Ah Haa: Update

Ah Haa: Update

The following is an update on Telluride’s Ah Haa School and its new building penned by the school’s executive director, Judy Kohin.

Ah Haa’s new home is going up ahead of schedule.

It has been a full summer here at Ah Haa. Summer kids camps recently, and we saw the departure of our six college interns. What a joy to have these energetic, young people working with us and helping run all aspects of the school. We had the best interns ever…hopefully I’ll say that every year. The interns came from all over the country, from Michigan to Vermont to North Carolina. They were easy to work with and very competent, and they gained good skills and work experience that will last a lifetime. They also shared their passion and knowledge with our students, making our summer season run smoothly. We already miss them!

Our annual Art Auction in July was the most successful to date. We grossed over $300,000, with almost $90,000 donated to the new building during the paddle raise. THANK YOU EVERYONE! We had first time attendees alongside supporters who come every year. It was fun, entertaining, and heartwarming to see the generosity and support for Ah Haa. I was very touched by the outpouring of love for this school—I see the impact every day through programs we offer, and I couldn’t be more proud to work here and with such wonderful people. I feel very lucky!

Fall is the season for our Telluride Painting School, which starts September 24 with Dartmouth University painting professor Colleen Randall. Colleen will teach the first two-week session, meeting 9am-1pm, M-F, titled “Breaking the Surface: The Primacy of Paint.”

Haverford professor Ying Li  returns for her third year and her workshop will focus on “Painting the Figure & The Natural World.”

The season finishes with returning artist and New York Studio School’s Sam Levy, whose workshop is titled “Observation & Image.”

We still have a few spots remaining in every session, so contact us if you are interested in attending. It’s going to be a rich and deeply immersive session of painting, and we are thrilled to offer this intensive program for locals and visitors, now in it’s seventh year.

The Daniel Tucker Gallery features a new show that opened just in time for the Film Festival. The exhibition, titled “3 Women Unframed,” features new work from local artists Josephine Fallenius, Abby Fox and Rebecca McFarland. The artists’ work includes paintings and prints and a fresh perspective on the human body, and more. We’ll also be part of Art Walk next week, Thursday, September 6th, with live music by the Ukeladies. You should make a point of seeing this provocative work, and if you miss the opening, stop by the gallery M-F from 9am-5pm.

New Building Update:

According to Shaw Construction, our new building project is ahead of schedule. Can you believe it? Looking into the “big dig” one can see the parking garage come to life with cement columns and foundation supports offering a glimpse of the floor plan. Our building team is working on the interior space layout, and we’ve met with a few of our contractors who are helping with kitchen design, mechanical engineering, and furniture and fixtures. This is new territory for some of us, and I’m amazed at how many decisions we need to make. It’s a bit daunting, but fun! We still have time to carefully plan each space, from sinks to storage to electrical outlets. If all goes as planned, we should be closing on the “shell” of the building next fall, and take six months to finish out the interiors. We still hope to move in by early summer 2020.

Regarding our capital campaign, fundraising is going very well. We are closing in on our goal, with a little over $1M left to raise. Yahoo!!! Thank you to all of you who believe in this wonderful community project and have supported us with a financial pledge. We are reaching out to new potential donors, so if you have friends who might be interested in participating, please let me know. I love to meet with people to share our vision for the future of Ah Haa and the arts in Telluride. This is an exciting time to be involved in your community! We still have some naming opportunities and appreciate donations of every amount.

As we head into fall and prepare for a busy winter, I want to reiterate how vital Ah Haa is to a healthy community. Imagine Telluride without Ah Haa. Through our workshops, classes, lectures and events, community members interact with each other in an intimate, open and nurturing environment. The arts provide so much—they integrate the mind, body and spirit; they are an avenue for bringing the “inner world” to the “outer world” in a concrete way; they provide challenges to students of all levels, helping us grow through discovery, experimentation and problem solving; they strengthen our economy; and they do so much more. I hope you know how important your participation is…we could not do this without you, so thank you from everyone at Ah Haa!

Stay tuned for upcoming fall and winter classes to be added to our online calendar, and more information on our New Year’s Eve Gala, featuring painter Chris Miller and writer Craig Childs.

With sincere gratitude from everyone at Ah Haa!

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