Every painting at Montanya is of Velocity Basin--different view points, times of day and seasons. All of the paintings say something about the qualities of paint and also the feeling and look of Velocity, though to different degrees. Some paintings are more abstract while others are more faithful to features of nature. As I was working on these Velocity paintings, I would periodically visit Montanya for social gatherings and I noticed the beautiful spaces, with empty walls. I considered the people who come to Montanya, like Silverton Mountain skiers and others who have had such deep experiences in Velocity. I loved the word “Montanya,” and that it is the Spanish word for mountain. I thought, “What a perfect fit.” It seems that everyone has a story about Velocity, beginning long before the Olympic Gold Metal winner, Shaun White's “secret half pipe,” was built in the south end of Velocity Basin. Besides being the inspiration for these paintings, Velocity is the place where my friend Claudia Pope and I had our dangerous encounter with the Akbash, the ancient breed of Turkish sheep guard dogs. The events of this encounter unfolded as I was putting in a camp above the lake, for the purpose of beginning this series. (I live in and wake up in the places I paint. To that end I backpack and also pack my dogs in the wilderness of Southwestern Colorado.) I am collecting stories about Velocity for an exhibit that would encompass the many faces and stories of Velocity Basin.
In Montanya, Silverton
Montanya in Silverton, Colorado is a tasting room serving Montanya Rums, which are artisan rums crafted in Crested Butte, Colorado. The architectural setting of Montanya, Silverton, with its gallery-like spaces, was designed by Tony and Cokie Berenyi, who are also the owners. Vistas of the San Juan Mountains, rising up to 14,000 feet, can be seen from the roof-top patio on the 3rd floor.
Cokie and Tony Berenyi
Tony and Cokie Berenyi are the owners of Montanya, Silverton. Tony Berenyi, the founder of Berenyi Inc., an engineering and architectural firm in Charleston, South Carolina, has worked on various large-scale industrial projects in the United States and around the world. His current project is a railroad in Tanzania. Cokie Berenyi is the founder of Red Triangle, a wealth management firm which customizes its approach for each of its customers. Red Triangle is able to emphasize low risk, simplicity and innovation in its approach to investment because of the individualized attention given to each customer. Both Berenyi's are philanthropic with She Climbs as their latest endeavor. She Climbs, in its beginning stages, is a center for leadership in body and spirit. They support the arts.
Judith in the Wieminuche Wilderness
For 24 years Judith Graham has lived in and painted the geological features which dominate Southwestern Colorado, especially the shapes and colors of the Rio Grande River drainage and the San Juan Mountains. Her paintings communicate a deep connection with place and how one exists and moves about in wild places, particularly those on the tundra, above timberline. Sensed in her paintings is the relationship between notions of connectedness and place, (as espoused by Lucy Lippard and Yi-Fu Tuan and embodied in “genius loci”). The visual detail of place can metaphorically suggest something other than itself. A place or the representation thereof can be a veil over what we yearn to understand, a portal. Her paintings are about the vastness, purity and beauty of remote places and are meant to be uplifting. She has spent a lifetime in pursuit of the most genuine distillation of ideas as they can be expressed in the visual language of color and shape with paint on canvas. Judith Graham attended the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design in New York, but received her M.F.A. from the University of Chicago because the broader intellectual and cultural context of visual ideas was important to her. Judith Graham has had one-person exhibitions in the United States and has created site-specific commissions of up to 30’in various cities.
Brice and Karen Hoskin
Brice and Karen Hoskin are the owners of Montanya, Crested Butte and also Montanya Distillery, which is one the of fastest growing distilleries in the United States. Montanya Distillery crafts award winning rum using snow melt from the San Juans. Brice and Karen Hoskin distill and serve Montanya Rum in Crested Butte, Colorado. Crested Butte is set in the exquisite San Juans, the youngest mountains in the contiguous United States. The entrepreneurial Brice and Karen Hoskin have founded and also organized other businesses and humanitarian organizations, such as Mountain Boy Sleds as well as non-profits created for the benefit of community. They support the arts.