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Longmont art to gaze upon in 2024 horizon

Like the seasons, the art here flourishes in unexpected corners
Community members pain Catrinas at the Firehouse Art Center on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Photo by Silvia Solis)

Art in Longmont is as fleeting as the seasons, ever-changing and ever-inviting. To truly discover Longmont’s artistic soul, it’s necessary to roam its streets, peek into its galleries and embrace its open-air displays. 

Like the seasons, the art here flourishes in unexpected corners, whispering tales that demand exploration. So, step outside, wander through its alleys and gaze upon its walls inside and out — Longmont art awaits those who venture forth, ready to uncover the town’s artistic essence.

Just like 2023, where art flowed like a river, 2024 should be a flood of creative experiences across Longmont. From historic photos at the Longmont Museum to historic photo transformations around town with Art in Public Places, embrace the visual journey across these lively artistic destinations throughout the year.

The Longmont Museum

Get ready to saddle up for a passage through the wild and untamed beauty of 19th-century American Western landscapes with the Longmont Museum’s newest exhibition, “Picturing the West.” Yeehaw!

This ain’t no ordinary art show, partner. We’re talkin’ ‘bout a carefully curated collection that aims to knock off boots. Think mammoth-plate photographs by big-shot legends like Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson and Eadweard Muybridge. Also, get a gander at some real hidden history — works by trailblazin’ female photographers and artists of color from that same era. It’s like discovering a gold mine of diverse perspectives taking a vivid picture of the American West.

This ain’t just about pretty pictures, folks. It’s a ride through history, a tangible connection to this era through period cameras and photographer’s equipment from this historical collection. The big shindig opens Friday, January 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs until May 5.

Longmont Artists’ Guild 

The Longmont Artists’ Guild will gear up for another annual spring member show at the Great Frame Up starting March 8. Last year’s event invited 40-50 member artists to display their works, competing for cash prizes. President Jill Rumley continues to emphasize the show’s significance in offering artists a platform for exposure and professional feedback.

Artists can register until late February, with artwork delivery scheduled for March 8-9 at the Great Frame Up. A guest artist will judge the submissions. The show will culminate in an artist reception with artwork available for sale afterward.

The Longmont Artists’ Guild will also hold another June member art show and sale from June 14 to 16. Last year featured over 72 local artists and 200 unique artworks at a free-entry event showcasing diverse creations from traditional paintings to modern digital art. This extravaganza spotlights local artistry, promising a vibrant weekend celebrating Longmont’s creative spirit.

Art in Public Places

Longmont’s love for art across town has led to a unique Longmont project. Historic Longmont photos, sourced from the Longmont Museum archives and Times-Call archive acquisition, will soon wrap select traffic cabinets at stop lights. The AIPP’s task force has carefully curated a handful of images for this special project, aiming to adorn traffic cabinets across town, with plans for more in the future.

However, navigating this innovative canvas has its challenges. Choosing photo compositions that translate well in this format is part of the learning curve. The initial installation of around six cabinets will be evaluated for future enhancements throughout the year.

Moreover, AIPP’s recent “Growing Water Smart” project showcases the power of art to highlight broader city initiatives. There was a collaboration across multiple city departments for a strategic turf conversion at Kensington Park’s “The Unity Project.” This not only safeguards the artwork’s structural integrity but also transforms the area into a water-wise demonstration garden. Stay tuned for more art-infused city innovations like this one.

The Firehouse Art Center

Coming up at the Firehouse Art Center, a dynamic lineup of local talents takes center stage with new artwork every month. January kicks off with Ana Balzan, recognized as the artist member of the year, alongside other Firehouse ceramics members. March showcases the Los Fantasmas Collective for the month of printmaking in the Main Gallery and the Degas Dancers fundraiser for Centennial State Ballet in the South Gallery.

May highlights the Studio Project Teen Art Activism program in the South Gallery, and Summer Festival Season, including the NSFW exhibit and Drag weekend on May 4-5. June features Slay the Runway LGBTQIA+ summer program, summer artist in residence and Pride Month celebrations during the Summer on the Streets event.