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PSAC’s Artists’ Studio and Gallery Tour: The Four Women of The Artist Within

Studio 4 on the Pagosa Springs Arts Council’s Artists’ Studio and Gallery Tour is a new gallery in town, The Artist Within, which is entirely devoted to local jewelry and fiber artists.

The women of The Artist Within—Delores Highsmith, Annie Jacobi, Dee Pitchon, and Carol Schneider — will all be at the gallery Oct. 2 and 3 to demonstrate their arts and share their work with tour participants.

Delores Highsmith

Delores Highsmith has been making glass focal beads for other jewelry artists for over 10 years, shipping her beads to excited customers all over the world. She teaches private lessons in beadmaking and glass fusing at her home studio.

She is trained in traditional metalsmithing, working in silver, copper, bronze and enameled metals. She teaches advanced chainmaille ring weaving and wire wrapping; and with the introduction of the exciting new metal clays, she introduces students to all levels of metal clay techniques.

Delores teaches classes in silver, copper and bronze clays opening the door for excited beginning students to easily make beautiful silver, gold, copper or bronze jewelry. She is a Senior Art Clay Silver Instructor receiving her instruction though the Art Clay World certification program. Currently she is one of only three senior instructors in Colorado certified to teach Art Clay Silver techniques and to certify other instructors in these techniques. She brings her excitement about the new medium and talents to Pagosa Springs and is currently offering classes though The Artist Within.

Delores is also the vice president of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Annie Jacobi

“I’ve been creative all my life,” says local artist Annie Jacobi. Even her jobs as a top producing advertising sales executive, consumer show producer, and interior designer required high levels of creativity. In her youth, Annie experimented with portrait and still life paintings. This developed into her talents in fiber and textile art, pattern making, and garment construction later in life. In addition to the corporate side of Annie, she has taught couture sewing skills to sewing experts around the country. She is also an award-winning fashion sewer and pattern designer. Now, Annie is most known for her playful and colorful jewelry.

“My art is directly influenced by my surroundings—the beauty of the mountains in the Southwest and the colors and visible textures noted during my travels.  A very recent drive past the Vermillion Cliffs has given me ideas for upcoming jewelry colors/combinations,” says Annie. “Although my work leans towards the whimsical, there are serious undertones and understandings of the principles of good design.  Colors seem to be my identifier and several clients have told me that they can spot my pieces instantly!”

Annie’s work has been juried into numerous shows in several states including Colorado and New Mexico. She is a frequent show participant in events in the Four Corners region.

Annie’s varied experiences in jewelry making are evident in her pieces, which often combine former and newly found techniques and mediums. Annie studied silversmithing and jewelry making principles and application in Santa Fe. She’s recently started incorporating polymer clay and fibers into her newest jewelry designs.

“Mixed metals are a new interest and will certainly make an appearance in some of my work,” Annie notes.

Annie is planning to open a Facebook page for her jewelry work at “Annie Jacobi” so that people can access her latest work online.

This is Annie’s second year as a participating artist for the Studio Tour and her first at The Artist Within. 

“I look forward to meeting with and talking to the many people who follow the tour and take the time to find out about artists and their work,” says Annie. “I really listen to everything and work to incorporate ideas and input into future pieces.  It’s very energizing and uplifting for both parties.  Please plan to come and visit with me!”

Dee Pitchon

Dee Pitchon is a relative newcomer to Pagosa Springs. Having only been in Pagosa for a little over a year, Dee has quickly entered into the area’s arts community. Dee moved to Pagosa from California and quickly settled in with her distinctive art style. Dee’s interest in mixed media collage has taken her from painting to making altered books to incorporating her mixed media collage skills in her jewelry and stick art.

Dee attended various arts schools from Philadelphia College of Art to schools in Los Angeles. She calls herself an industrial artist. Dee has been in art shows, juried competitions and galleries in the Los Angeles area. She works with found objects that she uses in her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. The saying, “no two are alike,” really applies to Dee’s original work. Although she was a competitive international ice skating coach, her love has always been with her art. While working around Europe and the United States, her students and other coaches and parents were always collecting objects they found for her art.

Dee’s stick art can be seen and purchased at Satori’s downtown. Her mixed media jewelry is available at both the Funky Trunk and The Artist Within. Dee also sells her work on the east coast.

Dee is an active member of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and is offering a class in altered books/collage art that is scheduled for later this month. More about the class can be found at PSAC’s website at www.pagosa-arts.com.

Carol Schneider

The Artist Within is owned and operated by local artist and PSAC President Carol Schneider. Carol came to Pagosa Springs only a short year ago after a long career in Indian education. After teaching and most recently being a superintendent, Carol’s education career spanned over 16 years, 13 of which were spent on three Indian reservations: the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota, and the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Retiring from her life in education allowed her to return to her native state of Colorado to settle down and pursue her lifelong dream of opening a shop and pursuing her artistic talents.

Carol’s jewelry designs show the profound influence her experiences living among Native American tribes had on her. Several of her art pieces were juried into the 2009 Durango Four Corners Commission exhibit and can now be seen at PSAC’s current exhibit “Art of the American West” which opens Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 5. Her work also received numerous awards at the 2010 Archuleta County Fair, including two Grand Champion ribbons.

Carol offers classes at her shop in many beading techniques. You can learn more about The Artist Within at www.theartistwithin.biz.

Twenty-five artists will be displaying their work on this year’s tour, with all art sales by cash or check. Artists are donating 30 percent of their sales to support the Pagosa Springs Arts Council (PSAC), which supports and promotes the art community in Pagosa Springs.

Each studio stop on the tour will also offer an item for lottery drawing. Tickets for the drawing are free with a purchase of the artist’s work or $5 for additional chances to win or for entering the drawing without a purchase. All proceeds from the drawings will go to PSAC.

Tour brochures are available at the PSAC office, the many fine galleries in Pagosa Springs as well as the Chamber of Commerce and many other local businesses. Mark your calendars for Oct. 2 and 3. Enjoy the beauty of Pagosa Springs’ autumn colors while viewing the artwork of many of the area’s talented artists.