Salida Soup Raises over $5000 for Community Programs

Cassie Baldauf, Special to The Mountain Mail

“As a community, you have raised $5,000 to fund seven projects,” Jimmy Sellars told those gathered at the Salida Soup event Wednesday at the Salida SteamPlant ballroom.

“You’ve sponsored some amazing programs that have affected thousands of people. Thank you.”

Sellars and Mark Monroe coordinate the monthly Salida Soup gathering, which includes homemade soup and a potluck meal along with typically three presentations for projects that benefit the community. Diners’ votes decide which of the three takes home the “soup pot” of funds that evening.

The eighth consecutive event Wednesday was called “Feed the Future” and benefited the Salida Soup project itself, helping to cover costs of event logistics.

Sellars and Monroe shared some updates on the future of Salida Soup. They said they are working with other area organizations to increase the soup pot funds, which so far have been between $250 and $600 at each event.

All seven previous grant recipients are now listed on the website The community can check up on the projects and continue to contribute financially if desired, Sellars said.

Future grant recipients will now have 1 month of free access to the Salida Business Incubator, where Sellars Project Space has recently relocated.

Monroe and Sellars also introduced a few new projects they are working on. Salida Shares will be a network of urban and rural gardens dedicated to sharing the overflow of fresh produce grown in backyard gardens. The project will work with the Hive Cooperative, a new mini housing co-op and community center in Salida. They are also planning a wheelchair garden that will have elevated garden beds.

Roberta Smith gave an update on Mindfulness in the Jail, which received funding from two previous Salida Soup events. The women’s portion of the program that uses yoga and emotional education is going strong, Smith said.

“The women are moved by your generosity,” she added. Smith read thank you notes from the women. One read, “We are grateful the community cares about us.”

The next Salida Soup will be Feb. 18 at the SteamPlant ballroom. Those wishing to participate are asked to take $5 and a potluck item to share. The Maverick Potter will have specialty Salida Soup bowls available to purchase for $20, which will include the $5 admission. Three new project presenters are scheduled to share.

To apply to present an idea at a future Salida Soup, visit


Jimmy Sellars

Jimmy Sellars has been exhibiting his work since 1978. He is a professional artist, designer, gallery director, and consultant for individual artists, art centers, creative professionals and museums. He has worked with the Denver Art Museum's Alliance for Contemporary Art and DAM Contemporaries, The Museum of Outdoor Arts, and a variety of galleries and corporations around the U.S. and Western Europe. His work has been exhibited in over 70 countries on traveling and invitational exhibitions and has been included in a variety of corporate and private collections around the world. He has been featured in several national and international publications including GEEK Magazine and ArtByte Magazine in the U.S., the Het Parool in the Netherlands, the Deccan Chronicle in Hyderabad, India, O Globo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Russia, and The North Shore Times in Sydney, Australia. As of 2011 Sellars has curated over 300 exhibitions internationally including My Gay Valentine in 2006 which received national coverage on NPR (National Public Radio), Changes an exhibition of photography which received Best Photographic Exhibition, and Unstitched, an exhibition of his own work which received Best Political Show of 2005. In 2007 Sellars received the Village Voice's publication Westword Magazine's 3rd MasterMind Award in the Visual Arts in the state of Colorado which carried with it a monetary award of $4000. As an active part of the art community Sellars was chosen by the Denver Public Library to participate as a panelist on the State of Art in their EatArt Conference, worked as a gallerist and artist with DADA (Denver Art Dealers Association) on a variety of projects in the community, volunteered for the Denver Art Museum's AFCA and DAM Contemporaries and was chosen as one of their featured artists in 2007 during their Summer Salon Series. From 1998-2004 he was asked to be a Juror and member of the Board of Directors for the International Digital Art Awards headquartered in Sydney, Australia. In 1993 he opened Sellars Project Space in Denver, Colorado and subsequently in 20010 another location of the award winning space was opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico's Railyard District. In 2014 Sellars moved Sellars Project Space to a sole location in Colorado's largest Historic and Creative District in Salida, Colorado. Sellars also founded several art organizations including The Foundry Arts (1993-1997), The Center for Creative Exploration (1994-1998), Studio 211 (physical location and online 1992-2001) and the ARTBOX Program (2004-present) where donated art materials are gathered into backpacks and donated to police stations, shelters, or in person to children in need. Sellars' work focusses on creating intimate and emotional spaces between inanimate objects that hold already established stereotypes or perceptions. He is currently furthering his work of creating art digitally by using the iPad and other digital input devices and creating more affordable methods of output in order to make art more affordable for the public. He works with the organization Think 360 Arts where he teaches technology based art forms to children in both pubic and private schools.