Breckenridge artist Emily Galvin’s work on display at Arts Alive Gallery |

Breckenridge artist Emily Galvin’s work on display at Arts Alive Gallery

Story and photo
by Heather Jarvis
Emily Galvin is October's Artist of the Month at the Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge. A reception for her work will be held Saturday, Oct. 10 from 4-8 p.m.
Heather Jarvis / |


What: Artist reception, Emily Galvin

When: Saturday, Oct. 10, 4–8 p.m.

Where: Arts Ailve Gallery, 500 S. Main St., Breckenridge

More information: Call (970) 453-0450

Emily Galvin has been creating artwork for the last four decades, including jewelry, macramé, fabric paintings and collage designs for Coragé bags. She has been part of the Arts Alive cooperative gallery in Breckenridge since early spring, and has been chosen as October’s Artist of the Month. There will be a reception featuring her work on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 4–8 p.m., with refreshments, live music and the chance to talk with Galvin about her work.

Galvin’s current creations are a variety of projects made by using an oxygen/acetylene setup to cut pieces from steel, copper, maple sap buckets and old mining cabin roofs.

Galvin draws on the metal with a soap stone, and then uses a brazing tip to cut through the material. Her creations are used for wall and yard art as well as wind chimes. She said she got the idea to also use old mining cabin roofs for her pieces while on a hike.

“My sister and I were taking a walk in the forest and we saw this old rusted stuff that I said, ‘I bet I could cut that,’ and we hauled it home,” she said.

She originally began creating metal art after a friend showed her how the process worked in Arizona, where she lived before coming to Colorado.

“I used to do jewelry, and I was trying to come up with some other component that would be more unique,” she said.

She said the idea to use maple sap buckets as part of her metal work was just a random idea, and she really liked the results of cutting designs into the buckets. She also sometimes uses barbed wire for the handles for an added touch. The maple sap bucket pieces can be used for candle holders and decoration. Galvin uses these pieces at home to hold magazines.


She said she has always been the creative type, but really got into her art and selling her work after she learned to macramé as a teenager. After selling her creations at galleries and in stores, she started working for an art cooperative which led her to a gig sewing for a seamstress. From there, she began to sew for a backpack maker, and also paint the fabric and design collages for the Coragé bags. Her work has been featured in catalogs, which she said was a little tricky because sometimes people will order something expecting exactly what they see in the picture, but each of her pieces are handmade, so they are all one of a kind and can vary a bit with each project.

Galvin said her inspiration comes from Southwestern themes, dancers, whimsical fairies, animals and celestial templates.

“I get inspired by almost anything — T-shirt designs, wildflowers,” she said. “I tend to be inspired by moving figures a lot, so a lot of my work looks like dancers. People really like suns, moons, stars, but I like to make a lot of dancing women — they don’t sell as well but I really enjoy making those.”

Since moving to the county 13 years ago, Galvin has worked for the Summit County School District as a teacher. She has been a kindergarten teacher at Dillon Valley Elementary since 2006.

“I became a teacher when I had kids,” she said. “I had a toddler and I was pregnant with my next child and started taking classes to learn something about child development, and a couple of classes for young children really hooked me, so I became a teacher. It was also very convenient being a mom — we had the same schedule.”

Originally from New York City, Galvin moved to Breckenridge 13 years ago, although she has lived in Colorado for the last 21 years. She also spent some time in Tucson, Arizona. Besides art, she loves to ski and go to music and yoga festivals, and some of her work features yoga poses inspired by these events. She said she feels very fortunate to have Red Rocks so close by — her favorite show this summer was Reggae on the Rocks. She met her husband, local musician Josh Galvin, while camping. Josh Galvin will also be playing his acoustic guitar during the reception.

She has had her work featured previously at Meet the Artists shows in both Breckenridge and Frisco, and has also sold her work at the Breckenridge farmers market. She currently has two walls worth of work on display at the Arts Alive Gallery, as well as wind chimes in the window.

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