The recently announced closing of the Creamery in Hotchkiss, while sentimental to some, especially on summer days when an ice cream cone is so refreshing, may open doors to a new attitude and opportunities for artists in the area. With two generations of family ties to the area, my wife and I retired here three years ago. My wife is an artist of some renown in the Denver area, and had won awards for her work in Maryland. We approached the Creamery with multiple examples of three types of her work: One, traditional fantasy acrylics of mythical scenes; two, a new creative modern design made by "swirling" the paints to mix the colors; and three, her newborn baby dolls where the babies literally come to life. After leaving the collection with the Creamery for four months (so all members could vote), we returned to find they did not even consider the lifelike "newborns," labeling them as too weird for tastes in the valley, this in a venue that had multiple examples of handmade Indian dolls that were advertised as authentic but scared little children. The other collection items were simply rejected. Imagine our surprise, when about six months later, we visited and found an established Creamery artist displaying a new technique ... you got it ... an amateurish approximation of the swirl design my wife had submitted.
The Creamery was, by all design, a closed artist venue. If you did not live here forever, you were not to be displayed. Much of the art we saw was, in our opinion, poorly done, yet it graced the walls. Perhaps with the closing, and a new opening, opportunities will be opened for new artists. I hope they don't just regurgitate the old list and put it all on the walls again. It is time for some refreshing change. Let's hope the new/old/new/new/old owners try a path of openness.