Rick Smith Takes Top Honors

Rick Smith Takes Top Honors at Valley Visions Art Exhibition

Rick Smith with his painting, Autumn & Eve: Gray's Creek. Photo by Cynda Green

Rick Smith with his painting, Autumn & Eve: Gray's Creek. Photo by Cynda Green

A mixed-media work by local artist Rick Smith won the top People's Choice Award at the Friday Grand Opening of Salida's big "Valley Visions" art exhibition.  A premiere-night crowd of more than 200 people jammed the SteamPlant Annex for a first glimpse of the exhibit, sponsored by Salida Council for the Arts (SCFTA).  The popular annual show features new works by forty area painters, sculptors, jewelers and photographers.

People's Choice Award winners selected by the opening night crowd were:

  • 1st — Rick Smith, mixed media, "Autumn & Eve: Gray's Creek"
  • 2nd — Christine Hallett, photograph, "Ghost Chair"
  • 3rd — Carol Cartwright, digital photographic image, "Kayaks & Aspens"
  • 4th — Mary Hansen Wolfe, oil painting, "Winter Day on the Creek"
  • 5th — Joanie Barbier, fabric collage, "Crested Butte Scenario"

This is the second Valley Visions win for Smith, who also took home the 5th place People's Choice Award last year.  Friday night's winners received cash and/or merchandise prizes contributed by more than twenty local merchants.  Proceeds from donations received at the Gala will go to the SCFTA's arts scholarship fund.

While viewing the exhibition, Valley Visions patrons feasted on a banquet of gourmet hors d'oeuvres, sipped libations, enjoyed music by guitarist Red Tischer, and voted for the their favorite artwork.  Many guests expressed astonishment at the impressive quality and range of artistic talent in Salida, as demonstrated by the works in the show.

The Valley Visions art exhibit will remain on display in the SteamPlant Annex through May 30.  Admission is free; and all entries are available for purchase.  Salida Council for the Arts is an all-volunteer organization; and persons wishing to help support the local arts scene may learn more at www.salidacouncilforthearts.org

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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.