their work without being pointed to Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery, which is one of the oldest artist cooperatives in the United States. Located on Pearl Street the tightly packed, colorful store sells more than 20,000 individual items, including paintings, prints, photography, jewelry, pottery, woodwork, stained and blown glass, sculpture, and furniture. Here are some of the artist’s work that can purchased at the gallery.

 

Cottonwood Station by Michael Baum

There’s something whimsical and magical in the way Michael Baum paints. Specializing in contemporary representational paintings of the western and southwestern landscape, his art is breathtaking, especially Cottonwood Station which depicts “a tank of gas and an ice-cold soda. Everything you need on a hot day in the middle of nowhere.” The colors and movement, alongside the childlike portrayal of a perfect fall day in the mountains make this painting fun, and demand attention.

 

“I came to the West over 30 years ago, drawn by its spectacular landscapes. I pursued the landscape in art through a variety of styles and media, now working exclusively in oil.”

 

Cottonwood Station can be printed on 7.2×9.5 on paper or 9×12 and 12×16 on canvas, with a black plein air frame. Depending on your style and choice, prices range from $49 to $219.

 

Dragon Smoker by Brenda Neely

Brenda Neely is a little freaky, and we love it. Her ceramic sculptures sold at Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery are jarring. Neely has a way to take a simple, mundane concept and turn it into something that we want to put on the shelves in our living rooms, especially the Dragon Smoker. Made from low fire brown and white clay, the funky, cute dragon looks like it wobbled right out of Bowser’s Castle in “Super Mario Bothers.”

 

At only five inches wide and six inches tall, the dragon doesn’t take up much room, and doubles as an incense holder, hiding the stick and creating a full on dragon illusion when the smoke comes out through the nose. What more could you want for $50?

 

Bear Earrings by Dancing Elk

Jeff and Myan Sorensen, of Dancing Elk, know how to recycle. By taking naturally shed deer and elk antlers from the mountains of Southern Colorado, and transforming them into beautiful necklaces, earrings, pins, and money clips. The pieces are cut with a band saw, shaped with a belt sander, and then polished on a jewelry wheel.

 

Bear Earrings, available at Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery, is the epitome of what this duo does. Formed out of the antler of an elk, the small, dangling earrings are jazzed up with a touch of turquoise and hang from a sterling silver base.

For $52, buyers can wear a piece of Colorado, and look good doing it.

 

Early Light, C.U. and the Flatirons by Bill Ervin

We know how beautiful Boulder can be. We print 10 issues a year that demonstrate just how unique, eccentric, and sometimes outrageous it can be. Bill Ervin also knows this little bit of information, and uses his talent as a photographer to share what he sees with the world.

 

It’s apparent in Early Light, C.U. and the Flatirons, as we see the tops of our tallest buildings poking out from behind a line of trees, and the morning sunlight illuminating the mountains resting under a slew of clouds. The photo, like our great city, is beautiful.

 

With a range of sizes and print options, the photo ranges from $68 to $379.

 

Spiral Menorah by Patrick Meyer

Patrick Meyer knows his way around metal. Working with lead-free pewter, a soft metal easily forged, molded, and cast, Meyer makes functional and decorative cast pewter accessories and objects for the home, office, kitchen, and bath. His aesthetic emphasizes pure futuristic and organic lines that incorporate industrial and ethnic styles. His spiral menorah resembles something from a Tim Burton movie, think “Nightmare Before Hanukkah.” It’s unconventional yet interesting and beautiful, as it should be for $297.

 

Party Pup Luminette by Bella Luz

For the past 22 years, Joline El-Hai has been producing enchanting lamps. Now, as she is winding down, her products are selling at an alarming rate. Luckily, Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery, has plenty. Among them, is one of the cutest lamps we have ever seen. The Party Pup, made from heat-resistant plastic film, and a copper frame containing 90 percent recycled products. Not to mention a portrait of a dog wearing a wizard’s robe and hat.

 

“My work is filled with a sense of movement, rich coloring and bold, detailed imagery of a darkly mysterious and narrative quality.”

 

There are a number of her nightlights in the little shop on Pearl Street sold for $48.

 

Author

Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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