CEDAREDGE – Grand Mesa Art Center

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Barbara Torke]
Images, Kathryn R. Burke.

Courtesy Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center

The Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center (GMAEC) was a dream in 2017. Cindy Starr, wife of musician and songwriter David Starr, was instrumental in the initial concept. She and David were inspired by other towns that built a center.

Deborah Schaffer was hired as gallery manager and a board was organized to run the gallery. Business owners, musicians, artists, realtors, and community members joined. The organization became non-profit, supporting the arts.

Left: Painting in old bank vault. Right: painted door.

195 W. Main was on the market. Built in 1906 and on the historical register, it was perfect. The board met with the owners and the center began. A lot of the original building needed work. Lighting and floors were replaced. The period tin ceilings were saved and enhanced. Stained glass windows were installed. With paint, lumber, and local help, the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center opened in June, 2018, one hundred and two years after the Cedaredge Bank.

Today there are concerts, art shows, classes, and events at the Center. Two hundred volunteers participate. Many retired, relocated, and local people have stepped up to write grants, do construction, teach classes, donate equipment, and assist to make the GMAEC work.

Stained glass window celebrating ‘High Altitude Art.’

The Starr Family Gallery exhibits local, regional, and international artists. Artists participate in forums, openings, classes, and activities. Exhibiting artists teach classes.

Fairchild Theater hosts concerts of popular artists, including David Starr and others. The theater is also the place for  special events and is a favorite location for birthdays and weddings. A new screen and film projector has been acquired with the help of a grant from Colorado Grand. Soon the movie theater will reopen. Some locals have fond memories of having had their first date here. Now their grandkids can do the same.

The Center is a busy place. It has co-joined with the Delta County Libraries for lectures and presentations as part of the Voices of the Western Slope. Agri-tourism is another group of Coloradans who meet here. The theater is also the location for yoga, Qi Gong, dance, and exercise. Classrooms are busy with children’s classes in everything from felting to mosaics, clay to cartooning—all taught by local artists.

Although the Center is always busy, it still needs members and support. Check out the website for information and activities. Who’s the next artist? What concert? What classes will help you master a new skill? Find out at Grand Mesa Art Center or follow on Facebook. Visit soon.

Photo Credits.

Art images:
All artwork donated by local artists. (Kathryn R. Burke.)
Top (building) and bottom (classroom): Courtesy photos.