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Colorado Governor’s Art Show Crafts a New, Socially Distant Program for its 29th Year

The annual art show is introducing several new features, including online purchasing and a virtual walk-through, while altering community events from years past to achieve a safer environment for showcasing artwork.

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A few months ago, the Colorado Governor’s Art Show & Sale was at risk of missing out on its 29th year. After the cancellation of its intended opening date in late April due to health precautions, some artists and patrons feared the show wouldn’t happen this year—but committee member John Kinkade held out hope. 

“I’m just pretty stubborn,” he says. “I didn’t know how we were going to pull it off, but it was going to happen.”  

Thanks to a little stubbornness and a lot of compromise, the show is going on after all,  combining in-person and virtual exhibits to showcase the work of 58 Colorado-based artists from now until November 1 at the Loveland Museum, with additional sponsorship from the Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs and endorsement from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

Kinkade says putting on the show this year meant rethinking the ways in which visitors, artists, and collectors could experience the art and connect with one another, beginning with the museum space. Each artist featured in the show can display up to four original works, meaning the 235 pieces in this year’s show will likely outnumber the 50 visitors allowed inside the museum at a given time. Guests are required to purchase $7 timed entry tickets in advance to limit the number of patrons inside the gallery at one time, and every Wednesday and Friday from 12–1 p.m., tickets will be available for visitors in vulnerable populations. 

This year’s selections feature paintings in a variety of materials—according to Kinkade, there’s quite a bit of oil, acrylic, egg tempera, and watercolor—as well as sculptures made of wood, stone, bronze, gold luster, and even porcelain, as featured in a piece by artist Carolyn Barlock. To cut down on face-to-face interaction, the works will be available for purchase online for the first time ever, meaning collectors could technically purchase a piece before ever seeing it in person. 

Though undoubtedly the safest option, Kinkade admits that some physical qualities of a piece of artwork aren’t done justice when displayed in an online catalog. Aspects such as texture, scale, and color variation don’t always translate through an iPhone or laptop screen. Kinkade references a 4-by-4-foot painting of a snowy landscape from Fort Collins-based artist Scott Ruthven, which draws the viewer in part due to its scale. 

To help assuage any uncertainty, the show’s organizers will make themselves available by phone to any potential buyers to help convey the physical presence of a piece. Guests can also catch a different perspective on the art from the comfort of home by watching a walk-through video of the gallery made available online at GovernorsArtShow.org.—another first for the show this year. 

According to Kinkade, the show’s dual missions are to benefit a philanthropic purpose—this year, a portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit the Thompson Education Foundation’s Homeless Assistance Fund—and to support Colorado’s fine artists through both the sale of their work and community-building events. In a typical year that might include a gala, but this year required a less crowded approach. A series of meet-and-greets will take place at the Loveland Museum during each of the weekends the show is running, offering both collectors and fellow artists the chance to interact in a setting with reduced risk. Every Saturday from 2–4 p.m., guests who have already reserved tickets during that time slot can meet with several artists, including individuals like Jane DeDecker, who is currently working on a monument to women’s suffrage in Washington, D.C., and former Disney animator Ellen Woodbury. 

With the bulk of in-person art shows facing cancellation in recent months, Kinkade says the Governor’s Art Show will serve as a welcome reprieve for both artists and art-lovers. “I think it’s important for the individual who loves art, to feed their own soul,” he says. “And in doing so, we support a whole artist community.” 

If you go: The Governor’s Art show will take place through November 1 at the Loveland Museum Gallery, 503. N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland. Tickets are $7 and must be reserved in advance online. Space is limited. The show will be free of charge on Friday, October 9 from 5–8 p.m., and Wednesday, October 21 from 12–5 p.m. 

ELECTION 2020

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