MCA Celebrates San Juan Mountains History

Mining and Narrow Gauge Railroads

[ Montrose CO | July 2021 | By Kathryn R. Burke] This month, Montrose Center for the Arts MCA) celebrates San Juan Mountain mining history and the steam-powered narrow gauge railroads that served them.

Jeff Ellingson, artist, curator Durango Roundhouse Museum.

Start your holiday weekend off at the exciting  Opening Reception for this fascinating show, sale, and fundraiser, Friday, July 2nd from 5-8 pm. Meet guest artist Jeff Ellingson, curator of the Durango Silverton Roundhouse Museum and renowned watercolorist. Jeff is a gifted storyteller and will share a few train tales throughout the evening.

Jim Pettengill, photographer, author, VP Ridgway Railroad Museum.

Visit with other local and regional artists, including Jim Pettengill, railroad author, photographer, and vice president of the Ridgway Railroad Museum

Daryl and Ted, the Lucky Stars, perform a variety of music, from country to folk, plus covers and a few original pieces at the Opening Reception.

Enjoy wine, beer, and light appetizers while you listen to live music by the Lucky Stars from Ridgway. View a special mineral exhibit and display of historical photographs of the Red Mountain mining district. Bid on donated artwork donated by Virginia Blackstock and Jeff Ellingson.  Both paintings may be bought for the minimum bid that night! Make your final bid on The Square Deal auction which ends at 7:30 pm.

Artwork by artists from around the region, continues all month. A private collection Mineral Exhibit is will be on display in the gift shop area. Railroad books and greeting cards by local authors and artists are for sale in the Columbine Room which also displays a private collection of historical photographs. The Art Center was recently gifted a grand piano, and a few soirees are planned, dates yet to be determined.

Learn more about railroad and mining history throughout the month.
Friday, July 2nd  at 6:30 pm, Jeff Ellingson,
Roundhouse Museum curator, talks about the Durango Silverton Railroad and its role in San Juan Mountain history.

Karl Schaffer, President, Ridgway Railroad Museum.

Wednesday, July 14 at 1 pm, Karl Schaffer, President of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, presents “Railroad History of the Uncompahgre Valley, Then and Now.”  Coffee, water, and cookies   provided. Soft drinks for sale. Event is FREE but with $5 Suggested donation (gotta pay for those cookies).

Kathryn (Kate) Burke hitches a ride on a railroad handcart.

Wednesday, July 21 at noon, Kathryn Burke, publisher of the “Bachelor Syracuse Mine” and magazines for Ouray, Silverton, and the Durango train, presents a visual and verbal description of the “Red Mountain Mining District and the Corkscrew Turntable.” The program also includes a special video on the history of Ouray from the Ouray Historical Museum  Bring a brown bag lunch.

Coffee, cold beverages, and cookies provided for both Wednesday afternoon events, which are Free, with a suggested donation of $5. (Gotta pay for those cookies!)

BID NOW on Original Watercolor by Virginia Blackstock, auction for MCA.

BID NOW on original watercolor giclée by Jeff Ellingson. Gifted to MCA for fundraiser.

SIGN UP NOW for class with Anne Hockenberry.

Friday, July 30, 6-8 pm. Anne Hockenberry, local art educator, conducts a special evening class, Gems and Mineral Painting. All materials provided. Tuition $30.