Miles F. Porter IVSpecial to the Daily

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January 10, 2013
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Hey, Spike! posts a personality on the public wall

Like ever-changing marketplaces, Janet Eickelman Elich keeps stepping up to meet the challenges of personal reinvention.As an artist and interior designer, Janet is consistently changing her dramatic offerings.The Pueblo native and East High School graduate, now 50, and the mother of two creative daughters, came to Summit County in 1984 after getting her art education at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.Those girls, Della, 23, a Summit High grad, is living and working in Denver while attending Metropolitan State University of Denver and studying integrative health; Clare, 19, who attended the Vail Mountain School, is a sophomore at the College of Charleston, in South Carolina, majoring in vocal performance.Janet's mother, Rosemary, is 92 and "still going strong" as the matriarch of the Eickelman family of six siblings.When she first arrived here, Janet worked as a graphic designer for the Ten Mile Times.In 1992, she opened the Frisco Main Street eclectic shop, The Juniper Tree, and hired Jan Shackelford, who owns the thriving business today.That change allowed Janet to move more into interior design and the faux painting movement, a creative layering of paints, which result in making a room a piece of art.Like often is the case with artistic types, Janet is reluctant to promote herself in the public.At the urging of Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee Board (SCAECB) activist Sandy Greenhut, Janet is showing her works at the County Commons in Frisco.The 2013 Artists Speaker Series kicks off Sunday, at 4 p.m., and features Janet's works in a show she has titled "Backdrop to Life." It's free and open to the public. "Janet did not want to display her work, but I made her hang her work," says Sandy. "She is very shy and does not like to toot her own horn."Janet has served on the SCAECB for several years now and is responsible for hanging all our exhibits at the County Commons.In chairing the SCAEC scholarship committee, Janet is responsible for the selection of deserving high school students who plan on majoring in art in college."Janet is so very creative with a wild imagination as she painted the mural on the fence in Frisco for Fall For The Arts weekend in September 2012," notes Sandy.The mural is in honor of Candice VanRunkle, co-owner of Breck's Bay Street Co., who donated the image."The show at the County Commons illustrates a part of my business I'm now calling nomadic walls," explains Janet."So many times I've created finishes that need to stay with the home. On The Summit, home ownership turns quite often and walls get painted over. These canvases can go with the owner. It's also good to change a room's look and the canvases can be put up and taken down with the owner's whim."I'd like to incorporate using plaster on the pieces in the future to get more texture and layering within the canvas," she remarks. "These works represent all the layering that goes on within our lives."The natural wall is where my business is going. Moving to non-toxic materials and natural clay plasters, while wall glazing, murals, and wallpapers are still a large part of my work," she adds.Janet's largest recent project was an American clay plaster installation in a home in Breckenridge built by Rock Ridge Builders. "This was a one-coat finish that provided the home with walls that control humidity, filter the air, provide sound buffering qualities and are easy to repair," she notes. "The finish was sprayed, allowing the crew to finish in five days - it's the wave of the future."One of her clients was Texas billionaire Ross Perot, who has a residence in the Vail Valley."He's quite a character," Janet says.See Janet's works at these sites:www.thenaturalwall.com & www.janetelich.com. ***That recently mentioned benefit to help recording artist Leon Joseph Littlebird with his leukemia medical costs is slated for Jan. 30, at the Lord of the Mountains Church in Dillon, starting at 5 p.m., with a silent auction, snacks and music.Leon says he is doing well.***In some sad news to report, Hey, Spike! has received info on two passings:Etta Guenther, formerly of Frisco, late of Ridgeway, who had been suffering from Lupus for many years. She and husband, John, built a large home at Second and Teller and were active in the development of Copper Mountain.And Sherril Drumright of Alma, a former longtime executive assistant at The Village in Breckenridge, died Jan. 3, from cancer. She is survived by husband, Don "Duck," of the family home.Our thoughts and condolences go out to both families.***Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social-biz info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.


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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 10, 2013 10:22PM Published Jan 10, 2013 10:19PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.