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Artists With Altitude finds a new home

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By Sara Miller

Artists With Altitude is a group of women artists who support and teach one another while producing original art along the way. The group first met in January 2005 at the home of Marjie Eakin Petty, an Evergreen-based pastel artist. Petty envisioned a group of artists and art lovers who would gather to share their work and inspiration. From the organization’s modest beginnings, Artists With Altitude has grown to a group of 14 working artists. Now the group has found a place to call home. On Nov. 4, Artists With Altitude will celebrate the grand opening of their new gallery in Genesee.

Jane Christie, a longtime member of Artists With Altitude, owns Christies of Genesee, a wedding and event center located at Genesee Towne Center.

“Our landlord approached me about the space next door to Christies because she knows that I’m an artist,” says Christie. “We talked about it as a group and decided that a cooperative gallery would be the perfect thing to fill that space. We all show our work in other places, and we have group shows, but the gallery is a wonderful opportunity for the group to show our work together, as well.”

Since its 2005 inception, the group has welcomed some new faces and said goodbye to others. At the heart of it all is the support and camaraderie that Artists With Altitude provide for each working artist. The group’s motto is, “Women supporting women in the arts.” The 14 artists meet every other month. The meetings consist of educational programs, group painting sessions, critiques and art shows.
“The group has provided wonderful companionship for each of us. Creating art can be a solitary thing, and it’s very nice to have a group of like-minded women upon which we can rely. It’s an incredibly supportive environment,” says Christie.

The gallery highlights the work of each member artist. Two-dimensional artists in the group work in oil, watercolor and pastel. Artists such as Carolyn Campbell, Debbie Jaggers and Laura Mehmert have become mainstays on the Evergreen art scene. The group also has several three-dimensional artists. Gail Frasier creates ceramic sculpture, and Nancy Larner creates whimsical sculptures from found objects such as typewriter keys and can openers.

This diverse group of artists will be on site at the gallery’s opening celebration on Thursday, Nov. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Join the ladies as they engage in demonstrations and talk about the inspiration for their work and their artistic friendships. The reception is open to the public, and attendees can enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres as they admire the artwork.

Following Thursday’s reception, the Artists With Altitude Gallery will be open on Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. The group will be expanding the gallery hours and hosting a holiday open house in December. For more information, visit www.artistswithaltitude.com or contact Jane Christie at 303-526-5653.

Artists With Altitude Gallery at Genessee

Grand opening reception

Thursday, Nov. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Genesee Towne Center, 25918 Genesee Trail Road.