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Shurtleff exhibit opens May 20

“The Craziest of Quilts” exhibit featuring exquisite black and colorful silk creations in quilt form by Ann Shurtleff will open with an artist’s reception on Thursday, May 20, from 5-7 p.m. at The Studio at 450 Lewis St.

The Craziest of Quilts

By Ann Shurtleff.

My crazy quilts have progressed gradually. I used to paint on silk and make all kinds of clothing, but as my vision grew gradually worse and arthritis in my hands progressed I could no longer paint the silk. I was just sitting in my workshop one day gazing at all the piles of fabric and thinking that my kids will have a few choice things to say about me when I am gone having to clear up my mess. Cats were happily sleeping in piles of silk and dust was starting to accumulate and generally getting around the area was more than a challenge. I had a eureka moment. Why not make quilts? I knew that I would never be a proper quilter making exquisite quilts that had every corner in the right place as I’m not tuned to be exact, I sort of free flow.

My rules were: to purchase nothing but to use up what I had available and if I later on had to purchase then it would be due to necessity not desire for a pretty fabric. I cut squares out of plain cotton and started. I had no plans at all as to any finished product. Some I hand embroidered and some I machine embroidered adding embellishments as I went along. I gradually ended up with another pile of stuff ... oops now I have to do something more with this “stuff.” OK. One quilt coming up. This did not prove to be a simple task as nothing quite fit, but I decided that crazy was the quilt and crazy it would be. I slowly progressed and made my first crazy quilt and liked it. There was no holding me back now. I still let the quilt grow on its own without a master plan. No preconceived idea as to the end result. I enjoyed doing this and made more quilts but the piles never seemed to diminish in size although I did tidy up and sorted colors etc. I also made some cotton quilts (all crazy) but I much prefer working with silk.

Later I thought about becoming a “real quilter” because just how hard could it be? I have made ball gowns, wedding gowns and all sorts of complicated items. I’m afraid that I really got my “comeuppance” for it was the hardest thing I have ever done and I now look at real quilts with a totally different appreciation for the precise amount of work that goes into the product. I will occasionally try again but only to see if, in a false hope, that I could make a quilt.

I did have to break my rule about purchasing and have bought batting, thread and some backing fabric. I have used old sheets and strange fabrics that I happened to have for the backings. I feel that the origin of quilts sprung from a desire to use up left over fabrics that would occur prior to the ability to purchase off the rack.

My close vision is getting very poor so the bright colors and the randomness of crazy quilting are just right for me and I have enough fabric to last for the rest of my life. I hope that you will enjoy looking at the quilts.

Elegant Escape

The Pagosa Springs High School art students’ exhibit will run until May 18 at The Studio at 450 Lewis St. The exceptional work on display was created by Jacob Anderson, Nate Bard, Desiree Ewing, Trace Gross, Meghan Moran and Erin Reilly. The PSAC office and The Studio hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon-5 p.m.

Trenholm workshop

Lorraine Trenholm is back by popular demand and will be leading a class, Palette Knife Oil Painting, May 12 and 13 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Studio of the Lewis Building. The student fee for this class is $160 for PSAC members and $185 for non-members. Please contact PSAC at 264-5020 for more information and a supply list.

Trenholm was born in New York, where she lived until completing studies as a painting major at Pratt Institute. She has done drawings and paintings for dog events and people with equine interests since high school. Several of her drawings and pastels have appeared on covers of the Saluki Quarterly, a breed specialty magazine. Her paintings are in private collections, in the U.S. and abroad.

She has won awards in oil, pastel, and collage. Her pastels have received many awards, including BIS, in national competitions. She is a member of “21 in Truro,” the Chatham Creative Arts Center, the Pastel Society of New Mexico, and a signature member of the Pastel Society of Colorado. She has had several one woman shows. Lorraine has studied with Lois Griffel and Henry Henshe of the Cape School of Art in Provincetown and attended the Vermont Studio School. Her artwork appears in Lois’s book, “Painting the Impressionist Landscape,” and in Kennedy Publishing’s “Best of America-Pastel Artists and Artisans, Vol. 1.”

Lorraine has been teaching classes and giving workshops in pastel and oil painting in Durango. She has continued to show and win awards in National juried shows. She was part of a four person group show called “Dirt Works” at the Durango Art Center for the month of February 2006, won the four corners commission and the Durango Tourism Award in 2007, and was in an Invitational Show at the Gabaldon Gallery in Durango in January 2009.

Lorraine’s artwork is displayed on her website at, at the Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass.; Hope Gallery, Bristol, R.I.; and at her studio by appointment.

PSAC 2010 exhibit schedule

Please make note that the 2010 PSAC exhibits will be held in The Studio.

Ongoing— Advanced High School Art Students Exhibit.

May 20 — The Craziest of Quilts.

June 17 — Seventh annual Juried Exhibit: A Regional Art Competition.

July 15 — All Things Horse.

August 12 — Soft Art: Decorative and Wearable.

September 9 — Art of the American West.

October 7 — PSAC Artist Member’s Exhibit.

November 4 — Watercolor: Denny and Ginnie and the Gang.

PSAC workshop schedule

Palette Knife Oil — Lorraine Trenholm, May 12-13.

Tibetan Clay Masks — Lama Gyurme Rabgyes, June 12, 19 and 26.

Youth Art Workshop — June 21-25, Sabine Baeckmann.

Palatable Palette Knife Painting — Kathleen Steventon, July 17.

Tibetan Painted Mandala — Lama Gyurme Rabgyes, July 17, 24, 31.

Peyote Stitch Beading — Carol Schneider, July 24.

Wet Felting Hats — Lois Burbach, Aug. 7.

Live Model/any media — Lavern Burton, Aug. 21.

Wet Felting Scarves — Lois Burbach, Sept. 18.

Collage/mixed media, Altered Books — Dee Pitchon, Sept. 25.

Pastel Painting — Lorraine Trenholm, Oct. 13-14. Plein Air Painters.

Photo Club

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet Wednesday, May 12, in the Conference Room (third floor) in the Lewis Building, 450 Lewis Street. Join us for socializing starting at 6 p.m., followed by photo critiquing, program and business meeting at 6:30 p.m. Please note the new location.

This month’s program will be a roundtable discussion of what we would like to do next year. Please plan on attending and bring your suggestions of what you would like at the club meetings. We will also be talk about the September’s Photo Club Member’s Exhibit at the Artisans of the Southwest Gallery.

We will not have a photo theme this club meeting. Instead we will have only the open category. Members may enter as many as six prints or digital images. T. J. Reynolds will lead the critique of photos. This will be done as a group rather than have specific judges.

The Photography Club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club year from September through May at 6 p.m. interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are invited to join for annual dues of $20 for single individuals and $30 for family membership. For more information, contact club president T.J. Reynolds at or 731-9581.

Plein Air Painters

Plein Air Painters Club offers a wonderful opportunity for artists and art enthusiasts alike to share tips, ideas and resources. Painters who work in any media are welcome. We meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. On May 27 we will meet at the East Fork of the San Juan River. Directions: Drive east on U.S 160 to the intersection with Forest Road 667 (East Fork Road) and meet at the intersection. (For restrooms, there is a campground on the East Fork Road, 3/4 mile from the intersection with 160). If the weather is nice, the group paints outdoors. If the weather is bad, the group paints in The Studio of the Lewis Building at 450 Lewis St., third floor. Please call Jean Shah 264-0188 or Jean Smith 264-6647 if you need more information.

Artists’ luncheons

PSAC is offering another great way for artists and Board members to get together, share ideas, inspire one another, and build PSAC together. Join our artists luncheons every third Friday of the month at noon at Nello’s Bistro in the uptown City Market plaza. Our next luncheon will be held April 16.

Member artists on website

We’ve made a few changes on our website, the most important of which is a listing of our member artists. We’ve made it easier now than ever before for everyone to get to know the amazing, talented artists we have in our community and surrounding area. Log onto and click on the Artist Listing button. Visit our site often, as we continue to add artists and new features.

Office location and schedule

The Arts Council office is located in the Lewis Building at 450 Lewis St., Suite B-2. Exhibits will be held in The Studio on third floor beginning April 22. Our workshops will be held in The Studio unless otherwise noted in the 2010 brochure or you may visit our website noted below.

The current office hours are noon-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon-5 p.m. You can e-mail us at or leave a message at 264-5020. Also be sure to visit our website at for additional information.

PSAC invites you to join

Started in 1988 the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, a non-profit organization, was conceived and developed to, in part, promote the awareness of the vast array of local artistic talent, provide educational and cultural activities in the community, sponsor exhibits and workshops by local and regional, and encourage and support continued appreciation and preservation of the aesthetic beauty of Pagosa Springs.

If you would like to join the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, please mail your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, and Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. You will also need to enclose a check payable to PSAC for the membership rate of your choice.

Membership rates are: Youth-$10; Individual Senior-$20; Individual Regular-$25; Family Senior-$25; Family Regular-$35; Business-$75; Patron-$250; Benefactor-$500, Director-$1,000.