Oct 152008
Authors: kelly bleck

Candied skulls, a large ofrenda — or an altar dedicated to deceased loved ones — beaded crosses and tributes to saints decorated The Artists’ Nook and the Bellvue Store in Bellevue Friday in celebration of the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead.

The Bellevue Store, an art business open every second weekend of the month, is a split between a store and the Artists’ Nook, a second art store owned by Christine Webb, a Bellevue resident.

“I bought the Bellevue Store, using it as my studio and art gallery originally,” previous owner and artist Rosie Wendel said. “I was renting it to a tenant, but when Christine came along it just made more sense because it would be a little nook, for artists.”

The store is not open daily, it’s only open on certain weekends because of Webb’s schedule. When it is open, she hosts classes throughout the month.

“Christine holds her own hours for the Artists’ Nook since she sells her own retail-art supplies, unique findings for collages,” Wendel said. “The Bellvue Store itself is only open for that second weekend, but Christine will sometimes let people in to see the other items if she’s in the her store.”

The Bellvue Store puts on gallery displays every second weekend of the month, this month being Day of the Dead, set up with more than 15 local artist’s works.

“Frankly, seeing the galleries each month, it makes me think that this gallery should be on Main Street in Fort Collins,” contributing artist Laurie Zuckerman said. “The artists and their works are absolutely amazing.”

Ornaments including earrings, necklaces and crosses are tributes to Saints Frida and Guadalupe.

“I’ve always done things designed around Frida,” artist Deborah Flemming said. “Coming in to set up, and looking around, it was amazing to think that we’ve all contributed separately. Everything is based on the same genre, and the media compliment each other so well; it gives off such a positive energy.”

Each artist sets up their own displays and pays a small fee to enter as the gallery is open to the public.

“Because of the workshops and the Web site, artists have heard a lot about the Artist’s Nook,” Zuckerman said. “I’ve seen this show put together, and some of the artists have attended the workshops.”

Everything on display is for sale by the artist, using the Bellevue Store as the medium.

“I myself have a kid, and when we spend money on things around here it’s on great quality,” Wendel said. “So prices are reasonable, even for college kids.”

There are two shows set up for November, and three for September. For more information and gallery times, visit http://theartistsnook.net.

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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