New CMC Exhibit at Glenwood Springs Library

Photojournalist, CMC instructor’s photo exhibit at Glenwood Springs Branch Library

"Pamela" by Colorado Mountain College instructor Klaus Kocher.

Photographs by noted photojournalist Klaus Kocher are on exhibit at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library beginning Feb. 24. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the library.

Kocher, who is on the faculty of the Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College, teaches photo history, composition, wet darkroom and photojournalism. His photos reflect his international upbringing. Born in Santiago, Chile, to his Swiss father and Dominican mother, he has lived in the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Germany and Mexico.

The Glenwood Springs Branch Library is at 815 Cooper Ave. and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the library at 945-5958 or go to for more information.

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Just try not to have fun at upcoming Swing Je T’aime concert

Colorado Mountain College presents lively ‘community music’ Feb. 20. By Carrie Click

Swing Je T'aime is coming to CMC in Rifle. Photo Kendra Gaines

By this time, winter may be getting you down, but an upcoming live concert at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle is sure to pick up the spirits of even the most ornery among us. Not only that – the concert is free and Grand River Health is sponsoring a complementary post-concert reception.

Swing Je T’aime will perform in the Clough Auditorium at CMC’s campus in Rifle from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 20.

Swing Je T’aime is a Denver-based group that features a six-piece band and female vocalist. If you like the music of the great gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, you’ll enjoy the music of Swing Je T’aime. And if Reinhardt’s name doesn’t ring a bell, give it a try – gypsy jazz is among the most accessible forms of jazz. And if you know how to swing dance, all the better.

“I chose them because I love gypsy swing music, and thought that the people in Rifle would love them too,” said Alice Beauchamp, CMC ArtShare director, who books concerts and arranges art exhibits and cultural events at the college’s 11 locations.

Beauchamp was right. It turns out that this is a return gig for Swing Je T’aime in Rifle.

“After booking them, I found out that they have played for the Rifle summer concert series,” Beauchamp said. “People loved them and asked that they return someday.”

The group describes itself as “gypsy jazz, Parisian swing, American swing and a dash of Brazilian,” and is a favorite at Front Range venues such as the Five Points Jazz Festival, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. They’ve also played around the state including shows in Crested Butte, Beaver Creek and Pueblo, and will be touring Europe later this spring.

“Gypsy jazz is community music,” said Aaron Walker, the group’s director and guitarist. “It’s the farthest thing from the academic, abstract jazz that we find in clubs today. Rather, it’s a pleasing blend of folk music from around the globe.”

Walker, in contrast to his group’s non-academic focus, received his master’s degree in music composition and theory from the University of Northern Colorado. He founded Swing Je T’aime in 2009, which currently includes vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, fiddle, reeds (clarinet and saxophone), bass and percussion.

They’ll take the stage at the Clough Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle, 3695 Airport Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 20. The concert is sponsored by Chevron. For more information about the concert, contact Beauchamp at 947-8367 or go to

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Chevron and CMC present!

Swing Je taime EntryPoster

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Sopris Theatre Company

‘The Women of Lockerbie’ shows that love can come from hate

Poster for Sopris Theatre's production of 'The Women of Lockerbie'The next production of Sopris Theatre Company at Colorado Mountain College, formerly CMC Theatre, illustrates the kindness which can come from a horrific act.

“The Women of Lockerbie” is a play based on the actual 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Written by Deborah Brevoort and directed by Wendy S. Moore, the play introduces a grieving American mother who scours the Scottish countryside searching for her son’s remains. There, she meets Scottish women from Lockerbie, and they go through the grieving process together.

Season producers are Jim and Connie Calaway; associate producers of “The Women of Lockerbie” are Kelly and Jim Cleaver, Sharon Anderson and Alex De la Garza, and Debra and Lon Winston. Curtain is 7 p.m. on Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 19-21, and 2 p.m. on Feb. 15 and 22 at the New Space Theatre at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs – Spring Valley, 3000 County Road 114. Tickets are $15/adults; $10/CMC students, staff, faculty and seniors.

Contact 947-8177 or for tickets or go to for more information.

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The George and Patti Stranahan Collection on Exhibit at CMC Edwards

Marilyn Monroe,  by Milton Green

Marilyn Monroe,
by Milton Green

Alessandro, Rome,  by Marsha Burns

Alessandro, Rome,
by Marsha Burns

Noted Stranahan Collection of photos at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards

Colorado Mountain College in Edwards will host a free opening reception on Feb. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the George and Patti Stranahan Collection, an exhibit of black-and-white photographs from some of the finest photographers of the 20th century. Esteemed works by Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Mapplethorpe and Edward Weston are among the more than 61 photographers represented in the exhibit.

The Stranahans, who live in the Carbondale area, have a longtime interest in the arts, philanthropy and education. They have collected these photographs over many decades, and want this collection to be seen by students and community members that Colorado Mountain College serves within its 12,000-square-mile service area. The exhibit will remain at the Edwards campus through April 29.

Colorado Mountain College in Edwards is at 150 Miller Ranch Road. Contact CMC ArtShare Director Alice Beauchamp at 970-947-8367 or, or visit cmcartshare/Stranahan-collection for more information. For information on days and times the building is open, please call the CMC-Edwards front desk at 569-2900.



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“Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess”

Photograph by Daniel Workman, CMC Photography Student

Photograph by Daniel Workman, CMC Photography Student

‘Less Is More’ in Aspen

CMC students, staff, faculty express what sustainability means to them

By, Carrie Click

At a time when more people are talking about sustainability and reducing humans’ impact on the environment, an upcoming exhibit at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen is focusing on these principles through artistic interpretation.

In “Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess,” exhibit curator and Colorado Mountain College art instructor K Rhynus Cesark has gathered nonjuried work from approximately 25 Colorado Mountain College students, faculty and staff from throughout the college’s nine-county service area.

Colorado Mountain College offers a bachelor’s degree in sustainable studies at several campuses, though the exhibit’s contributors come from not only those locations but from other campuses as well.

“We have participants from Aspen, Spring Valley, Rifle, Steamboat, Leadville and Breckenridge,” said Rhynus. “This call for entries has encouraged dialogue between students and faculty, and faculty to faculty, [about] creating work that is sustainable with regards to the materials and practices used, as well as the concepts that the artwork addresses.”

‘Range of interpretations’

In the initial call for entries for the exhibit, Rhynus posed the question, “What does it look like to live simply and with less in our culture of ‘more’?” Participants have answered this question through their artwork, and also through a written explanation about how their work addresses the “less is more” question.

“There’s a broad range of interpretation,” Rhynus said of the submitted work and the writing.

There are black-and-white photos: one of a sparse landscape with more sky than land, and one of Costa Rican children standing in line in a slum with plates and spoons in their hands, and another of a diner wearing a hazmat suit while eating at a fast food restaurant. There’s a sculpture made from dog bones, a wreath made of plastic toys.

Christine Anderson, a painting instructor known for her large-scale figurative paintings, submitted a piece she calls “Plastic Fish Dinner,” of fish made of discarded plastic containers hanging from borrowed fishing poles leaning against one of the gallery’s walls.

“The theme pushed her to think outside her creative comfort zone,” Rhynus said. “I enjoy seeing artists push outside that zone.”

Excess in Aspen

Rhynus, who teaches at the college’s campus in Aspen, said she believes it’s an ideal place to present a show that delves into a “less is more” theme, even though some aspects of the area – such as enormous, expensive homes – can be materialistically excessive.

“I feel there are many Aspen residents who dedicate themselves and their businesses to address and adhere to the importance of sustainability,” Rhynus said. “I feel this concerns everyone, regardless of income bracket or demographics. To some this might seem like a contradiction in terms – hosting ‘Less Is More’ here in Aspen – but I don’t agree. I feel it’s a perfect fit.”

“Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess” opens with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, 255 Sage Way, at the Aspen Airport Business Center.

The show runs through March 31, though those who want to see the exhibit are strongly advised to call 925-7740 first to make sure a class or other event is not in session in the gallery. For additional information, contact Alice Beauchamp, CMC ArtShare director, at 947-8367 or visit




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ArtShare Gallery to Exhibit Alix Knipe

"Language of Lost and Found" / 30 x 20"

“Language of Lost and Found” / 30 x 20″

‘Traces of Place: Sculpture by Alix Knipe’ opens on Jan. 9 at CMC ArtShare Gallery

Internationally recognized ceramic artist Alix Knipe will be the focus of “Traces of Place: Sculpture by Alix Knipe,” a solo exhibit of her work, opening Jan. 9 at the CMC ArtShare Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Based in Carbondale, Knipe has taught ceramic arts at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle and Aspen. She has received numerous academic and fine arts scholarships and awards, among them a Fulbright research fellowship studying pottery in Turkey and a graduate student fellowship studying ceramics in Burma.

Knipe’s exhibit opens with a free public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 9. The show runs through Feb. 27. CMC ArtShare Gallery, 802 Grand Ave., in Glenwood Springs, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Note that the gallery is closed Christmas Day (and the afternoon before) and New Year’s Day (and the afternoon before). For more information, call 947-8367 or visit

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Gone Clubbin’

This article on the Pottery Club of Aspen’s annual Holiday Pottery Sale was first printed in the Aspen Daily News. The event runs from Dec. 11-13 at CMC in Aspen. Numerous CMC faculty and students take part.

Two Dozen Potters Find a Common Interest, and Put it On Sale

Photo of pottery by Jordan Curet.

We’ve got ski clubs and equestrian clubs. There are mushroom-hunting clubs and broomball clubs, running clubs and book clubs. The Roaring Fork Valley is home to hundreds of groups of people who get together and bond over a shared interest.

Most of them don’t get their time in the spotlight, but for the Pottery Club of Aspen, this is their chance to shine. Every holiday season, the nearly 25 members of the group put their products on sale at Aspen’s Colorado Mountain College  annual pottery sale.

But, the sale is not just a sale, say members, and the group is not just a group.

“It’s so much more than just a studio,” says Emily Lanese, a potter who’s taken classes at CMC for eight years. “In it we have people who have millions of dollars and teachers and preschool teachers, we have raft guides and a retired electrician.”

All of these members — many of whom got their start in ceramics through a class at CMC — create wares and sculpture throughout the year, and then seize the opportunity to sell it at the year-end event. Each student puts several dozen items on sale, from bowls and mugs to larger sculptures, so the result can be thousands of pieces from which to choose.

Anne Goldberg, a professional potter and adjunct faculty member in ceramics at CMC, says that the diversity in offerings is one of the best parts.

“Students can see the varied work that faculty members make and see what other students are making,” she says.

This year, she’s contributing nearly 100 pieces, most of which fall in the porcelain tumbler family.

Besides providing works to sell, every pottery club member must help with putting on the event. That includes everything from public relations and logistics to figuring out how to price and display their work.

“A lot of people have no experience in relation to selling their art,” says Goldberg. “So from an instructor point of view, it’s a practical application on how to market themselves.”

That can be valuable for fledgling artists aiming to take the leap between amateur and professional.
“It makes them be more critical of their own work,” says K Rhynus Cesark, who also is an adjunct faculty member in ceramics at CMC, and has several pieces featured in the holiday show. “They have to figure out what they want to put in and what they don’t, so there’s some editing.”

Both instructors agree the experiential learning part of the process can’t be taught in a classroom, but the benefits exist for more than the students. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each piece sold goes back to the pottery club, and the funds are used to support the organization, along with purchases that are donated back to CMC and some of the college’s programs, giving the whole event a philanthropic side.

“I love the community that we’ve developed here and the friendships,” says Lanese. “It’s really a vast variety of people, and we all learn from each other. I create a lot more pieces in the fall in getting ready for this show … but for me the joy is in making it and being with all the people at the studio.”

This is the one time each year that she puts her ceramics on display and sells them. So, it’s an added bonus, but not a necessity to sell. For others, like Goldberg and Cesark who are professional potters, they depend more on the money they’ll make.

“I usually buy a few things too,” says Goldberg. “Especially the students’ work is really wonderful and they try a lot of different things. As a professional artist, it’s great to see their curiosity and be inspired.”

Mentors support students, and students support other students — who are sometimes also friends. The newcomers then inspire the instructors and the whole process becomes a celebrated community cycle. And isn’t that what clubs are all about? 

Holiday Pottery Sale
Presented by Pottery Club of Aspen
Opening reception:
Dec. 11, 5-7:30 p.m.
Sale: Dec. 12 & 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Colorado Mountain College — Aspen
255 Sage Way,
Aspen Airport Business Center

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Sopris Theatre Company Presents


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Colorado Mountain College art instructor Joel S. Allen has five pieces from his ongoing series "Hooked on Svelte" hanging in the "State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now" exhibit in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Dustin Bartholomew/courtesy

Colorado Mountain College art instructor Joel S. Allen has five pieces from his ongoing series “Hooked on Svelte” hanging in the “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now” exhibit in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

CMC art instructor featured in prominent Arkansas exhibit

— Joel S. Allen has spent about 15 years working on a series of hand-wrapped hanging fiber sculptures, an art installation he calls “Hooked on Svelte.

Despite his obvious commitment to the project, he was surprised when he was contacted by two men traveling the country in search of exceptional art for a gallery exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The curatorial duo from the museum drove nearly 100,000 miles across the United States in 2013, meeting nearly 1,000 artists in their hometowns, searching for work that otherwise might go unappreciated on a national level.

The team conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with artists to select those whose work they found the most compelling.

“They traveled all over the country visiting studios,” said Allen, who teaches Art in the Environment and a 3-D design class at Colorado Mountain College.

Allen ultimately was selected with 101 other artists to display a combined 200 works of art, including five of Allen’s hanging fiber sculptures, in “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.”

The finished exhibition brings together arts from all areas of the country and features photography, works on canvas and paper, performance art and video.

“It was pretty intimidating and awe-inspiring to be selected,” said Allen, who thinks another museum curator probably referred his work to the curatorial team. “I was very excited.”

Allen’s hanging installation uses twine and yarn along with pill bottles, wine corks and other seemingly random materials to create methodically designed sculptures.

The exhibit opened Sept. 13 and runs through mid-January at Crystal Bridges, which sees about 2,500 visitors each day, Allen said.

On the State of the Art website, curators describe Allen’s work as “alien and earthly, synthetic and organic” and said “Allen reminds us that the potential for unearthly beauty lies everywhere around us, waiting only for the touch of human imagination.”

The exhibit’s placement in an Arkansas museum away from the New York or Los Angeles art world is significant, Allen said.

“It’s really a game changer for the art world,” Allen said. “They’re trying to bring art to everyday people.”

Crystal Bridges was founded by Walmart heir Alice Walton and features a year-round collection of permanent art pieces by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol.

The State of the Art exhibit was featured on a CBS Sunday Morning segment Nov. 9 where Allen’s work can be seen hanging in the background during some of the video.

Allen said he feels honored to be included with other well-respected artists in the exhibit.

For more information about State of the Art, including videos and descriptions of each artist’s work, visit

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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