Summit County artists open new gallery in Silverthorne |

Summit County artists open new gallery in Silverthorne

More than half of the 18 artists who’ve come together to a form new co-op gallery at the Silverthorne Outlets, High Country ARTisans, pose for a photo before their grand opening on Tuesday. They are, from left, Abbe Gold, mosaics; Kevin Reynolds, watercolor and photography; Sandy Coulter, photography; Gail Shears, stained glass; Stephen Johnson, photography; Patrick Derickson, photography; Gina Parthum, jewelry; Keats Scott, fiber art and watercolor; Len Szmurlo, woodwork; and Linda Marr, watercolor and repeat pattern designs.
Eli Pace / |

A small group of artists who lost their lease in Keystone is loving life after finding a new home at the Outlets at Silverthorne, as both group membership, customer traffic and sales are all up since the move.

Almost directly across from the Columbia store, High Country ARTisans is a new co-op gallery in the Red Village of the outlets.

During a recent group interview with more than half of the artists in the co-op, they all agreed the outlets are a great place to be, and noted that customer traffic and sales are exceeding expectations since shifting to Silverthorne.

“It’s a great location,” photographer Stephen Johnson said of the new digs. “Everybody walks out of (Columbia) and looks straight over here.”

Just over a dozen artists had been working together out of a gallery on Keystone Lake for about six years. However, this year their lease was not renewed, and they went in search of greener pastures.

Altogether, there are now 18 due-paying members in the co-op, and at that number, the artists feel like they’re about maxed out because space is limited.

Inside the new gallery, the artwork is arranged in mini-displays with other pieces created by the same artist. Incorporated in each is a carved nameplate, picture and artist biography.

The artwork includes an eclectic mix of skills, ranging from watercolor and acrylic paintings to photography, jewelry, scroll-saw woodworking, fiber art, ceramics, metal, mosaics, recycled art and stained glass, among other items.

The most expensive pieces at the gallery sell for under $500 while shoppers can find postcards and other novelty items for as little as a few bucks.

The artists who create the work are all local to Colorado’s High Country and live in or just outside of Summit County. Regardless, each is expected to pay his or her dues, both financially and as a volunteer.

“We all have a vested interest in the gallery,” said woodcutter Len Szmurlo, who does intricate, framed pieces and lent his skills to create the artist nameplates at the gallery.

“Expenses and overhead are paid for via sales and the commissions,” he continued, “and every member is expected to work the store and put in a certain amount of hours every month.”

The result is a gallery where Summit County artists can showcase locally inspired pieces for sale at reasonable prices. The gallery opened at the beginning of July, and a more formal ceremony was held Tuesday.

“It’s a great feeling for an artist to have a place to show their work, and it’s an even greater feeling of satisfaction to see someone who comes in, appreciates your work and wants to place it in their home,” Szmurlo said, adding that almost every piece at the gallery “is reflective of the mountains we have in our backyard.”

The gallery at 135F Stephens Way in the Outlets at Silverthorne is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more, find them on Facebook at or call 970-513-8033.

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