By: Angela Merlano
This article appeared originally on the Town Hall Arts Center SpotLight Magazine
In 1962, 10 women and their passion for a paintbrush founded the Littleton Fine Arts Guild. The guild is now comprised of more than 60 local members educated in fine arts and offering monthly exhibitions. The guild is proud of its fully non-profit status, as well as its support for the art community of Littleton.
The guild operates out of Depot Art Gallery, located in downtown Littleton, as a member organization with exhibition space. Originally built in 1888, this gallery is housed in a remodeled train station just off Littleton Boulevard that once was operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad.
“We have been in Littleton for over 50 years, Merrie Wicks, past president of the guild, said. We’ve got a lot of history in our community, but unfortunately because of our location, we don’t get much traffic. A lot of people come in and say, ‘I’ve lived here all my life and never knew you were here.”
Though the guild’s primary space is often overlooked by Littleton residents and tourists alike, it has a lot to offer to the public.
“We have quite a variety of artists,” said Wicks. The art includes glasswork, jewelry, digital art, fiber arts, mixed media, traditional paintings, and photography.
In general, art shows curated by the guild are diverse and open many buying opportunities for the public. There is, indeed, something for everyone. The guild also operates shows and receptions at Stanton Art Gallery, a rotating exhibition space hosted at Town Hall Arts Center. Town Hall offered the opportunity for the guild to exhibit outside of their historic Depot Art Gallery.
As the COVID-19 pandemic became a growing concern, collaboration with Town Hall offered a possibility for greater ventilation. On average, the guild puts on six to eight shows every year.
The guild provides connection and collaboration for the local art scene. Many artists within Littleton participate for this reason, submitting their pieces under certain show themes for juries to review. Past themes include “World of Color,” “Fantasik Fall,” and “Life is A Beach.” Whenever possible, themes for Stanton Art Gallery shows align with Town Hall’s main stage production at the time.
Guild-sponsored shows typically run for eight weeks. For juried shows, Colorado-based artists select art pieces for each show to be showcased to potential buyers and the public. Up to 70 artists submit work, but only about 40 make it through to the exhibition based on theme and relevance.
Receptions open to the public are now more common at both Stanton Art Gallery and Depot Art Gallery. At these shows, a juror will choose which pieces make it as Best of Show and Best of Theme. Second and third place, as well as honorary mentions, are awarded afterwards.
The guild is open to all Colorado artists, both new and seasoned, though there is an application process. Everything within the organization, from its history to the refurbished exhibition building, is imbued with the story of Littleton.
The gallery is located at 2069 W. Powers Ave. and is open to the public Tuesday thru Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more Information, visit www.depotartgallery.org, email [email protected] r call (303)795–0781.