Colorado Art RanchPhoto: David Peterson

Resident Artists July-August 2009

Salida, Colorado
We were back in Salida for the third time. Thanks to the help of Salida ArtWorks, we had three wonderful residents in two locations in Salida. They got to know the area quite well and went out on several exploratory forays to ghost towns and other historical sites.


Salida 2009 Residents

Kelly Stearns, Alex Van Ark & Shirley Tipping

Meet the Colorado Art Ranch Artists in Residence. Three visual and literary artists were in residence from July 15 through August 1 5, 2009 in Salida, Colorado. In return, the residents gaive back one day to the community. Each resident was been assigned an Art Buddy from the Trinidad area to help them find their way around and feel more like part of the town

Atists in Residence

Shirley Tipping is a photographer from Glasgow. Shirley's work is about ghost towns, movie towns and the romance/myth of the West. Her father maintains a western shrine (think John Wayne) of memorabilia in his home in Britain and this formed Shirley's interest in an ongoing photo study of the West that was.

Kelly Stearns is a poet from New Mexico. The work she brought is the first ten chapters of her creative non-fiction book, Meadlowlake: Town Without a Lake. She says of this work: "The work chronicles life in the rural ghetto where I live in central New Mexico, an area of four thousand mobile home residents. Originally planned as a vacation getaway community with a specially built man made lake, after four decades it has transformed into an arson ridden area with a dry lake known for it's dog and livestock carcasses, considered one of the worst neighborhoods in the state. It is the kind of neighoborhood where if you are gone for two weeks, the neighborhood will begin reclaiming any usable material from your property, much as a jungle might reclaim a too long dormant house. Fences, the siding from your home and even the pipes underneath can either be sold for scrap or else used by someone else with sense enough to stay home in the neighborhood where they belong. " She has been interviewing the denizens of Salida's trailer parks both for material and to help them tell their stories.

Alex Van Ark is a writer from New York. Alex's work is based on his questioning of life: "Who were/are our parents? Our family members? Our childhood friends? Our hometown neighbors? What made/makes them tick? But more personally I ask myself, How did these relationships contribute to the adult person I see in my mirror today? How did my rural, Illinois upbringing mold me and shape me?" He is working on a novel that has a section placed in a Rocky Mountain town. His Salida experience is helping to shape that.



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