An artful start to the holidays |

An artful start to the holidays

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkAbby Paffrath is one of the 16 artists who will offer unique art work Saturday and Sunday at the inaugural Keystone Holiday Fair at the Keystone Lodge. Paffrath has found a way to translate the vivid colors found in Indonesia to her Batik paintings.

KEYSTONE – Abby Paffrath was born and raised in Breckenridge, but her art took her to Bali. Now she brings Bali back to Breck.While studying fine arts at the University of Montana, she traveled to Bali Indonesia, where the art form of Batik originated. Batik involves an extensive process of layering hot wax and dye, then removing the wax to reveal the image left on fabric.”Batik is unique in the fact that I have little idea how the image will look until all the wax is removed,” Paffrath said. “The wax and the dye play against each other in order to create a unique image all on their own.”Paffrath is one of 16 artists who will display their work at the inaugural Keystone Holiday Fair. Other local art includes Mary Staby’s painted photographs; Gwen Salmon’s paintings on silk; Gretchen Norwalk’s oil paintings; Margureta Dowty’s plaster casts of hands; and Marianna Duford’s landscapes and portraits.

Coordinator Sandy Greenhut chose many of the artists from her annual Wine, Jazz and Art show. She choose the other artists because they added something interesting and unique to the show, she said.Staby’s painted black-and-white photos allow her to highlight the details she captures on film in her travels in Norway, Denmark, France, Mexico and the Southwest.”Color film alone does not adequately depict what I see and feel,” Staby said. “Handcoloring adds detail and can change the entire mood – day can become night, cloudy skies can become sunny. The colors are from my imagination. I don’t take a color photograph and try to duplicate the scene. I often include a bit of whimsy in the handcolored scene (that’s) not always readily apparent but something that can be discovered.”Salmon’s paintings emerge from everyday life, whether it’s in Summit County, Sedona, Ariz., or Ontario. She prefers painting on silk with dyes because it results in brilliant colors difficult to attain in other mediums.

People from as far as Egypt, Tokyo and Afghanistan collect Norwalk’s oil paintings.”My desire is that my artwork will enlighten and lift the mood of the viewer,” Norwalk said. “I want it to be that element on your wall that gives a sense of fun, happiness, energy and life … art, to me, should be like your favorite music, adding an ambiance or a sense to a room or environment.”Dowty discovered the art of Moulage – the use of a gelatinous material made from seaweed and algae to create exact replicas of the human body – during her travels through South America in 2001. She will cast hands at the fair.Duford just won the best of show at the Denver Metro Art Club’s recent opening held at the Littleton Town Center for her watercolor.

The holiday art fair also features a special time and place for kids to make a free craft for their parents or buy an item from one of the artists for $5 or less. No parents are allowed in the workshop as the kids make, buy and wrap their special gifts for mom and dad. The proceeds benefit the Summit County Art Exhibit Committee’s children’s art scholarships.The art show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, is free and includes cider, hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies. Santa also will make an appearance.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at

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