August art walks: Artist tries to capture ‘heightened color’ of dreams

Boulder’s Annette Coleman among May art walk attractions

By Tyra Sutak For the Camera

Posted:   07/29/2012 08:29:57 AM MDT

Updated:   07/29/2012 08:30:43 AM MDT

Ellen Spiller, of Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery, prepares one of the works of David Mayhew. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

Art walks in AugustFriday, August 3

First Friday

Pearl Street, Downtown Boulder

6-8 p.m.

NoBo Nite Out

Broadway from Lee Hill Road to Pine Street

6-9 p.m.

First Friday Art Walk

Downtown Louisville

5-8 p.m.

1st Friday Art Walks

Old Town Niwot

5-8 p.m.

Friday, August 10

Second Fridays

Downtown Longmont

6-9 p.m.

Friday, August 17

Art Night Out

Downtown Lafayette

4-9 p.m.

It was 41 years ago when a small group of local artists came together to form the beginnings of the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery — a current familiar sight on the 14th block of the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, and one of the oldest and most successful cooperatives in the U.S.

The year was 1971, the place was a waterbed store on Broadway Street, and the people were local artists searching for an opportunity to take charge of their artistic visions and to sell some artwork.

It was a symbiotic relationship.

The waterbed store had wall space and was seeking a way to bring new customers in the door, and the artists had artwork with no place to display it.

Forty-one years and two locations later, the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery is now owned by 37 artist-owners and has become a go-to place on Pearl Street to find gifts for just about everyone.

“It’s a really comfortable gallery and there’s something for just about everybody here,” said Ellen Spiller, one of the 37 artist-owners and local ceramics artist. “We’re trying to focus on local artists who have a following because we would like to support them.”

The gallery currently carries everything from fiber and ceramics — to glass, wood work and metal work as well as photography, a variety of paintings and the gallery’s most popular item, handmade jewelry–all produced by over 200 local artists.

“It’s a local stop. When you come you’ll see your friends and people you know,” says Spiller.

Aside from being a longstanding business on the Pearl Street Mall, the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery is also a leader in downtown Boulder’s First Friday art events. Every first Friday, the gallery hosts an artist reception which includes new artwork on display by six to 10 artists, live music (performed by artists currently showing at the store), beverages provided by Atlas Purveyors, and an assortment of healthy snacks to dine on.

Colorado photographer David Mayhew is one of the artists showing new work during the August First Friday reception at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery. As a storm chaser, Mayhew delicately captures the dramatic colors and beautiful landscapes, stormscapes and skyscapes created by nature. Mayhew will be on hand from 6-8 p.m. on Friday to chat about his unique artwork and recount the stories behind his captivating pieces.

Contact Tyra Sutak at