"With nature as my inspiration, making art has been my calling since early childhood. Raised in the north of England, my family loved to be outdoors, especially in the mountains and by the sea in the more remote places in Wales and Cornwall. Thus I developed my love of nature, mountains, and small, historic villages.
Even so, when I came to Crested Butte from England at the end of 1969 it was quite a culture shock. From “Swinging London” to a tiny town isolated in a high mountain valley in the Rocky Mountains. There were approximately 300 residents, mostly old Crested Butte families who had stayed on after the Big Mine closed. The fledgling ski area was bringing some new life to the town, and there were a handful of new young people doing whatever they could in order to live here. I was immediately impressed by the warm welcome I received from the community, young and old alike. Everyone was so kind, friendly and helpful. That is still true today.
Fascinated by the town’s character and architecture, in 1970 I began an ongoing series of pen and ink drawings and etchings, which has since become a record of Crested Butte’s evolution from a mining town to a resort. Over the years I have explored a variety of mediums to best express my varied subject matter: pen and ink, printmaking (intaglio and silk-screen), oils, acrylics, watercolor, gouache and pastels.
I’ve seen many changes here, much growth and many cycles of economic ups and downs, yet Crested Butte retains it’s beauty, charm and a strong sense of community. The historic town, it’s magnificent setting, the changing seasons, and the glorious wildflowers are an endless source of inspiration and joy. It has been a privilege to live in such a special community in this magical place for almost 50 years.
I am honored to be a member of the Paragon Gallery. I hope my work will convey a sense of place, and have meaning to you."
A professional painter, private instructor, muralist and art enthusiast. Megan Craver has been a freelance artist for the last twelve years. Her achievements include multiple gallery shows both in the US and abroad in Spain and Italy. Painting a mural on a town of Crested Butte Mountain Express Bus and teaching classes at the Center for the Arts, CB. Below is the Artist statement on her most recent series “Storms.”
“In this valley our lives revolve around storms. In the summer we experience an intense monsoon season. Big thunderheads roll in and powerful lightning and thunderstorms ensue, giving continual life to the flora. In the winter we pray for snow. It often comes in storm cycles that can last for weeks and our little valley gets socked in. When that snow melts off in the spring it gives life to the wildflowers and drinking water to us. My storm series depicts this energy and growth as a continual beautiful cycle. These paintings are all inspired by my viewpoint of the West Elk Mountains and surrounding ranges. They are abstracted by radiating lines and curves to express the vigor and movement of the storms as they actually occurred.”
instagram @ colorado_art_craver
"I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I attended school near City Park. Interest was captured when my father gave me an illustrated book about Indian woodland lore and crafts work. This included making your own shelter, footwear, and whatever else required to camp in the wilderness. The margins of the book were illustrated, so I had a manual for summer activity that complimented our frequent camping trips.
During my college time at CSU, I met a friend who shared interest in leather craft. That early draw to create something useful regenerated, and my range of work soon found a market. College got postponed when I discovered Crested Butte in 1969. The opportunity to open Mountain Sunshine Leather in the Company Store became a career choice.
I now enjoy creating a wide variety of work and the cooperation of fellow local artists."
"I was raised in Crested Butte, CO. I create in many ways, including, ceramics, drawing, jewelry, music, and dance. Art has been a passion and comfort for me as long as I remember.
It inspires me to make designs that feed the eyes, spurs emotion, questioning, and wonderment. In my art I find relaxation, empowerment, exploration, and a sense of sharing my inner self with the world. When words fall short at conveying the.sensation I feel or would like to feel, my art allows new realities to be realized."
Instagram @ bails_of_clay
"I started my second career as a photographer in 1985. During the summers of 1987-1990 my family and I toured the state of Colorado doing arts festivals. We saw every part of the state and chose the Gunnison Valley as our home. We moved here in 1991. My focus is area photography, the Paragon Gallery and guiding fly fishing for Dragonfly Anglers. I am lucky to have vacations that allow me to enjoy and share the beauty that God has created."
“I have embarked upon a Sacred Search to find meaning in life using a collage of textiles and bits of stuff that is intended to evoke the wonder of the world before our eyes. My pallet might be Fabric and Fragments of stuff normally discarded in daily life. Sometimes, I create a painting from a picture of a place I hold dear. Sometimes, I create a doll stuffed with a spirit all its own, often a reflection of my Celtic heritage. And watercolor fascinates me, the medium has a way of reaching into my very soul.
"Creating is life’s breath to me! Even as a child I drew and colored on everything, books, walls, mirrors, my face etc. My parents were not happy about most of it until they recognized my talent and encouraged it through proper channels, I’ve never stopped learning and experimenting.
Now the walls are murals, paper and canvas are painted, silk is dyed and river rocks are pets or wildlife!
The advertising industry called to me; after years of experience I became an adult educator teaching Commercial Art. When I retired I moved to Crested Butte, my childhood summer stomping grounds.
I still teach art, silver clay jewelry and I am involved in the CB Mountain Theatre as actress, singer and director. My mother was a Hollywood starlet and big band singer, she trained me well. My father was Navy retired and a rancher in south eastern Colorado. I have enjoyed CB when Elk Avenue was dirt with farm animals and wildlife roaming it. Come to think of it the only change is the paving and tourist!"
Life is a gift and so is this town. ENJOY!
Wood carver, calligrapher, puppeteer, teacher
"I began drawing at an early age and added whittling and wood carving after college. My grandfather had given me his carving tools and with them I often made gifts for friends and relatives. When I arrived in Crested Butte in 1976 someone suggested that since I carved I should make signs.. and that was the beginning of a career! Though largely self-taught, I took a calligraphy class at that time to augment wood carving, and also began brush lettering. I have been learning and combining media ever since, employing screen and block printing, pen and ink drawing, wood-burning, scratchboard, and enamels in the production of graphic art.
In current projects, both carved and illustrated, I tend to favor animals and natural subjects, ie, all things outside, taking inspiration from the mountains and open spaces around us. Box lids. cribbage boards, clock faces, and wood plaques with quotations etc., have all become places to draw or carve, making the useful also ornamental. I use the hard woods, principally, in my carving, especially cherry, walnut, maple, and basswood. Basswood and maple are my favorites for wood-burning. I greatly enjoy teaching and regularly offer classes in calligraphy and other media. Of special interest to me is puppeteering, and I like carving hand-puppets, stick puppets, and marionettes. You may catch the shows at festivals and special events and in the local libraries and theaters."
"I have been collecting rocks since the time I was able to pick them up. Geology in all forms has always been of great interest to me. I attempt to capture the colors and patterns I see in nature that have inspired my work since I started making jewelry in my twenties. This hobby has become a passion for me. It is an outlet that allows me to connect to nature by using precious stones and metals. I hope that you enjoy the colors and patterns captured in my work as much as I do."
Jeff Klein has lived in Crested Butte for over 25 years. He is an avid extreme skier in the winter and loves to garden and grow his own food in the summer. He owns a successful appliance repair business and loves to make jewelry. Jeff also loves to spend time with his daughter, son, and mother who all live close by.
Leslie A. Locklear
"I am a rust-o-holic, if it looks like it's gonna rust, I gotta have it. I live in a rustic house. I drive a rusty car. My yard is full of rust and my barn is full of barn wood. I don't like to limit myself to one medium. Leather goes great with rust and barn wood. Actually, I was hooked on hide before rust grabbed my eye. At one point it was rawhide drums. Today, it's recycled belt bracelets, barn wood signs, and painted reclaimed old relics. Tomorrow? Well, watch out world! My home, studio, & Antique shop are located in rustic ol' Jack's Cabin, Colorado where I live with my collection of rust, antiques and barnyard animals."
" I was born in Cheyenne and grew up in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado. My love of colored glass began when as a child, I spent my travel allowance during a trip on two brightly colored antique glass vases, which became my treasures. At nineteen, I married a forest ranger and we began collecting beautifully colored antique bottles from old turn of the century mine dumps in the mountains around Aspen, where we lived. When we were transferred to Idaho Springs, Colorado, another old mining town, we continued to collect bottles. I also began saving broken bottles and I broke them down further and created colorful windows by gluing the pieces to window panes in solid mosaic designs. The rich colors made my heart sing and reminded me of church windows. My interest in colored glass grew, but I had no idea the direction it would eventually lead me.
We transferred to Gunnison in 1966, I devoted the next twenty years to raising our children and family activities. When the "empty nest syndrome" loomed, I began doing some simple stained glass work. I joined the Paragon Artists' co-op in 1998 and designed and made traditional window hangings in the copper foil technique. Several years later I was motivated to create three-dimensional pieces like candle holders, vases, cubes, and lamps. A major change in direction came in 1998 when I decided to work with hot or fused melted glass. What I have learned has been self-taught and has been a very humbling experience. Each piece gives me great pleasure with its rich vibrant colors. I hope you enjoy also."