Dear members of the Clorado Art Ranch Board,
Once again I have realized the importance of the Art Ranch. This happens quite a bit but today it bubbled over and in order to clean up those bubbles, I must write you all.
As you are probably aware, two days ago a "crazed" woman used her crow bar to smash the Plexiglas covering of a lithograph at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. She then tore the "offending" piece.
There has been controversy surrounding this artwork in the past week and I have been following it and even viewed the print. In today's Denver Post, Adam Lerner was quoted. Ever since I met Adam at the Denver "What's So Funny About Art?" Artposium, I have kept up with his Belmar Art Lab and then with his move to the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. His words concerning the violence against art had a greater meaning for me because of getting to hear him speak two years ago.
From the very first Artposium I learned something that had previously eluded me although I wasn't even aware that it did: there really is thought and introspection behind sculpture and "found objects" art. I remember listening in awe as three or four of the artists in residence told of how they came to create what they had created. Of course, I knew that artists create something that is a part of themselves and want to bring it into a life-sphere. But I had no clue that there was so much of a back story until that weekend in Salida.
And, again in Salida, three years later, Greg Hobbs taught me something. He had shared a poem entitled "Wed" with the whole group. I was very taken with this poem since soon after the Artposium, a friend of mine was getting married at age 40 and for the first time. I asked Greg if I could find that poem in one of his books and he said that it hadn't been published yet. He then surprised me by giving me the piece of paper that he had read from. He wrote my name, his name and the date and that was it. I then retyped it and gave it to my friends who were very moved by his words. A few weeks later, it came out that someone else had taken Greg's words but not exactly in a justified way. I immediately sent Greg a note saying that I did give him "full attribution" and he responded with the simple words, "Poetic courtesy." Again, through Colorado Art Ranch, I am able to have a continuing experience.
Another example of the far-reaching effects of the Art Ranch is Joe Quirk. I bought his book and have lent it to so many people that I have lost count. It has elicited several empowering discussions not only in my book club group but with myriad people of different minds. And, when Dr. Marci Bowers left Trinidad to move to San Francisco, I completely understood her reasoning and wished her success. I would not have had that reaction had I not heard her speak and talked with her a bit.
Last week, I was able to sit at a table for 15 minutes and join in conversation with Salman Rushdie. It was an incredible experience and I also know that it was made that much better by my having met numerous other art/writers/luminaries at Colorado Art Ranch functions. It is one thing to appreciate the work of writers/artists but it is quite another thing to be able to converse with them and then hear what they have to say, not only about their art but their world views. It is the taking of that step beyond the works and finding the values behind them that is so inspiring.
I have found that the Artposia has seeped into all parts of my being, from how I view eating, how I go about writing, how I felt strongly enough about an artist to commission him to do two paintings, to adding new red bottles on my bottle tree. Each time I write a poem I feel as if I am in harmony with the many other poets that have crossed my path these last three years. And, in my kitchen tucked into a corner of a print of The Gates at Central Park, is a photo of Christo, Jean-Claude and me taken in Salida and printed in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. I feel much more involved in the issue of "Over the River" than I otherwise would.
Thanks, Art Ranch, for all you do.
Darlene Mueller Morse