Rain or shine, it’s Gallery Walk time

Downtown galleries welcome spring with annual fête

Joan Russell’s “Spring Fields” is a mixed-media on canvas among the artist’s new works that will be featured for tonight’s Gallery Walk at Diane West Jewelry & Art. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Diane West

Joan Russell’s “Spring Fields” is a mixed-media on canvas among the artist’s new works that will be featured for tonight’s Gallery Walk at Diane West Jewelry & Art.

Durango’s art galleries and their owners are a mixed lot. Some serve as regular meeting places for the local art crowd while others keep a lower profile and cater to regular collectors and out-of-town visitors.

But twice a year, the Gallery Association collectively opens up to art lovers of all ilk for Gallery Walk, a festive evening of hors d’oevres, adult beverages and visits with many of the artists represented by the galleries (listed from north to south).

STUDIO &: Featuring the return of Rosie Carter’s work with her new series, “Dear Refuge” as well as works by the members of Studio & (Scott Dye, Elizabeth Kinahan, Shay Lopez, Tim Kapustka and Clint Reid). “Dear Refuge” is a collection of framed dimensional pieces and sculpture incorporating wire, pen and ink, tin, paper and the moving parts of antique apparatus.

DIANE WEST JEWELRY & ART: Artists Joan Russell and Kelly Schurger will be in attendance to introduce new works for Gallery Walk. Schurger practices more of a realistic style, while Russell opts for expressive abstracts using natural colors and materials.

“One of my favorite places to escape to here in Colorado has always been the San Juans,” Schurger said. “It seems to be a never-ending source of inspiration.” Her most recent work explores the contrast between the melting snowpack and rugged mountains in dramatic fashion.

TOH-ATIN GALLERY: Randy Sacatero and his wife, Sylvana Apache, will give hands-on demonstrations for the Gallery Walk crowds. The couple are Navajo silversmiths who have perfected a style of jewelry that combines copper and sterling silver to create contrasting designs. It’s not as easy as it sounds, as the metals have different melting points and it took years for them to develop the technique to solder them together. Their demonstration will include torches, cutters and heavy machinery.

EARTHEN VESSEL GALLERY: “The Art of Raku” is a collection of ceramics by Don Ellis, chairman of the Fine Arts Division at San Juan College in Farmington. The alternative ceramic firing process of raku is vibrant and unpredictable, and Ellis has been working in the art for more than 30 years.

SORREL SKY GALLERY: Durango bead artist Carol Salomon, whose world travels inspire her handmade jewelry, will debut her latest series of pieces tonight.

DURANGO ARTS CENTER: A two-for-one affair, with the ongoing exhibits “Celebrating Ute Culture” in the Barbara Conrad Gallery and Juanita Ainsley’s “Fancy This” in the upstairs Art Library.

AZUL: Fresh off their appearance at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., and a stint as the featured artists for the Durango Home & Ranch Show, glass artists Bengt Hokanson and Trefny Dix will be the guests of honor at Azul.

“I’ve been selling art glass for the past decade, and I’ve shown over a dozen recognized artists,” said Azul co-owner Josh Steinlauf. “I think that Bengt’s and Trefny’s work is some of the nicest I’ve shown and probably my overall favorite. It is amazing to have glass of that stature made locally in Durango.”

OPEN SHUTTER GALLERY: California photographer and regular Durango visitor Craig Semetko will open his new show “America: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)” during Gallery Walk. Semetko’s background in comedy writing gives his photography an ironic and satirical twist. The new show is the product of a road trip that began in 2011 in Independence, Calif., on the Fourth of July and went on for 45,000 miles and two years. Semetko will be in attendance tonight, and he’s an entertainer in person as well as on paper and canvas.

KARYN GABALDON FINE ARTS: The southern anchor of Gallery Walk always is a twin bill of entertainment. In addition to a seasonally appropriate collection of new Steel Bird Baths and metal acrylics by the gallery’s namesake, Gabaldon’s leading man Jeff Solon and his musical compadre Jack Maynes will play jazz throughout the evening.

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Kelly Schurger’s “Wilson Peak” is among the Durango artist’s new works that will be featured for tonight’s Gallery Walk at Diane West Jewelry & Art. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Diane West

Kelly Schurger’s “Wilson Peak” is among the Durango artist’s new works that will be featured for tonight’s Gallery Walk at Diane West Jewelry & Art.

Craig Semetko shot “Seaside Heights” last fall while he was on the East Coast when Superstorm Sandy hit. Semetko will open his new exhibit “America: E Pluribus Unum” during Gallery Walk Tonight at Open Shutter Gallery. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Open Shutter Gallery

Craig Semetko shot “Seaside Heights” last fall while he was on the East Coast when Superstorm Sandy hit. Semetko will open his new exhibit “America: E Pluribus Unum” during Gallery Walk Tonight at Open Shutter Gallery.

Earthen Vessel Gallery will host New Mexico ceramicist Don Ellis and “The Art of Raku.” Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Valerie Schwiderski

Earthen Vessel Gallery will host New Mexico ceramicist Don Ellis and “The Art of Raku.”

Studio & will feature Rosie Carter’s 3-dimensional show “Dear Refuge” for Gallery Walk. Her work will remain on display at & through the summer. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Tim Kapustka

Studio & will feature Rosie Carter’s 3-dimensional show “Dear Refuge” for Gallery Walk. Her work will remain on display at & through the summer.

Durango jeweler Carol Salomon will be on hand tonight at Sorrel Sky Gallery for Gallery Walk. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Sorrel Sky Gallery

Durango jeweler Carol Salomon will be on hand tonight at Sorrel Sky Gallery for Gallery Walk.