Arts will be in full bloom this summer

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By Sara Miller

Summer is just around the corner, and the Evergreen art scene will be abuzz with plenty of opportunities to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty and your creativity flowing.

The Center for the Arts Evergreen is a local hub for artistic endeavors for both young and old alike. Whether you want to learn to throw your own clay pot or you simply want to ponder the splendor of other people’s artwork, CAE has something for everyone this summer.

May 29 marks the opening of the Western Art Show at the center. Sponsored by Southwest Art magazine, this is the first exhibition at the center to focus solely on art representing Western culture and heritage. The exhibit is packed with juried artwork from 34 local and national artists. You’ll see cowboy-themed art, Native American portraits and still lifes, Western wildlife art and landscapes.

The show will hang through June 21, just in time to catch a little real-life cowboy action at the Evergreen Rodeo and then take in some artistic interpretations of those warriors of the West.

Fresh off the heels of the Western show and rodeo is Evergreen’s 150th anniversary celebration. On July 4, 1859, the Bergen family finished building their cabin in today’s Bergen Park, becoming the first settlers to put down roots in the Evergreen area. Given the arts center’s proximity to Bergen Park, it seems a natural fit that CAE would participate in the sesquicentennial celebration.

The CAE, in partnership with the Hiwan Homestead Museum, sponsored a 150th anniversary art contest in the mountain-area elementary and middle schools. Students were asked to submit full-color posters based on incidents, people or places important to the history of Bergen Park, Evergreen and Conifer.

Steve Sumner, director of the Center for the Arts, and John Steinle, administrator of the Hiwan Homestead Museum, will be poring over entries this week to select the winning entry. The winning image will appear on the posters advertising Evergreen’s sesquicentennial events throughout town.

In the midst of all these cowboys and gunslingers, the CAE welcomes its own brand of revelers — the mudslingers. Each summer, the center opens its doors for a series of art classes and camps for the community. Taught by professional artists, there are 13 courses for kids and 14 adult workshops.

One popular offering is the Mudslingers camp. Kids ages 6 to 10 can get dirty while learning to work with a potter’s wheel, glazes and even create a working clay wind chime. Other offerings include drawing classes, acrylic and watercolor painting, and an EcoArt class in which kids will explore natural resources that can be used as artistic media.

“We really take the summer to focus on our community’s kids,” says Linda Mellor, director of marketing and education for the CAE. “Our camps are all one week long and really inspire kids to create art that is unique to them. It’s amazing to see the results when you allow kids to feel empowered and be creative and expressive.”

For more information on any of the summer events at the Center for the Arts Evergreen or to register for summer classes, call 303-674-0056 or visit www.evergreenarts.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.