Local artists form co-op

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Calling all artists: Here's a chance to show and sell your work.

A couple of area artists have started an artists' cooperative to display local talent, but they're looking for more.

It's an opportunity for artists who dabble in mediums from paints to film and everything in between.

"I am amazed at the amount of artists in this community," said Karen Cattoor who runs a photography studio in Craig with her husband, photographer Marvin Cattoor.

"We're looking for people to join, whether that's painters or sculptors or photographers -- whatever art they want to show," she said.

The Cattoors came upon the idea recently to start an artists' co-op. They plan to open up the main room of their studio off Victory Way as the local gallery.

The cooperative invites all forms of art. Members are required to front a $100 initiation fee, which will mainly cover advertising costs.

They'll also pay $25 a month for the rental space and 20 percent of the commission on each piece of art sold.

Karen Cattoor estimated the co-op would be filled with 25 members.

Local photographer John Gray is one of a handful of artists who has already signed on. Gray won two grand prize awards at the Moffat County fair for some of his work.

He thought the co-op is a good way to show off local art.

"What we want to do is encourage local people to come in and have a display with other local artists," Gray said. "We want them to be active in it, to sell their art and have an outlet so they can sell it permanently."

Sculptor Red Petersen has been seeking a venue for her work for the last couple years. Her sculptures include animal and people forms.

Prior to the formation of the artists' co-op, Petersen's work has only been shown during Craig's annual Art Walk.

"I needed an outlet," she said. "I was looking for something like this."

Brothers Mario and Anthony Delgado started making lamps and furniture from elk antlers last year. Their work has been shown in local stores, but displaying it at the co-op may allow for more exposure, they said.

Co-op members expect to go online with the gallery by mid-March. Artists from Craig's surrounding areas such as Steamboat Springs and Meeker are welcome to sign on.

Co-op members will be giving out more information about the upcoming gallery at Craig's annual Art Walk on Feb. 14.

A local gallery has the potential to draw visitors in from the surrounding areas, Karen Cattoor said.

Visitors already stop by the Cattoor's shop when they're in town visiting a local art exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Colorado in downtown Craig, she said.

"I think that every little town has its own uniqueness and people will come to see that," she said. "Anything that shows personality, has to add to attributes to a town. Why should we hide our local talent under a bushel?"

The concept for an art gallery is new to Craig, said co-op members.

Co-op meetings are scheduled the first Monday of each month at the Cattoor's gallery 801 E. Victory Way.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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