Art gets fun and functional in Glenwood Springs. Painted mini shelters beckon visitors to sit for a spell and also add more quirky charm to the colorful downtown.
The work of local artists continues to brighten the mood of people as well as the downtown landscape of Glenwood Springs. The City of Glenwood Springs commissioned several local artists to decorate topeks, small huts with seating and a table, to encourage social distancing while still providing space for folks to partake in the Glenwood Springs restaurant dining scene during the height of the pandemic. While the virus continues to wane, the huts have remained a bright spot for visitors by providing a creative spot to rest, mingle and dine.
The City of Glenwood Springs purchased the dining topeks with the help of a generous grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Artists painted the exterior wall panels with a variety of designs representing the natural environment and interpretations of human connection. The City then placed them throughout the downtown core, including along Seventh Street, under the bridge at Bethel Plaza, on the pedestrian bridge and in the grassy area near Hotel Colorado.
A Brush With A Few of the Artists
The creativity of three Glenwood Springs-based artists is showcased on each side of the topeks.
Mary Noone, a beloved local artist who recently passed away, was known for her bold, impressionistic style that captured the beauty of Roaring Fork Valley over her 41-year career. Her goal was to memorialize the vanishing open spaces on canvas and preserve them for future generations. Her mural is of Mt. Sopris, the iconic mountain to the south.
Nicolas Ward explores the blurry lines that exist between the Hollywood version of the Wild West and the reality of the Old West. Ward likes playing with proportion by invoking surrealism in his visual storytelling. His topek panel is dedicated to the goddess of fertility carrying water in an archway of plants.
Artist, Traci Wilson, is also a board member of the Glenwood Springs Arts Council. He has been instrumental in helping the arts to flourish in the hot springs community. Wilson’s work depicts a grove of aspen trees with a view of looking up through the leaves in summer toward the sky.
Another seven artists—Brooke Barlett, Litah Campbell, Christie Interlante, Wewer Keohane, Briana Sanchez, Natalie Squillante and Hannah Stoll who hail from the surrounding area—also contributed panels to the mural project.
Eye Opening Art is Everywhere in Glenwood Springs
The topek huts are just the newest addition to an already vibrant arts culture in Glenwood Springs. Besides many murals on buildings that further beautify the downtown core, you can “Find Your Wings in Glenwood Springs.” The larger-than-life angel, moth, dragonfly and butterfly wings located in alleyways and other off-the-beaten-path spaces provide a fun photo opp and encourage visitors to explore. For art on a smaller scale, Glenwood’s galleries offer everything from wall art to postcard prints and turned wood to handcrafted jewelry.
Art is anything but stuffy and aloof in Glenwood Springs. It’s fun and friendly! Learn more about the creative heart of the hot springs town and make plans to visit today!
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