Celebrate the arts in Evergreen in October

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By Sara Miller

Every year, the Center for the Arts Evergreen selects an Arts Person of the Year. The center solicits names from all of the different arts organizations in Evergreen. Nominees are selected from the performing as well as visual arts. This year’s winner, glass artist Kate Loomiller, will be honored at an Evening for the Arts on Oct. 14.

“We were very excited when Kate’s name came up this year,” says Steven Sumner, executive director of the arts center. “She has been so instrumental in developing and organizing the Open Door Studios event. She is generous to all of the arts organizations in town with her time and her talents. She is well liked and respected by the artists of our mountain community.

“And Kate has a truly special gift when it comes to unique glass etchings,” Sumner said.

Loomiller has more than 30 years of experience in the visual arts. She specializes in etched and sand-carved glass and stained glass. Loomiller’s works vary from large glass bowls etched with delicate aspen trees to a glass-paned entry door etched with a peaceful mountain scene.

The evening will consist of dinner, music, a silent art auction, cash bar and the presentation honoring Loomiller. This annual celebration is a fund-raiser for the Arts in Education grants, which are sponsored by the Center for the Arts Evergreen.

This year’s grants will be awarded on Oct. 15, the evening after the fund-raiser. For the 2008-09 school year, the center gave out seven different grants that will benefit five schools in the Conifer/Evergreen area.

“The Arts in Education grants is a program we are certainly proud of,” Sumner said. “It gives our wonderful art teachers in the mountain community a chance to do something really special with their students.”

Teacher must submit their ideas in a rigorous proposal process. Many of the grants help to support visiting professional artists at the schools. Grants at Conifer High School, Evergreen Middle School and West Jefferson Elementary School will fund visits by artists who specialize in glass, watercolor painting and printmaking.

Two unique grants this year were awarded to Marshdale Elementary School in Evergreen and Conifer High School.

Michael Wisniewski, the art teacher at Marshdale, proposed a two-day student art fair that will feature student work in a public gallery-like setting, as well as hands-on art events. Elif Patterson, the art teacher at Conifer High, is using the grants to engage his students in an interactive recycling program.

To create public awareness and encourage all students to be proactive in the school’s “green” program, Patterson’s art students will hand-paint all the school’s recycling receptacles with original artwork.

“Nothing makes us happier than to be able to give the schools a chance to do a little something off the wall or out of the box,” Sumner said.

For more information on the “Evening for the Arts” or the Arts in Education grants, visit the Center for the Arts Evergreen website at www.evergreenarts.org or call 303-674-0056.

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