DEL NORTE - Rio Grande County Museum will be hosting the second annual “Holiday at the Museum” art show with the opening reception to be held Nov. 14, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. pending further development of the COVID-19 outbreak. Masks will be required, but not provided for all visitors with social distancing in place. It is our hope and sincere wish that our artists, visitors, volunteers and staff will be safe and can enjoy the show and the holiday season.
The museum has added a new feature this year with the addition of two young artists. Kambria Humphreys is a 14 year old young lady who loves to draw, paint, write stories and read. She lives in Pueblo but spends a great deal of her summer in the Del Norte area. Kambria (Kami) volunteers for the Rio Grande County Museum and has already exhibited some of her artwork in the museum as well as being featured on a post card for the museum.
The youngest artist is Jayden Powell-Gates. He attends the Upper Rio Grande County School District in Del Norte where he is currently in the 3rd grade. He enjoys his artwork and is encouraged by his art teacher, Susie Carrasco. He is trying his hand at some sculptures. He also volunteers at the museum as he spends time with his great- grandmother who is the museum director.
Michelle (Chelle) Wiescamp is joining the show for the first time this year. She grew up in Nebraska but moved to Colorado where she married Grant Wiescamp. Chelle states that she has always loved pottery. She had the opportunity to take a class at the local Parks and Recreation with her sister. She was hooked. Grant converted a section of their garage into a pottery room and she has been making wonderful pieces of artwork since then.
Returning artists include Mary Susan Eldredge, Albert Kahan, Martha Ann Kennedy, Craig Lehman, Laura Lunsford, Cathy Morin, Jeannie Lynn Norwood, John Patterson, Marian Schlaugbaum, Evelyn Sprouse-Rowe and Darwin Thompson.
Mary Susan Eldredge studied art at the University of Minnesota and had the privilege of studying with several great artists and teachers. She now lives in the Colorado high mountains and enjoys landscapes, insects and flowers in her artwork. Her painting and stained glass designs contain bold colors and shapes.
Albert Kahan was a physicist who worked for DuPont in the design and manufacture of films for the printing industry in his professional career. Photography was a hobby resulting in thousands of slides. After retirement and the introduction of digital photography, he decided to show his work. Kahan does interesting functional art pieces such as cutting boards to display his work.
Martha Ann Kennedy is a very versatile artist. Last year she featured her writing and books. This year, her paintings will be shown. She also makes her paintings into note cards which she also sells online and here in the museum. Her paintings have been selected to show in many juried shows in California over the years.
Craig Lehman is a one of a kind sculpture and personality. His work can be identified because of his style. His work ranges from cast bronze to welding metal sculpture in both abstract and conventional figures. He studied biology, archaeology, art and sculpting at Adam’s State College (University). He worked at the Shidoni Foundry in Santa Fe. He now has his own studios between Monte Vista and Del Norte.
Laura Lunsford makes “soft sculpture” dolls which is manipulated with needle and thread. Then paints, colored pencil and pens complete the job of creating desired features. Her original patterns are popular with other doll makers. She has conducted classes and workshop in Albuquerque and Denver as well as locally. She has been featured in many national and international doll making publications.
Cathy Morin is an award winning glass artist who has worked in both stained glass and fused glass for over 15 years. Fused or hot glass has evolved over the years from slumping glass into molds, which Morin still does, to a variety of diverse and innovation methods to create glass area. She enjoys using what she sees in nature to create the images in glass. She makes her home in Alamosa.
She is a retired art teacher from the Alamosa Public School District where she taught for 28 years. She paints, does digital art using her personal photographs and has developed a passion for ceramic sculpture and mixed media in her unique creations.
The ever popular John Patterson with his own unique sense of humor brings that humor to his recycling farm scrap metal into whimsical sculptures. He has been doing this for over thirty- five years. The sculptures represent the blood, sweat and stories that are part of the history of this area. The sculptures are tactile, historical, will bring a smile to the viewer and will fit in every décor. Each piece is made of various found items that imagination and creativity make into a piece of unique artwork.
Jeannie Lynn Norwood is a visual artist with a vast and varied background. She has a B.A. in Art and Art Education with a M.A. in art focusing on painting and sculpture plus extensive postgraduate studies.
Marian Schlaugbaum is another artist who has taken her photography to be used in other art forms.
She has used her photos in ideas in clays, canvas and glass cutting boards and items to be hung on the wall. She does unusual sculptures in clay and paintings that are ideas from objects in her photographs. The excitement that her work provides to the viewer is finding where and how her photographic artwork shows up in other creative pieces.
Evelyn Sprouse-Rowe is probably best known for her bold brightly colored acrylic paintings. Yet she truly is a multimedia artist, working in a variety of media. Her temporary artwork can be enjoyed on window mural throughout the San Luis Valley particular for events such as Ski Hi Stampede and Del Norte Covered Wagon Days. She is a graduate of Adams State University with a BA in art. She has been published in F and W published of “The Artist’s Magazine and featured as an artist of the month in Northlight Magazine/. She has been accepted into many juried shows throughout Colorado, New Mexico and California. She also makes jewelry.
Darwin Thompson majored in art in college and taught art at all levels in public schools during his teaching profession. After leaving teaching and moving to the San Luis Valley, he established a design/build construction business where he worked as a general contract for 30 years. His love for drawing, painting and wood carving has always been an important part of his life. He enjoys studies in the Native Americans, birds and caricature and his “Traditional and Old World” Santas.
Carthers Roadhouse is located in this old historic building at 505 Spruce Street in Del Norte. The Rio Grande County Museum had the privilege of being able to supply a copy of this photo to Stan Johnson and Ryan Black. The object of attention was the 94 year old Chevrolet truck. The photo also showed them the lettering on the building as well as the lettering on the truck. With a huge amount of detective work by Ryan Black of Moonlight Customs and Stan Johnson, a truck of the correct model and age was found. The amazing part of the story is that the truck that is shown in the photo that we had in the museum came home. They found the original truck after many years and were able to bring it home.
The photo confirmed this finding!! Ryan and Kyle Black did the restoration work. The building location may have been home to Bassett Transfer and Storage. Spriestersbach Chevrolet was located on this lot in 1920. Carther Motor Co. occupied the building in the late 1920s. It has been a potato warehouse by Fred and Hugh Fuchs are one period of time. Charles Preas ran a store that featured used items and antiques. He sold the building to the present owner.
In the archives of the museum there is an oral interview done of Dr. John McFadzean. In the interview he talks about who he happened to arrive in Del Norte in 1891. He was going to set up his medical practice in Florence, Colorado, having arrived there from his native country of Canada.
Florence, Colorado turned out to not be of his liking. He met two men from Del Norte who convinced him that Del Norte, Colorado would be more to his liking. He boarded the train that took him to Salida, over Poncha Pass, then along the Sangre de Cristo, to Alamosa and eventually made it to Del Norte. He apparently liked it as he lived and practice medicine for the rest of his life in Del Norte and the surrounding area.
He walked from the depot along Del Norte’s Spruce Street to Grand Avenue, then turned and walked the north side of Grand Avenue and came back on the south side. In the interview, he recalled all the businesses along these streets in order as they were in 1891. His memory puts Dan O’Neill Livery Stable at the location of Fifth and Spruce, now home to the Carthers Roadhouse.
The Rio Grande County Museum is presently open to the public. Masks are required, but not provided. It is good to be able to be sharing our history with our residents again.
For more information on the event or hours, please contact the Rio Grande County Museum at 580 Oak Street, Del Norte (719)657-2847, email at [email protected] . Hours currently at Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.