In mythology, inspiration arrived in the form of a muse, the word from which music is derived. An idea arrives as
thought; often simple, at times complex.
In art, as in science, inspiration for an idea can come from many sources: a colleague, a place, a thing and from
nature herself. Collaboration can be one of the greatest incubators for ideas. Plumbing the knowledge of others
frequently will expose another way to look at a problem or exponentially expand creativity.
On Friday, a contingent of inquisitive people met at Durango Dance at 11th Street and Main Avenue to learn about
Colorado Art Ranch and build awareness for the group.
The most succinct description of the organization comes from their own mission statement: Colorado Art Ranch believes
that the arts, in collaboration with the sciences, can help solve contemporary land and social issues. Our organization
strives to nurture the development of literary, visual, and performing artists who ask difficult questions through
their work; stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations that help envision solution and build the creative capital in
towns throughout Colorado."
It sounded ambitious to me until I spoke with Durango resident and CAR Vice President Carol Ozaki. With her solid
interest in community and a belief that art can be an integral force in enhancing Colorado, Ozaki reached out to
founders Grant Pound and Peggy Lawless and asked to get involved.
Ranch," for the time being, is a misnomer because the not-for-profit organization owns no real estate. Founded in
2004, CAR truly is nomadic and functions by connecting artists, writers, scientists and interested supporters from
across the state. The key vehicle in which they achieve a collective genius is through an Artposium," which explores,from numerous viewpoints, how the arts intersect with life and the land. Colorado Art Ranch brings the program to two
or more towns each year, sets up the public forum and sponsors one-month residencies for visual and literary artists
from around the world.
The events are held in a different town in Colorado (Durango hosted one in 2007) where housing, studio space and
conference facilities for the residency and Artposium are rented or donated.
CAR draws upon regional experts to speak at the Artposia and recruits local ambassadors to serve as art buddies" for
the visiting artists and writers, who are expected to donate time to the community during their residency.
Friday's cultivation" event, moderated by Ozaki, included presentations by founder Grant Pound; County Commissioner
Wally White, who expounded on his belief that the arts are vital to the social fabric of the Southwest; and
psychotherapist Blair Wiles, who led the group in a meditative exercise that conjured water. A reference to the next
Artposium,titled Wade in the Water," which will be held May 21-23 in Salida. That program will focus on the threat to
our most vital resource - water - and will include presentations, performances and interactive programs by authors,naturalists, sculptors, photographers, musicians and a chemist.
For more information, to register or to make a donation, visit www.coloradoartranch.org.
Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer and has written about art regionally and nationally. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.