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Visual Arts

First Thursday expands to a baker’s dozen

More venues join monthly showcase

Perhaps it’s a nod to the change in seasons, but the First Thursday Art Walks are growing.

This week’s event will boast 13 venues. The addition of Pine River Valley Bank into the fold extends the walk north to 17th Street. But the detour shouldn’t throw off anyone’s schedule; the bank will host an opening reception for photographers Darel Crawford and Yvonne Lashmett early – from 3 to 5 p.m. – so there still be plenty of time to make it downtown.

Once you do, options abound. Jewelry buffs should add Diane West Jewelry and Art and Sorrel Sky to the can’t-miss list. San Francisco’s Susan Kinzig will be featured at Diane West with an array of her silver and polymer clay creations. The newest jewelers in the Sorrel Sky stables are Valerie and Benny Aldrich, a husband-and-wife duo with a national reputation of excellence. The couple began making jewelry together to give as Christmas gifts, and those who were lucky enough to receive their work in the 1970s now sitting on a virtual gold mine (though many of the pieces also inlaid with silver). The Aldriches gained fame and fortune in Prescott, Ariz., before resettling in Durango about 15 years ago. Among the many celebrities who own their pieces are Elton John, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Tom Selleck, Michael Douglas and former Vice President Walter Mondale.

“Aldrich Art Jewelry is different than anything else in Durango,” said Sorrel Sky owner Shanan Campbell Wells. “We have literally been talking about the idea for years, but timing just hadn’t worked out until now. The detail in their jewelry and blend of colors and textures is so lovely. They have a large collector base, regionally and nationally, and we are so fortunate to have such talented local artists.”

There is much more to First Thursday than jewelry. Azul Gallery, best known for its displays of vessels in glass and other materials, will feature new works of functional art furniture by Frank Seckler. The Taos, N.M., artist and craftsman works primarily in powder-coated steel with his own designs etched and inlaid on the surfaces.

Toh-Atin will have a homecoming of sorts, welcoming Lance Mumma back to town. The Durango native was raised in Farmington and went to art school in Albuquerque, where he met his artistic mentor, landscape painter Wilson Hurley. Mumma took many years off from painting to deal with family issues but resurrected his art career several years ago. Mumma was the featured artist for Music in the Mountains in 2010.

Other venues participating in First Thursday are Studio &, the Durango Arts Center, Earthen Vessel Gallery, Wildshots, Eno, Steaming Bean Coffee Co., Rochester Hotel and Steve Gates Architect. Visit www.durangoarts.org for details and locations.


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