Silverthorne Art Stroll provides a creative outlet during pandemic
The sound of a film camera’s shutter was captivating for Amy Marie Dlubac. Her father put his old 35-millimeter Canon single-lens reflex camera in her hand while she was in middle school and lit a passion in her. That led to doing the yearbook at school and studying photography and photojournalism at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Now, Dlubac is one of the artists appearing at the Silverthorne Art Stroll, which was previously known as Stroll Along the Blue. The First Friday event once again combines visual and auditory arts on the Blue River Trail between the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center and the underpass by Chipotle Mexican Grill from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 7. It’s also the time to turn in bingo cards from April’s First Friday for the chance to win free drinks for a year.
Visitors can expect to hear songs by Lisa Ann White, Todd Johnson, Mark Schlaefer, Larry LaCerte, Johnny Johnston, Steve Plummer, Janet Harriman and Zuma Road. Along with Dlubac, Ryan Halsne, Mel Michel, Erika Donaghy and Jessica Johnson will have their artwork on display.
Dlubac was located in a tent between the Silverthorne Pavilion and Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea at previous events. She plans to showcase 20 to 40 photographs, mainly printed on metal. Sizes range from roughly 10-by-13 inches up to 30-by-20 inches, with prices from $90 to $250. Dlubac has a QR code that people can scan to order custom sizes or different prints, as well.
Calling herself a realistic artist, Dlubac focuses mostly on Colorado landscapes and wildlife photos. She also does intimate engagement photos and family portraits, and she prefers to document any sort of moment that people might normally miss.
“We could photograph the same thing, but the pictures came out completely different,” Dlubac said about trips she would take with other photographers to Utah, California and New Mexico in school.
The natural inspiration now surrounds her daily living in Summit County. The Silverthorne resident and Woodland Park native moved to the region in 2007 after college and always will have her camera with her on hikes and summer camping trips. Before having children, Dlubac would frequently capture the sunrise from Dillon Dam Road on her way back from kickboxing classes.
“We live in such a cool place that it’s hard to not capture an awesome picture,” Dlubac said. “Where I live now, I pretty much see the Gore Range outside my window. I just try to catch a cool sky, a cool lighting, not just take a generic photo of Buffalo or frame it differently or capture it with a reflection.”
Dlubac enjoys the Art Stroll’s casual ambiance and opportunity to talk with guests in a safe and fun setting since she’s only done more formal shows in college. It’s given her a chance to push her creative side more in addition to displaying at Red Buffalo and Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails.
She said it has been difficult juggling family, her job as an office manager and her photography business. Her first child was born in October 2019 two months early, and the pandemic hit as she was finishing maternity leave. She said she’s looking forward to taking more photos after her second pregnancy.
“I’m not too worried about getting motivated again,” Dlubac said, laughing.
Like Dlubac, Copper Mountain resident Mallory Gemlo has used the events as motivation to express herself. Originally from Mankato, Minnesota, Gemlo had her own cake decorating business called For Goodness Cakes. That grew into planning events and weddings when she moved to Summit County eight years ago. She started Coal n Gold and began to focus more on logistics than food.
Yet the pandemic canceled much of her wedding business. Tapping into her artistic roots, she pivoted side gigs and decided to capitalize on macrame decorations she made for weddings.
“It’s really helped me think outside of the box, and it gives me the excuse to try new things,” said Gemlo, who is now also the events coordinator for Breck Film.
Dubbed What Knots, the new endeavor is versatile with practical and decorative pieces. Some incorporate dyes and hang attached to wood panels. Others are functional and support planters in the air.
“I was trying to modernize macrame so you don’t picture what you saw in your grandma’s living room back in the day,” Gemlo said. “I wanted to put a different spin on it.”
When at the Art Stroll, usually among a cluster of trees near the river, she can be found giving a live knot-tying demonstration as her finished work hangs in branches. She sees it as a fun form that people can relate to that’s teachable and easy to learn. Gemlo received great feedback at previous events and found herself connecting to older women who were excited to see the medium come back in style, along with younger kids seeing it for the first time.
“If you ever made a hemp necklace in high school, you can basically make macrame,” Gemlo said.
Macrame wasn’t Gemlo’s first medium. She grew up in the ceramic and design studios of various family members and always had art supplies on hand. When working for Silverthorne, she made pieces like a miniature art museum for the town’s festivals and holiday bazaar.
However, she has stuck with macrame as it provides a sort of therapy via the crafting of the art.
“Once you kind of learn the series of knots, it almost takes over in that way,” Gemlo said. “You can just sit on the couch and zone out, and it’s almost like therapy with the specific knots to make these patterns.”
For the upcoming Art Stroll, Gemlo wants to experiment with more specific shapes. She envisions pieces that outline Peak One and other mountainscapes, potentially weaving in different colored yarns. She thinks she’ll display roughly 10 pieces that start at about $15 for plant hangers and go up toward $400 for a 5-by-7-foot wall hanging. The variety in shape and size occur naturally as Gemlo saves scrapes to repurpose into other pieces.
“It’s just about reusing everything and keep making something with it until you can’t make anything else,” Gemlo said.
Gemlo’s macrame and other mixed-media works such as taxidermy have now been featured at Red Buffalo and House of Vibes Coffee since her first Art Stroll.
The Art Stroll shifts to a monthly Sunday occurrence from noon to 3 p.m. after May. The next ones happen June 20, July 25 and Aug. 22. All attendees are asked to wear masks and practice physical distancing.
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