Final Friday is back in Paonia

Image courtesy Erick Ingraham 'Mt. Lamborn in Winter,' a 39X50 oil on panel by realist painter/illustrator Erick Ingraham, is part of an exhibit open through this summer at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia. The Blue Sage and other galleries and

The first Final Friday of the season happens this Friday in downtown Paonia. Downtown galleries and studies including the new 2nd Story Studios at 228-1/2 Grand Avenue, and Cirque Cyclery will remain open from 5-7 p.m., offering wine samples, local cuisine and more. Meander between the galleries, taste a selection of wines and samples of local cuisine, and enjoy.

The Blue Sage Center for the Arts will host an opening of works by Erick Ingraham and Benjamin Doan.

In his more than 30 years as a freelance illustrator, Ingraham has explored countless subjects in the field of painting, design and illustration. Ingraham has more than 30 years' experience in illustrating books, including "Producing Your Own Power" (Rodale Press), and his first children's book, "Harry and Shellburt," published in 1975. He went on to illustrate more than a dozen children's books and received the American Book Award and Best Indie Book award in 1983 for "Porcupine Stew," and a Boston Globe/Horn Book award for Cross-Country Cat.

"Even though I've always held to the principles of representational art, my life as an artist so far has been that of change," writes Ingraham. "I love contrast and variety. As an artist, I've always felt I should be flexible, diverse and willing to experiment." Much of his inspiration comes from the natural world. "I'm always pleasantly surprised at how much variety I can achieve within the parameters of realism."

Doan's works include, "Kaleidoscope of Flight," a mobile created entirely of bike gears and spokes. Its charms are made of inner tubes, wire and acrylic paint. "Each branch of the mobile mimics the movement of objects as they float through the air," explains Doan.

Example of Doan's jewelry will also be on display. All of his supplies are harvested from dumpsters and scrap buckets at various bike shops in Colorado. "My intent is to convince the viewer that these are real objects found in nature. I will continue to explore new designs and push the envelope on detail," said Doan.

Following the art walk, experience new artworks by illustrator Emma McCabe, painter Lauryn Welch, and photographer Kyle Graham during Open Studio at Elsewhere Studio. From 7-9 p.m. Friday, visitors are welcome to meet the artists and explore the visual narratives and portraits they have created from local scenes and regional landscapes. Bring a snack and beverage and some friends. Elsewhere will also have some goodies prepared.

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