Telluride Arts Art Walk, Highlights

Telluride Arts Art Walk, Highlights

Telluride Arts programs director Britt Markey is more than just a pretty face. She is executive director Kate Jones’ abundantly talented aide de camp – and then some.

Hand, Britt Markey

Hand, Britt Markey

With degrees in graphic design and fine art, Britt brings substantial design, organizational, and communication skills to Telluride Arts and was a key player in the development of the Telluride Arts District. Through her work at Telluride Arts, Britt gets to support her fellow artists in Telluride, which is a good thing as she is one of them.

Britt is a talented contemporary painter, who has shown in galleries across Colorado and Arizona and received various grants for her work from the University of Colorado and the Arizona Arts Commission. Telluride Arts’ February Art Walk, a celebration of creativity in downtown Telluride and a meet-and-greet for art lovers, community and friends, is her official coming out party.

February Art Walk features a whopping 21 venues, hosting receptions from 5 – 8 p.m. to introduce new exhibitions and artists. A free Art Walk Map, available at participating sites and at the Telluride Arts offices located in the Stronghouse Studios + Gallery at 283 South Fir Street, offers a self-guided tour.

Fat Bob, Britt Markey

Fat Bob, Britt Markey

Britt’s show at the Stronghouse Studios & Gallery is entitled “Hey Babygirl.” 

“Hey Babygirl” is a collection of powerful oil paintings inspired by excerpts from letters written to the artist over the past three years. The letters follow a prisoner on his journey towards sobriety as he comes to terms with the need to let go of past mistakes and desires and move on.

Britt uses childhood memories and hands (a signature image throughout her work) to illustrate emotions of desperation, desire, and peace that permeate the letters. Each piece is titled with an extraction from one of those letters.

“I hope that I was able to express some of the powerful sentiment I felt when reading the letters. It is some of my most personal work to date,” Britt explained.

The depth and emotional content of the work may not be obvious at first glance because the pieces are bright and appear simple: abstracted motorcycles, kittens and, of course, hands. Britt uses a glazing technique used by old masters, in which one color is applied on top of another to make a secondary or tertiary color.

“I like using glazes because they enable viewers to glimpse the layer beneath. It’s like looking into glass panes of color.”


Switchback, Britt Markey

Switchback, Britt Markey


Other highly recommended shows include:

MD is featured at Telluride Arts’ uber hip Gallery 81435, across the street from the Stronghouse Studios. His new work celebrates 24 years in the region.


MD’s (or Mike Doherty) special talent is his ability to take sensory experiences down to the real nitty gritty. The artist then translates his emotional responses to a particular environment into a Fauve-inspired riot of color and simple patterns that tell an uncomplicated story in acrylics on canvas.

 “It takes a long time to achieve simplicity,” MD once told me.

Since 1991, Doherty’s signature style has included a strong black outline separating vibrant blocks of color throughout a work. Colors play off one another in compositions with only enough details to suggest a story, but no more. Images may grab you at first, especially if you are familiar with a place or face, but it’s the flat-out chromatic intensity and whimsical patterns that hold you there.

MD’s work is widely collected around the globe. The new work is HUGE. Pieces are intended to engage the viewer on a Grand Scale. Inspired by Pop Art, MD continues his Look at Telluride series. It is Telluride like you have never seen it before.


February brings Ouray, Durango artists to the Ah Haa School for the Arts. Ann Cheeks and Ann Dettmer are featured in Daniel Tucker Gallery; Durango’s Rebecca Barfoot in East Gallery.


For the love of it: earth, painting, life. That is the theme captured by Ouray County painters Ann Cheeks and Ann Dettmer in their new show of work, opening at Art Walk.

“’For the Love of It’ is about painting – the whole process of it, and this area where we live,” explains Cheeks. “Also, it just happens to be the opposite of ‘for the hell of it.”

An artist and art educator for many years, Cheeks moved from Virginia to Ouray in the fall of 2012. She typically paints landscapes in oil, and her work for this show is made up of current paintings from the Telluride region, including several pieces from the San Miguel Canyon Gorge below Lawson Hill.

“Compared to Virginia, Colorado’s landscape is vastly different,” said Cheeks. “I have lots of sky paintings because I’m constantly looking up at the sky, amazed by the incredible colors here. And being in these mountains, near the water or in the desert canyons grounds me. The insignificance of what seems so important in everyday life is obvious when in a natural place, largely untouched by humans. I like that.”

Like Cheeks, longtime Ouray resident Dettmer also works in oil, as well as graphite and mixed media, but her subject matter comes more from her travels outside the region.

“She does more city – more urban – landscapes,” explained Cheeks.

Although Dettmer will likely include some of her Ouray landscape pieces in the show as well, along with some artist books.

“I guess the most important thing for me is to find the work intriguing and alive,” said Dettmer of her work. “I’m looking for passion and spirit painted with ‘skillful honesty,’ for expression so real it almost falls off the edge. Reality more than realism.”

Cheeks’ and Dettmer’s work will be on display at the Ah Haa School through the month of February.

Titled “Falling North: Love Letters and Last Places,” Rebecca Barfoot exhibits sculpture and mixed media paintings that celebrate wild and remote lands, while narrating a search for refuge in a broken world.

Barfoot describes herself as a multi-media studio artist “with a serious crush on the Far North.” Her current work takes much of its inspiration from her recent travels in Arctic Greenland and Canada’s Yukon Territory.

An experienced cyanotype printmaker, Barfoot will also teach a day-long workshop at the Ah Haa School, Saturday, Feb. 28. The class is entitled “Cyanotype Printing: Art, Nature and Mixed Media.” Whoever comes to Barfoot’s show will see how the artist incorporates cyanotype printing into her own work.

Local Carol Lee is showing her latest work at Baked in Telluride, colorful watercolors and large acrylics inspired by the Impressionists and Georgia O’Keefe’s abstracted landscapes.


 Dolce features the award-winning Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry Collection. The work features handmade pieces comprised of multi-colored precious metals and exquisite, rare natural stones. Originality and meticulous attention to every detail are hallmarks of Pamela’s signature look; each item is handmade, so no two will ever be identical, even if they are similar in design. This one-of-a-kind, limited edition jewelry is as hip as it is timeless, transcending every generation and age, and specially crafted so that it may be treasured for years to come.

MiXX projects + atelier features the photography of Nick Veasey.

“We live in a world obsessed with image. What we look like, what our clothes look like, houses, cars… I like to counter this obsession with superficial appearance by using X-rays to strip back the layers and show what it is like under the surface. Often the integral beauty adds intrigue to the familiar. We all make assumptions based on the external visual aspects of what surrounds us and we are attracted to people and forms that are aesthetically pleasing. I like to challenge this automatic way we react to just physical appearance by highlighting the, often surprising, inner beauty,” said the artist.

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art features the work of Emmi Whitehorse.

Sea Fan, Emmi Whitehorse

Sea Fan, Emmi Whitehorse


The Gallery has represented Whitehorse’s work for over 20 years. The artist is widely known for her large, abstract, mixed-media panels, largely created with chalk, oil-stick, and pigment rubbed, drawn, and scratched onto paper and applied to canvas. The ethereal work explores memory and land and her Navajo culture. Whitehorse’s images are part of many notable collections and is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY.

“As an artist I have intentionally avoided politically-oriented subject matter and angst-ridden or physical wrestling with the act of painting itself.  To make art, the act of making art must stay true to a harmonious balance of beauty, nature, humanity and the whole universe. This is in accordance with Navajo philosophy. I have chosen to focus on nature, on landscape.

“My paintings tell the story of knowing land over time – of being completely, microcosmically within a place. I am defining a particular space, describing a particular place. They are purposefully meditative and mean to be seen slowly. The intricate language of symbols refer to specific plants, people and experiences.

“…My work is about and has always been about land, about being aware of our surroundings and appreciating the beauty of nature. I am concerned that we are no longer aware of those. The calm and beauty that is in my work I hope serves as a reminder of what is underfoot, of the exchange we make with nature. Light, space and color are the axis around which my work evolves.”

Also at the Gallery, pastel artist Bruce Gomez is giving a talk at 6p.m. and a demo from 5-8p.m. Take a deeper look at Gomez’s command of color in his pastel landscapes and see him complete two Telluride landscapes over the course of the evening.

Wilsons With Scrub Oak, Fall, Bruce Gomez

Wilsons With Scrub Oak, Fall, Bruce Gomez

There’s a new exhibit of landscape paintings in the stairwell at Wilkinson Public Library by local artist Michael Wyszynski.

Wyszynski, who works in soft pastels on watercolor paper, takes his inspiration from the photos he shoots of the places he loves. He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in biology before moving to Telluride in 1998.

library art

About the Telluride Arts District:


Telluride Arts District logo


Art Walk is an initiative of the Telluride Arts District, a Colorado Certified Creative District,

The Telluride Arts District is a Colorado Certified Creative District, and works in partnership with the Town of Telluride, Colorado Creative Industries, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Telluride Arts District offices are located in the historic Stronghouse at 283 South Fir Streetand at Gallery 81435 at 230 South Fir Street




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