Leadville News – June 13

Worst Fears Ignited with Buffalo Fire

Buffalo Mountain_Wildfire_Leadville TodayWith upwards of 1400 residents still under evacuation orders this morning from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, residents in the Leadville’s neighboring county had their biggest fears ignited Tuesday afternoon when a wildfire broke out on the iconic Buffalo Mountain located just off I-70. Fortunately, as of Wednesday, June 13 there have been no reports of injury or death, and no structures have been lost. All hail the mighty firefighters and first responders! For the most up-to-the minute information, readers can access the Summit County Government’s Emergency Services Blog: HERE

Arts Coalition’s Summer Series Starts Friday

This knight-in-shining-armor sculpture stands watch over his fortress on Elm Street in Leadville Today. As the snow melts away, new pieces of art are appearing in yards

It’s hard to beat the natural beauty surrounding Leadville Today. With Colorado’s two highest peaks as its backdrop, and the headwaters of the Arkansas River providing the creative energy that flows through America’s highest city this time of year, the artistic magnificence provided by Mother Nature’s easel is unmatched.

But it’s exactly these scenic surroundings that provide the inspiration for many Leadville artists, whether it’s a painting, a recently installed mural or a new sculpture that appears with the spring thaw. There’s no doubt about it, Leadvillites are patrons of the arts. And the Leadville Arts Coalition’s 3-2-1 Fridays Summer Artist Series, demonstrates that affection by providing a vehicle for art-lovers to show their support of artisans through collective admiration, as well as fundraising. So be sure to put these dates on your summer calendar and then come,  join the fun!Leadville Arts Coalition Summer Art series.jpg

Wood-Working Kicks Off Summer Artist Series

When you think about it, moving to a remote mountain community like Leadville, must have been something during its Pioneer era. It wasn’t like you were moving to a place with a fully developed infrastructure, where you could easily get your hands on all the essentials of day. Those hardy pioneers had to be self-reliant, and that meant taking everything they needed with them. Or perhaps more importantly, taking  the tools they needed to make everything they needed.

They had to build their own houses, and the furniture to go in them. But when you look at the intricate gingerbread work on any grand Leadville Victorian, it’s easy to see that some of those builder’s talents went far beyond the trusses and timbers. They were also accomplished artisans when it came to creating something beautiful with the leftovers.

And it’s just the type of woody craftsmanship that art lovers can find at the kick-off event for the 3-2-1 Fridays – Summer Artist Series,  this Friday, June 15. The public is invited to join other patrons of the pulp as they gather at Harperrose Studios to celebrate artist Doc Dave Watson and his unique wood turnings.  An amazing wood worker, Doc Watson “loves making and fixing things.”  He picked up wood turning six years ago, after a friend introduced him to the art. His specialty includes segmented bowls that he turns and glues together in rings.  Each ring can take hours to put together, depending upon its intricacy. 

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Doc Dave Watson shows his award winning wood turning at Harperrose Studios. He brought home a blue ribbon from the Florida Winter National Wood Art Expo. Photo: Leadville Arts Coalition.

An Air Force veteran and former family doctor, Watson and his wife spend their summers in Leadville, and their winters in Florida.  In Florida, he finds different discarded woods, such as mahogany and monkey pod. He just hauls it to his shop and starts creating.  Working with cabinet makers, Watson gets their scrap wood to add to his works’ unique looks.  

Two of Watson’s award-winning turnings are displayed at Harperrose Studios.  One is a first place bowl from the Florida Winter National Wood Art Expo, and the other is a Florida State Fair first place winner, a lidded bowl that features a finial on top.  Both works are unique in their detail and artistry.  

In addition to these award winners, Watson’s work includes more bowls, pepper grinders, vases, wine glasses, and wine stoppers.  One unique piece he has prepared for the show is a wall mesquite wood wall hanging with inlaid turquoise. Perhaps Watson will discover some native Leadville woods to add to his collection!

Relatively new to wood turning, Watson has been “making things” for years.  Among some of his accomplishments, he built a useable kayak, a Steen Skybolt aerobatic airplane and a Shelby Cobra. Always creative, he worked with metal sculpture and watercolor before he “wandered into wood turning.” 

Join Doc Dave Watson at Harperrose Studios to see him at work and learn more about his artistry.  Enjoy light refreshments on this third Friday in June: Number 3 in the 321 series.  The Leadville Arts Coalition plans to serve wine, with donations going to a future public arts project. Harperrose Studio is located at the corner of 6th Street and historic Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville.

A whimsical pink bicycle beckons art lovers into Harperrose Studios, Gallery and Goods on 6th and Historic Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. Photo: Ann Stanek


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