On Friday, April 8 beginning at 4 p.m., a number of Western’s creative clubs and organizations under the umbrella of the Council for Creative Expression (CCE), an organizing and funding body for the university’s arts organizations, will present a variety of visual, theatrical, musical, written, and spoken word art at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts.

The event will not require a mask, but proof of vaccination is required for entry, which is free for all attendees. Upon entrance, everyone above the age of 21 will be offered a voucher for a free serving of beer or wine, with non-alcoholic beverage options, along with charcuterie, also available.

Aaron Mason

27 different visual works will be on display, created by an equal number of artists. The works range from the miniscule to the massive, and span the disciplines of graphic design, photography, painting, pottery, drawing, sculpture, and jewelry making. Several members of the Western Theater Company will perform a theatrical response to some of the artistic pieces in the gallery.

Pathfinder, the university’s artistic and literary magazine, will unveil their new annual magazine at the event, and read from selected offerings. They will be joined in the spoken word element by Wordhorde, Western’s creative writing and poetry club.

Allie Weatherill

Musical performances during the event will include the Chamber Singers and Jazz Band. Also happening during the middle of the event are the Art Awards, which will divvy out first, second, and third place prizes to the gallery works, along with a series of honorable mentions.

For those in the market, most of the visual works that will be on display are up for sale by the artist. “They’re a professional gallery, and that’s what’s so big about it…they sell the work, and they’re there doing exactly what galleries would do professionally anywhere. They’ll take about 40 percent, and the students have been pricing accordingly. It’s great experience for them to learn how to price for a gallery,” notes Daniel Lesh, the President of Western’s Art League and an organizer for the show.

Evan Allison

“Artist’s price their work differently all the time, some charge hourly, some charge by square inch, and these are all art students from freshman year to senior year, they have varying amounts of experience,” adds Lesh. All of the visual artworks were required to be professionally framed, and Lesh believes multiple works will likely sell this year.

Last year, for the first-ever showcase, Lesh says the turnout of several hundred people was a positive shock to the organizers under a more restrictive Covid-19 environment. Nevertheless, the event went off safely and without incident. This year, Lesh is anticipating a more social, conversational experience now that the pandemic appears to be receding, at least for now.

“I think it’s exciting for artists [also] because there is good coverage from media sources, both from the school and outside the school. The students are already excited, and it will be awesome to see that excitement,” he adds.

Caroline Toomer

The evening’s full exhibition schedule:

  • 4:00 – 4:30: Mountaineer Media film showings (lower atrium)
  • 4:30 – 5:00: Pathfinder selected readings (upper atrium)
  • 5:00 – 5:30: Wordhorde poetry readings (upper atrium)
  • 5:30 – 6:00: Art Awards Ceremony
  • 6:00 – 6:30: Chamber Singers (lower atrium)
  • 6:30 – 7:00: Western Theater Company Gallery Performances
  • 7:00 – 8:00: Jazz Band (lower atrium)
Kelia Portis