Lundahl Captures Telluride’s “Outlaw Spirit”

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Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

“This is a magnificent book, sweeping in its vision of the most beautiful town in America, the magical box canyon where nature perpetually exhibits what Emily Dickinson once called the “far theatricals of day,” and where the humans lucky enough to live there (and those smart enough to travel there) convene in some of the most satisfying and meaningful rituals this species is capable of,” Ken Burns, filmmaker

Every image Ingrid Lundahl has ever made bears the imprint of her nature: smart, quirky, warm, funny, generous, penetrating, passionate, insightful and focused.

“I feel that my gift is an emotional connection with those whom I shoot. I don’t want to analyze it too much or it might disappear. My goal is to illuminate that divine linkage amongst us. (Thank you Joseph Campbell).”

One of Ingrid’s spiritual mentors (besides Campbell) is the great taker of great photographs Henri Cartier-Bresson, (1908 – 2004), who described the essence of his work as “the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as the precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.”

Robin Williams, "Naughty Angel"

Robin Williams, “Naughty Angel” – Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

Take for example the moment Ingrid shot actor Robin Williams, in town that year (1986) for the Telluride Film Festival (which is coming up this weekend, August 29 – September 1). She captioned the image “Naughty Angel,” not knowing at the time – who did? – that the “angel” was haunted by devils who would ultimately destroy him.

“Why does Robin have the precious look on his face? He is watching Leigh Skinner’s mouth move,” explains the artist. “Leigh (Skinner Fortson) was KOTO Community Radio’s beautiful and smart newswoman, asking Robin cogent questions at the Opening Party on the Sheridan patio. Years later, some locals gave Robin this picture. He said he remembered the moment. He remembered our Leigh, who passed in 2013. 

“The light surrounding his beret looked angelic to me, but Robin could be delightfully naughty, as the world knows. Thus, the name of the image, ‘Naughty Angel.’”

That image of Robin Williams –  a prime example of the way Ingrid always manages to simultaneously convey fullness and economy in her work –  along with equally memorable photographs can be found in her brand new book “Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town,” a photographic retrospective of the wild energy surrounding Telluride, Colorado, especially during the outlaw years of the late 1970s and 1980s, up to the present day. The art/history book features over 500 black-and-white and color photos scanned from over 800 images from Telluride Bluegrass, Telluride Jazz, Telluride Blues & Brews and the Telluride Film Festival. It is a compendium of internationally and locally renowned personalities in states of madness, euphoria and other extremes, plus haunting landscapes of the region.

“Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town,” is now on sale (for $95) at Between the Covers Bookstore, the Telluride Historical Museum and through Ingrid Lundahl’s website.

In addition, a show of her work is currently up at Telluride Arts’ Stronghouse Studios & Gallery through Labor Day weekend. Many fun and historical digital and darkroom prints are available at great prices – including the aforementioned print of Robin Williams – through September 1.

And on Monday, September 1, Ingrid joins locals Susan Dalton, Susanna Hoffman, Shushana Castle and and filmmakers Ken Burns, Jacek Laskus and Anne Thompson for the annual 2014 Film Fest Sidewalk Signings, which take place in front of Between the Covers Bookstore, 224 West Colorado.

Harold Land and Billy Higgins, "Brothers"

Harold Land and Billy Higgins, “Brothers” – Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

“Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town,” also includes a photo of Harold Land and Billy Higgins, which Ingrid called “Brothers,” taken at the 1993 Telluride Jazz Festival.

“This is one of my favorite shots in the book…such an intimate backstage moment between two old jazz pros. I’ve always loved shooting the Jazz…a relaxed festival, run and staffed by locals. Maybe that’s why the Jazz chapter is longer than most of other chapters.”

"Hide it up in Telluride" 1985

“Hide it up in Telluride”
1985 – Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

“Hide It Up in Telluride” reflects the look of the town in 1985.

“Look at all those empty green lots. Yes, the town looked like this once. And there was definitely some hiding going on.”

"My God, What Have i Done?"

“My God, What Have I Done?” – Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

“My God, What Have I Done?” features David Byrne at the 2013 Ride Festival.

“His face reflects his famous line.”

"Signature O'Toole at Skyline Ranch"

“Signature O’Toole at Skyline Ranch” – Image Copyright: Ingrid Lundahl 2014

“Signature O’Toole at Skyline Ranch” was taken during the 2002 Telluride Film Festival:

“This is one of my all-time favorites…Peter O’Toole alone, for the moment, at the Patron’s Brunch up at Skyline Ranch, with Wilson behind him….and his signature cigarette-holder. There is a fun story that goes with this picture. You’re just gonna have to buy the book and read it…it leads the FILM chapter,” explains Ingrid.

“If you want to know what makes Telluride tick, look no further than Ingrid’s remarkable book. Supreme shenanigans, superlative mountains, singular lives. With a loving lens and remarkable prose, Ingrid Lundahl captures an eyebrow-raising era that must be seen to be believed. It had to be done. Too many brain cells were destroyed in the making of history,” Suzanne Cheavens, writer, actor, musician, KOTO DJ & former Music Director, KOTO Lip-Sync always-morphing co-host for 20 years, Renaissance woman.

About Ingrid Lundahl:

Ingrid Lundahl, a corporate copywriter dropout, moved to Telluride early 1978. A series of makeshift darkrooms culminated in her darkroom/office at the top of the stairs, Nugget Building.

Writing and shooting came naturally to Ingrid. She was a kid with a Brownie Hawkeye in Dallas.

After scoring an English Lit degree from Vanderbilt, Ingird became an ad copywriter, a job she held for just shy of 10 years when burn-out from too many 7-Eleven commercials set in. A visit to Telluride over Christmas 1977 changed her life forever.

“I moved here that winter and hung out the “Photographer” shingle. From that day forward, I felt somehow obliged to chronicle this haven for outlaws. I feel fortunate to have known and have many images from the brash and brazen T’ride of the 70s/80s when we knew not and cared not who the President was.”

A congenital chronicler, the girl couldn’t help but capture all sorts of madness that happened before the town was “discovered”: nude skiing, Ski Sacrifices, Pig Roasts, local performances.

“Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town” contains these scanned film images, most shot for fun, not for profit.

Contact: Ingrid Lundahl, 517 Society Drive, call 970-728-5985 or 970-708-4544. Email is Website:

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