Yee-haw for Creede! We have always known how special the little community is just outside of our Guest Ranch, and we are honored that the state has acknowledged all the creative energy here. Creede, along with Telluride, were honored at a ceremony at the Denver Art Museum on Friday, February 26, as part of Arts Advocacy Day. The Governor’s Arts Award distinguishes a Colorado town or city for their combined efforts to improve community and grow economically through strategic use of the arts.

Governor Ritter joined the Mayor of Creede Rex Shepperd and the Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser for the awards ceremony, which were original artworks by artist Gayle Gerson of Grand Junction.

A notable statement from Governor Ritter: “Not only are the arts a way to share our heritage and show us new ways of thinking and seeing, the arts are also a way to grow jobs and revitalize Colorado’s economy. It gives me great pleasure to honor these two communities.” There is usually only one winner, but this year it was a tie. There were thirteen other nominees.

According to the press release from the Governor’s Office:

In selecting Creede as a recipient, the review panel cited the town’s transformation from a dying mining town to a thriving tourism destination, with the arts as the catalyst. The panel was impressed with the vision of the town’s Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1966 to recruit a summer theatre as a strategy for economic stability. The Creede Repertory Theatre is now in its 44th year and attracts 20,000 theatre goers each summer. The panel noted that the Town, the school system, and the business district are active partners with the town’s arts groups. They were also impressed that Creede is home to artists and authors with international acclaim.

The awards were two original mixed media collages by artist Gayle Gerson of Grand Junction. The artworks will hang in public locations in the respective cities. In commissioning Gayle, the selection jury noted the spirit and energy in Gayle’s work, her use of bright colors, and the movement and depth that she created in her compositions. Also, they liked her use of mixed media/collage elements and thought her work was unusual and original. Gayle has studied under the guidance of many artists in watercolor, oil and experimental workshops.

Congratulations to Creede! We hope that you will come and visit us this summer for a horseback riding vacation, and enjoy the theater, galleries, shopping and art in Creede.

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