Every summer, local artist Paul Folwell flings open the doors to his studio for a weekend-long party and sale.
This year, his 27th, will be a little different.
Because of the novel coronavirus we just can’t seem to shake, Folwell is taking his show on the road – sort of – when he hosts his studio show featuring his oil paintings July 31 on Facebook Live.
“This is the 27th, isn’t that amazing? I’m going to fill up the studio and give a brief description of everything, and that’s basically what I have in mind,” he said. In a usual, COVID-19-free year, the studio shows generally draw between 100 and 120 people to the Folwells’ home during the weekend. “There’s no way we would feel comfortable putting on the show the way it has been in the past.”
Folwell’s wife, Cheryl, said that like in years past, invitations will go out for the show, but everyone is invited to tune in.
“He’s just going to be like your host and talk about the paintings, and the good thing is this way, nobody is going to be standing in front of a painting, nobody’s going to be blocking it,” she said. “You’re going to get Paul and his wonderful sense of humor.
“It’s something different that I don’t think anybody else in the art business here has done. It’s going to be different: None of us really know, we’re just going to see.”
And for those interested in checking out a painting more closely, a time to visit Folwell’s studio can be arranged, and visitors will be required to wear a mask.
The past few months of social distancing and everything else that came with the pandemic haven’t really affected Folwell’s art much except that he kept fairly close to home, he said. His work features the world outside, so for him, social distancing is pretty much built right in.
“A lot of the things that I’ve done in the late winter, early spring and until now have really been close to home, so I haven’t gone too far. Outside of that, really, outside of socializing, it really hasn’t affected our lifestyle at all in that respect. There for a while, nobody was going anyplace,” he said. “We’ve gone through flood, fire and now pestilence. I think a lot of other businesses in Durango and friends that I’ve talked to, we’ve all had to go through this. Maybe we’ll catch a break.”
So while this is a most unusual summer filled with all kinds of organizations and people getting creative in the face of public health regulations, is it kind of fun pivoting?
“Is it kind of fun? We’ll see. We’re going to try to make it fun, let’s put it that way,” Folwell said.