Winter Park townhomes open doors to artwalk, wine tasting |

Winter Park townhomes open doors to artwalk, wine tasting

Some art enthusiasts travel great distances for inspiration, but here in Grand County art is around every river bend and mountain ridge, with works by Mother Nature providing the spark that can turn into an array of color on canvas.

Spruce Ridge Townhomes and several artists are ready to display the fruits of their inspiration during an open house Wednesday. The final eight homes at Spruce Ridge Townhomes have been completed and the developers are opening the doors to the public to come over to take a look and to celebrate the holiday season with a free wine tasting and artwalk.

Lance Gutersohn, listing agent with Century 21, Winter Park Real Estate, announces the event, scheduled for 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. today. The idea came to him from a similar event at a friend’s open house.

He said he’s excited about the event.

“In today’s marketplace, I am always looking for something just a bit different to get properties exposed,” he said.

Several of the new townhomes at Spruce Ridge will feature a great wine and at least half a dozen gifted artists. Three of the artists, all long-time residents of the Valley, are Elizabeth Kurtak, Eric Van Herwaarden and Greg McFadden. Each of their works highlights some of the best views the Fraser Valley has to offer, some of which may also be taken in from the ridge where the new townhomes are located.

Kurtak grew up in the county and has a gallery on the north side of the Fraser Mercantile building. The historical building, thought to be one of the oldest in the Valley and once owned by her late father-in-law, have become great inspirations for her work. She’s best known for her vibrant watercolors and universal subject matter, including many varieties of flowers, snowmen and animals.

Kurtak said she has also renewed her interest in traditional printmaking, which is what she specialized in as an art student. She’ll be showcasing a series of linoleum cut prints she’s been working on for more than a year during the artwalk, which she said are “near to my heart.” They are of old historic buildings and some of her favorite Valley views.

Van Herwaarden said he too has some new pieces for the showing. Most of his pieces are brought together at his studio, but these new ones are plein-air style.

“I don’t think of myself as a plein-air artist, but I think it helps with color study, light, and values with my bigger paintings,” he said.

The artist, a professional graphic artist for O2 Creative, said he took to the outdoors because he likes studying water and the compositions of landscapes and the sky. He said painting gives him a great outlet from daily stress in his life and that he hopes the artwalk enhances guests’ sense of community.

McFadden’s strong ties to the Colorado River and rivers beyond are a big inspiration for his works. He first started rafting in the Fraser Valley and now works downstream as a boatman on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. His paintings take the traditional plein-air style a step above most artists with works created with soils, dyes, and waters from that site. His strong concept that there is a deep connection from humans to water is intended in each piece.

The event also features works of one artist from New York, another from San Diego and a third from Denver. They are Joseph Metcalf, Eric Anthony Hinds and Andre Lippard ” all graduates of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

Metcalf earned a bachelor of fine arts in 2000. His paintings have been exhibited widely across the West. His art has also been featured in notable publications.

Since his graduation in 1999, Hinds, too has been featured in multiple shows, including in New York, Italy and Denver.

Lippard’s pieces have been the feature of many solo and group shows as well, and his paintings have been avidly collected since he graduated in 2000. He is becoming a big name in Denver’s urban contemporary art scene and has been commissioned to paint large-scale works for notable clients.

Jon Brickner of Winter Park Winery is providing specialty wines for the event, including red and blush zinfandels, chardonnay, sabion blanc, merlot, Grateful Red, a port, and Syrah.

The winery’s sauvignon blanc is said to be a dry white wine with “a crisp clean presence” and “hints of pear fruit.” The chardonnay is a dry white wine which is not as crisp and a “little softer” with “hints of mint with a touch of oak.” The cabernet sauvignon is a dry, full-bodied red wine with hints of “mellow oak” and cherry flavors.

Winter Park Winery’s merlot is a dry, full-bodied red wine, bottle-aged with stronger oak and vanillin caramel-roasted coffee flavors. Its zinfandel is a dry, full-bodied red with mellow flavors of oak, fruit and some pepper spice. The “Grateful Red” is said to have a “big, dry, full body” with a “fruit forward (and) just a touch of spice.” The “mouth feel is intense,” Gutersohn said.

Spruce Ridge is located south of Meadowridge Condominiums and next to the Winter Park Tennis Club on the ridge overlooking the Fraser Valley. The development includes 28 three bedroom, three and a-half bath townhomes, with the final eight recently completed and ready for viewing.

They are priced between $525,000 and $540,000.

For more information on the artwalk and directions, call (970) 887-0890.

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