The citizens of Delta County have been presented with two artistic gifts -- landscape paintings that depict the remarkable Western Slope area.
They are oil paintings by Dick Doherty, a well-known artist and muralist who has also contributed his talents to the City of Delta murals program.
The two Doherty works that were hung Monday in the lobby of the county courthouse are a rendering of Needle Rock and another landscape of the Kneeling Camel Rock formation at Black Canyon.
The paintings have been donated to the county by Catherine Rodeback, owner of Delta Acupuncture, who is moving out of the area to care for a family member in the East. In offering the two paintings to the county for permanent display, Rodeback said in an email that instead of taking the paintings with her when she moves away, she would rather see the paintings remain in Delta. "As much as I have enjoyed these works of art, I really feel that they belong here 'at home' on the Western Slope."
An official presentation ceremony was held at the courthouse on Monday. The artist was present with his wife, Debbie, and his daughter, Sine.
Commissioner Mark Roeber, whose own District #3 is represented in the Doherty rendering of Needle Rock, expressed pleasure at seeing an original Doherty of the Crawford Country landmark displayed at the courthouse. Needle Rock is a favorite subject of landscape artists.
Delta Mayor Ed Sisson said that "Dick Doherty is a cultural icon here." The mayor noted that Doherty's murals have contributed significantly to the unique character and culture of the city and have helped preserve its history and natural heritage.
County commission chairman Bruce Hovde said, "We are thrilled that Catherine has donated these paintings to the citizens of Delta County for permanent display. Dick Doherty is an art institution in himself with his murals and paintings, and we are very pleased to have these two paintings in the courthouse."
Other Doherty paintings have been part of the rotating displays of hanging art that have been coordinated at public buildings, including the courthouse, with help of Delta Fine Arts. Doherty was a founding member of that organization.
The paintings will be fitted with alarms and have been placed in a location where they will be monitored by video cameras 24/7.
In a self-composed artist's profile, Doherty gives some insight into the man and his life's work.
"My artwork is concerned with what I know or have experienced. As a young man, I worked on several ranches in North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado as a cowhand before settling in western Colorado. To this day, I am an avid outdoorsman. I choose to express myself with western and wildlife subjects. The western theme allows me to paint my varied interests: people, animals, landscapes, still life works, and rural or ranch life, and the great outdoors in general.
"Through the years in western Colorado, I have been very active in the arts of Delta County and the neighboring towns and states. I taught art in the public schools and presented classes at the local technical college. At various art organizations I have demonstrated and given lessons to adult groups. My pen and ink drawings were used to illustrate several western books."
At their March 5 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes made two appointments to the county planning commission. Steve Shea was reappointed for a three-year term.