A community can adopt many things, from a school sports mascot to a feature of local geography as a symbol for the pride people take in the special feeling for the place that defines them.
In Cedaredge, the special feeling that community members have for their shared place and for one another has taken expression in a unique work of art created by Barbara and DJ Hladik and many of their good friends.
When the Hladiks got their former business, the Pondy, back last year, they found a lot of work needing to be done. One of their first projects was to renovate the music hall side of the building where a 22-foot-long service bar has always been located.
Somehow, the remodeling project sparked Barbara's creative imagination, and her years of experience as an accomplished stained glass artist began working.
The result is a work of contemporary folk art that could stand proudly alongside any piece shown in local galleries.
The 44 square feet of the bar top has been transformed by Barbara's and DJ's work and imagination into a panoramic mosaic celebrating nature and the outdoor life that surrounds Cedaredge and that inspires its lifestyle.
As word about the project got around to Barbara and DJ's many friends in town, donations for the project came walking through the door. Not donations of money, but rather donations of everything from mementos to mineral specimens. They all found their way into the mosaic. Many of them add personal stories all their own to the tales of fishing, hunting, camping and the use and enjoyment of natural surroundings that the mosaic tells.
There is a stately moose, cast into a brass belt buckle that was donated late to the project and that Barbara had to make a place for using mallet and chisel. Thereare elk, eagles, bear, fish, mountain lions, skunk, fox, rocks, rivers, trees, bunnies, and more. Seeing it is like taking a walk through the woods.
The centerpiece is a striking and action-packed trout that was DJ's contribution to the project and stakes his own claim to a share in the family's reputation for artistic talent.
The mosaic project has really become a community project for many people who helped with it, Barbara says. There is true pride of individual ownership in the contributions they made and in the entire work of art.
Barbara says she can hardly express her heartfelt, grateful thanks to all the people who helped with the mosaic project. Special thanks go out to Tommy and Betty Reed, Charline Price, and Sarah Strait.
The mosaic project was a natural one for Barbara who has been a stained glass artist for over 26 years. When she first moved to Delta County, a friend signed them both up for a stained glass class in Hotchkiss. That first class led to other classes and to two years of weekly stained glass workshops where an accomplished teacher helped Barbara develop her skills.
raised pigs there.She started the Flying Pig Art Glass Studio in 2004 when she and DJ sold the Ponderosa. The interesting name she picked for her studio, Barbara explains, was adopted from the Flying Pig Vineyard at their home on Uintah Road north of Cedaredge with its pinot noir, white riesling, and gewurztraminer wine grapes. Barbara and DJ have also
One of the "must have" criteria they set when they were searching for their home was a place for Barbara's art glass studio. They found it. It turned out to be a log homesteader's cabin. The rustic, noble old structure had to undergo a nearly complete restoration to make it suitable for Barbara's studio work and the classes she conducts there.
The location of the studio is perfect for artistic inspiration. It is nestled in its original location just below the home they built among the pinõn-juniper woodlands of Grand Mesa. This place is so perfect for her artistic endeavors, Barbara and her friends refer to the classes they have there as "therapy." It's good for the soul.
Barbara says she couldn't have converted the cabin without the help of her three sons: Jamie, 38; Jesse, 38; and Matt, 36.blog comments powered by Disqus