Part art gallery and part pottery studio, Estudio Y Galleria is a new art experience in Pagosa Springs. Estudio Y Galleria opened its doors in May 2010 and will be one of the stops on the Pagosa Springs Arts Council’s 2010 Artists’ Studio and Gallery Tour taking place on Oct. 2 and 3. Four artists will be selling and demonstrating their work during the tour including David Harris, Sueyel Grace, Varina Boudreaux and Tessie Garcia.
Estudio Y Galleria, which is located on Put Hill next to the Let It Fly shop, offers an array of classes and fun activities throughout the week for everyone to enjoy. The owners, David Harris and Sueyel Grace, strive to provide the community with exiting projects and venues to improve their lives and better the environment. “We proudly showcase our youths’ artwork, literature and poetry and provide a safe and loving environment for them to express their musical talents,” explains Sueyel.
David is a multi-talented artist. He can create something almost out of anything you give him and if it gives him a challenge the more he likes it. Dave’s love of pottery is a recent event. It was love at first play, you may say. He tried clay a few months ago and that was it; he pretty much never wanted to put it down again. He is a natural at it. The first time he sat at the potter’s wheel, he threw 15 pots in less than three hours. “I guess you can see what I mean by he fell in love with it,” Sueyel notes. He now works every day diligently at the wheel or coiling his pots or whatever else his mind may think of. David loves to teach. He welcomes the opportunity to infuse his love of pottery to all who wish to receive it.
Sueyel was born in Santiago, Chile, and came to the United States with her parents at the age of 12. “Growing up, I was continually exposed to art,” Sueyel remembers. “My grandfather, on my mother’s side, was an amazing artist and her brother is one of the best impressionists and portrait artists I have ever seen.” Sueyel’s father was the director of production for a major advertising company where she loved going and watching everyone work and design. “I learned many fundamentals about art even before I knew what they really meant.” All of that was left behind when Sueyel came to the United States. Her life took a different turn, although she continued to love art and everything related to it. “Things here were different and people thought differently, so I graduated with a business major and a bachelor’s degree in psychology by the age of 24.
“At 26, I was at the top of my career, but this was short lived due to a severe automobile accident that left me disabled.” Sueyel explains. After a few years of working at getting her life and body back together, Sueyel reunited with her love for art by resuming the few classes she had remaining. “My art forms are expressed in different media,” says Sueyel. “I like to change and expand, always growing and learning new things.”
Those who know Sueyel know that she will always have something different and unique as a result of her desire to create. “I guess I see art and beauty in everything,” Sueyel stresses.
“I believe that everyone is an artist because if you can express an idea in any form that makes you an artist. That is what art is: The ability to express an idea or feeling on paper, canvas or any other medium.”
Varina lives in Pagosa Springs with her sons, husband and many furry friends. The flora, fauna, and kaleidoscopic landscapes of the local surroundings heavily influence her creations. Colorful gemstones and precious metals intermingle in her work to reflect the colors and textures found in nature. Each of her creations is a unique, one of a kind, expression of her love for the natural world.
Tessie began working for the Archuleta County School District in 1993. She played a major role in the introduction of the art programs at the Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Jennifer Alley wrote a grant and Tessie began the art program and it has been a vital part of the education for the Elementary School ever since. Many of Tessie’s students from the last 17 years have come back and thanked her for teaching them and have used her influence for their own crafts. Several of them have pursued their dreams to become teachers and have told her that she gave them a foundation for loving art. Tessie is an incredible potter, a wonderful artist, and a remarkable teacher who her students will remember for the rest of their lives.
Estudio Y Galleria is one of five galleries on the tour along with Wild Spirit Gallery, Artisans of the Southwest Gallery and Winery, The Artist Within, and Painted Pony Gallery. Twenty-five artists will be displaying their work on this year’s tour, with all art sales by cash or check (preferred). 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 $5.00 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.