A fun and creative way to build community

By Hank Lohmeyer

The July 7 edition of Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce's 1st Friday Art Walk brought families and local artists to Main Street for a community evening.

Artists displayed their works at the AppleShed and gave displays of their talents, and children joined the event with colored chalk drawings on sidewalks and crafts projects at the chamber office.

At the ImpressionZ Gallery, local artists and good friends Ella Kelly and Karen Brueggemann gave demonstrations in their metal working and polymer clay mediums.

At the AppleShed, guest artists performing demonstrations included Susan Humphrey and her high-tech enhanced photographic creations, and pencil sketching by working cowboy artist Ron Morris who traveled from Nucla for July's 1st Friday Art Walk.

The two local art galleries also provided refreshments for their guests that evening.

On Main Street, a squall blew through right at the 4 p.m. beginning of the evening's activities. Some thought it may have discouraged attendees who forgot they live in Colorado where the weather can change every ten minutes. Some people also commented that the after-July-4th holiday scheduling of the event might have had an impact on attendance also.

Nevertheless, the event proceeded under warm, sunny summer skies. Large canvass photographic reproductions of the area's gorgeous scenery were on display by Phil Berghauser. There were special displays of decorated clothing, and locally made jewelry were on display at Starr's Guitars and at the Methodist Women's Thrift Shop.

Activities for the kids are available and have been a part of every Art Walk event. Kidz Korner Krafts were hosted by The Bank of Colorado on the chamber's front porch. Chamber Ambassador Kayla Brown who organizes the children's events was assisted last week by bank teller Libby Waibel. They set up an activity for letting the young ones paint and decorate their own pet rocks, and they entertained a number of kids through the evening.

This is the first year that the chamber has tried the art walks as a promotion for business and as an activity to boost a sense of community with public participation events.