Elsewhere Studios
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

This week Colorado Creative Industries, the state’s art agency, announced this year’s recipients of its Colorado Creates grant program.

It awarded 168 grants to organizations across the state. In the KVNF listening area, groups in Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, Ouray and San Miguel counties got funding.

Sherbino Theater
Sherbino Theater

This year the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway turns 100 years old. The theater is known for the musical acts and guest lecturers it brings to the Western Slope. On Friday, there will be an anniversary celebration at the theater that includes vaudeville style performances, silent films and of course a birthday cake. 

Over the past four decades, Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, Colo., has become an institution — known for its vast selection, its knowledgeable sales staff and the comfy chairs that fill the many nooks and crannies among the bookshelves.

"You can sit and read. And the people are friendly ...," says regular customer Robert Norris. "I just like the atmosphere myself."

Stephanie Helleckson, North Fork Community Chorus
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The North Fork Valley now has a community chorus. KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Stephanie Helleckson, the music director and conductor, of the new vocal group. 

Creamery Arts Center
Creamery Arts Center

The Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss is closing after nearly a decade of operation in the North Fork Valley.

The nonprofit will shut its doors in August. However, this isn’t the end for it. 

Joanne and Linda Tullis, who founded the arts center and own the building, plan on reopening it under a new business plan.  

Pennie Alexander, the Creamy's current co-manager and co-director, says the center will close for the winter, but reopen in the spring with new hours and art offerings and a coffee shop. 

It's impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don't look enough; or maybe we'd rather not see wounded veterans at all.

What if the devastating drought in the western U.S. doesn't end? A few years ago, the science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi started exploring what could happen.

When Erik Christiansen started smoking pot, he became fascinated by the look of different marijuana strains. But the photographs of marijuana he saw didn't capture the variety.

So he went to the hardware store and picked up two lights and a cardboard box. "I didn't even have a macro lens — I was shooting through a magnifying glass," he says.

The California-based photographer tinkered with his macro technique until he had created a consistent way to capture highly detailed images of marijuana.

Grand Junction Police Department
Nathan Lopez Photography

This week is National Police Week. It is an occasion to honor officers who died in the line of duty. 

The time of remembrance this year comes on the heels of protests against police in major cities across the U.S. and a national debate on police tactics. 

In a local effort to increase understanding between law enforcement and the public, a Western Slope photographer is trying to get people to look beyond the badge and see the person in uniform.

Photographer Nathan Lopez moved to Grand Junction seven months ago from Oregon.

'Vermilion' Finds New Magic In The Old West

Apr 24, 2015

History may be written by the victors, but alternate history is written by anyone with a lust for the past — both established and imagined. Molly Tanzer's imagination is keener than almost anyone's. Her new novel, Vermilion is a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy. In the book's wild vision of 1870, the North won the Civil War with the help of a race of intelligent, talking bears. A similarly endowed species of sea lion keeps shop in the streets of San Francisco.

Harvester Building, north fork valley art
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

There's a new work of outdoor art on display in Paonia. 

The Harvester Building in downtown now has a landscape oil painting mounted to the front it. 

Artist Maya Arthur Jensen created the piece.

"The gentleman who owns the building and I got together in March of last year and he wanted to fancy up his building a bit," Jensen said. "We discussed different designs and different ideas and eventually we came up with a portrait of the valley floor."

The painting looks like a snapshot taken from one of the mesas that overlooks Paonia. 

Rhoda Yago, Blue Sage Gallery
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A new art show in Paonia seeks to challenge the way people think about individuals with disabilities. 

Colorado Shakespeare Festival, acting
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Bullying is still an ongoing issue and telling kids to be nice to each other isn't always enough. That's why educators are getting creative.

In Colorado, some schools are using Shakespeare to get kids talking about violence and bullying and what they can do to prevent. 

More than 120 students are sitting on the gymnasium floor of Paonia Elementary. 

These third through sixth graders are here to see a play. 

Adriana Villagran, Amber Imrie-Situnayake
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

An interactive art installation on display now at the Blue Sage Gallery in Paonia was inspired by local residents and businesses. 

It’s Thursday night in Paonia. Elsewhere Studios is packed with people.

They’re here to see the work of the artists who are wrapping up their residencies.

On the second-floor of the studio is an art installation created by two women from California.

The upper portion of the display is a canopy of sticks arranged like an upside down bird’s nest with threads hanging down from it.   

At a Buddhist temple in downtown Denver, Junko Higdon is rehearsing a traditional song for one of the local Japanese community's biggest annual events.

Higdon is one of 30 amateur singers competing in two teams at this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen, which means, "red and white singing battle."

"White is for the men, red is for the women and whoever gets the most points out the teams wins the trophy," she says.

Sherbino Theater
Sherbino Theater

This year the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway is celebrating its one-hundredth anniversary.

The theater is known for the musical acts and guest lecturers it brings to the Western Slope. 

A Tour Of The Historic Sherbino 

"The building was built by Louis Sherbino," Patrick O’Leary, the president of the Ridgway Chautauqua Society, says. "And he built the theater so that his son and daughter-in-law would have a place to play. His son was a fiddle player."

The Chautauqua Society now runs the theater. 

The Montrose library hosted an Open Mic in early December.  Writers  shared original poems, short stories or memories.   Some of the readers this month wrote on the theme of the evening: "Cycles."

For information about events and future open mic readings at Montrose library, visit  

Eric Bransby is one of the last living links to the great age of American mural painting. He studied with one of this country's most famous muralists — Thomas Hart Benton — and went on to create his own murals in prominent buildings across the west. The artist is now 98 and still painting.

Laura Palmisano

Last weekend saw an art unveiling at the Paonia Library.  It features four doors, fanned out on a hillside

behind the library, each brightly colored but featuring a silhouette of the young and old, traveling to somewhere beyond the doors.

It was funded through the Orton Family Foundation as part of the Pass the Mic Project. 

Surrounded by people there for the unveiling, KVNF's Jake Ryan talked with artist Seth Weber. 

There are also two companion pieces at the Crawford and the Hotchkiss libraries.

Preserving The Wild

Dec 1, 2014
John Fielder

It was Thanksgiving recently, and this year is also the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  John Fielder is plenty thankful for the Wilderness Act, after all he’s a nature photographer. 

Fielder was recently touring the Western Slope to talk about the Act and his adventures in Colorado.  He stopped by the station and talked with KVNF’s Jake Ryan. 

kids, art, field trip, Blue Sage
Laura Palmisano

Teaching art to kids in a rural setting can be a challenge. Most small towns don't have art museums like big cities. And, it’s not easy to pile them on a bus and drive to Denver for a cultural experience. However, there’s a center on the Western Slope trying to make it easier for students to access art. 

"We are going to look at some of these paintings and we are going to start developing characters, but we are going to do it by talking about what we see," Sharon Bailey says. "Let’s look at this painting here. Raise your hand and tell me what you see.” 

Laura Palmisano

There’s an art project on display at the Montrose Library that seeks to bring awareness to domestic violence.

Hilltop’s Tri-County Resource Center created the exhibit for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

It features a mannequin wearing a vintage wedding dress that was donated by a victim of domestic violence.

The National Book Awards shortlists — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — were announced October 15 on Morning Edition by Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and former president of the American Booksellers Association. On November 18, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night. Read more about each of the finalists — and hear the authors read from their works — below.

Waldorf educator, Thesa Callinicos discusses the origins and messages of fairytales and their importance in early childhood development.

Church of Art, Chip Thomas
Mary Hockenbery

A small group of people recently gathered outside on a sunny afternoon to look at a new mural on the west side of the Church of Art in Hotchkiss. 

Writers from the Write On! anthology competition read their published works.   On this show:  Marty Durlin, Slater Podgorny, Carol Kwiatkowski, and Sarah Gilman read their work.

Photographer Theo Stroomer talks with Ali Lightfoot about his exhibit at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. 

Cooper Woods-Darby

For this year's winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, people filled the seats of the Paradise Theatre in Paonia for the 5th annual performance of Craig Childs' "Dark Night," a multimedia and spoken-word extravaganza celebrating the time of year when "the snakes of winter coil tightly around us," as Childs describes it.

Pass the Mic's Arts Reporter, Sadie Miller speaks with Annette Pretorius about the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia.

Rita Claggett

“Neighbors, Strangers and Friends” is an audio/visual exhibit currently on display at the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss. The exhibit features a series of interviews and photographs of North Fork Valley seniors created by local writer and photographer Rita Clagett. KVNFs Ali Lightfoot spoke with Clagett about the project.