Hey Spike! presents a colorfully artistic palette from Breckenridge’s Gathering at the Great Divide | SummitDaily.com

Hey Spike! presents a colorfully artistic palette from Breckenridge’s Gathering at the Great Divide

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

If there's a list of "almost locals" in Summit County, you'll find touring artists Daniel and Barbara Marcus-McKenna on it.

Since the mid-'90s, the Lyons residents have been including in their annual art show schedule of 20 plus shows, the trio of nationally ranked Mountain Art Festivals.

Both are individual artists working together in two mediums — Barbara creates colorful monotype paintings, professionally framed by Daniel, and both produce an inventory of stained glass lamps and window hangings, along with custom orders.

Their juried tour schedule has them alternating between two bodies of work.

It's Barbara's fine art monotypes this time prominently on display over this Labor Day weekend that you'll find among the 120 white tent booths at the 42nd Annual Gathering of the Great Divide.

Located at North Main Street and Wellington parking lot, the festival is the third of three shows produced each summer by the Cunningham family of Dick and Mary and daughter Tina of Mountain Art Festivals.

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Trained in painting and printmaking with a bachelor of fine art degree from the acclaimed Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Barbara has been exhibiting at art shows since 1986.

In her junior year, she was chosen to represent RISD to attend Yale University's Summer School of Music and Art, as a scholarship recipient.

"Daniel and I started working together at art shows in 1993," says Barbara of their talented partnership.

Daniel had been working with faceted and blown glass since 1981. He apprenticed at the Maytum Handblown Studio in Boulder and studied design there until 1994. They met at the Crested Butte Art Festival in 1987, and made their partnership in 1991.

"The world of fine art has always aroused my passion and continues to focus my attention on excellence. It's the dedication for pure expression and a strong desire and will to create," Barbara comments. My inspiration comes from impressionism, abstract expressionism, and the beauty of the natural world."

Her love of painting is perfectly expressed in monotypes.

"The monotype process combines freedom of painterly expression with the ingenuity and technology from the Renaissance Masters," says Barbara, who explains the process:

"A monotype is a single image that transfers to paper, one time, by use of my etching press. The pigment is forced into the fibers of the paper, resulting in unique surface textures that cannot be achieved by painting directly on paper. Each monotype is unique, authentic and unlike any other medium."

Barbara has won awards at shows across the nation — from Florida to the West Coast.

While here for the third time this summer, Barbara and Daniel will visit longtime friends Chuck Leathers Real Estate Broker Mollie McCarthy and Scott Thomas, a ski instructor and builder.

"I met Mollie through a mutual friend when she was in the health food industry in the late 1980s (Wildflower in the Frisco Historic Park)," Barbara says. "When she and Scott finished remodeling their townhouse in Frisco, they started hosting us three times a year for the Breckenridge shows."

"They always make it more fun to be in Summit County, inviting us to join in in the festivities," she adds.

In some good news updates from Hey, Spike!, we offer congrats to that slacklining hero Mickey Wilson and Purple McMullen-Laird, who were married recently while hanging above a Moab, Utah, canyon.

Secondly, it's good to report that Copper Triangle bicyclist Don Whitney is home at Copper after his Vail Pass descent mishap that landed him in St. Anthony's in Denver for nearly three weeks.

"Wow, we are so lucky, so grateful, so happy," wife Jan remarks about Don's recovery. "It's a miracle."

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock 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 info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.

If you go

What: 42nd Annual Gathering at the Great Divide

When: Saturday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Breckenridge (North Main Street & Wellington parking lot)

More information: MountainArtFestivals.com

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