The Gallery at Woody Creek Community Center, aka WC3, is a unique place to experience art. Every month, a new artist calls The Gallery home, decking The Gallery walls with a body of work that reaches an interested - and interesting - audience. Because truly, WC3 is a unique gathering place in our valley. With a steady stream of quality used books, Hunter S. Thompson collectibles, wholesome, natural cooking and ever-inspiring organic fair trade coffee, WC3 remains a welcoming, cell-phone free break in a busy day, and a place for locals and visitors to get together and share.
WC3 is non-profit and member-supported, and also features a multitude of community-oriented, completely free health and wellness programs, all open to the public. From free flu shots to dental screenings, relationship health and nutritional outlines, the Neighborhood Clinic Woody Creek pledges “to promote the well-being of individuals in the Roaring Fork Valley, by providing free health services to all.” There are slide presentations and talks about Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary; there are lectures and cultural events, and community happenings such as potlucks, music evenings and Cross-Country dinners.
This month, The Gallery comes to life with the collected entries of the First Annual WC3 Juried Ornament Exhibition and Benefit. Brainchild of board member and committed WC3-goer Cindy Kahn, the community was invited to hand-make holiday ornaments to be reviewed before a juried panel of creative movers and shakers, with prizes awarded across suggested categories. All ornaments are now on display and for sale in The Gallery, and all proceeds will benefit WC3’s free, ongoing cultural events and health and wellness programs.
“In my former life, in the late 80s, I worked for a development company called Horwitz Matthews. One of my projects involved a renovation of five industrial spaces into a huge, mixed-use mall,” says Kahn, recalling the origins of the Ornament Exhibition. “Our design team came up with the idea and the Ornament Exhibition was launched. It grew in size, talent and creativity, and every year, we raised more and more money for charity. And that’s our hope, to raise more and more money for the community programs of WC3.”
As the ornaments fill the air and their shadows bounce around the room, be tempted to take one – or many – home. And know that each and every purchase will help preserve the community essence of WC3.
But also know, the jurors will be sad to see them go.
The actual judging and awarding was a serious matter, involving lively discussion and deliberation. Says architect and industrial designer Bob Blaich,“I’ve been involved in close to 150 juries all around the world, but this one was by far the most fun!” While categories encouraged entries ranging from “Most Unusual”, “Most Green”, to “Most Newsworthy”, overall, entrants seemed to follow their own individual muse. Shares artist and juror Isa Catto Shaw: “Being on this jury has been the highlight of my year; for it truly underscores my love of being a member of this community.”