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Former Wyly Art Center now The Art Base

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

The Wyly Art Center has changed its name to The Art Base, according to a press release. The Art Base will provide a base of operations for artists through education, exhibitions and events that support and stimulate the vitality of the community, and foster creative expression for all ages and abilities. It’s website and logo will evolve over the next few months.

The Art Base’s location has not changed. It is still located in historic downtown Basalt, serving the Roaring Fork community of artists and art enthusiasts.

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Agreeing with the new name, the Wyly family said it is pleased to have the main campus exhibition space named the Charles J. Wyly Gallery.

“We are extremely grateful for Charles and Dee Wyly and their generous spirit, benevolence and unwavering commitment to the community and the arts,” said Art Base Executive Director Genna Moe.

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The Art Base is embarking on a five-year strategic growth plan that will incorporate three new programs — Art Share (an online rental gallery of visual artworks to bring local and regional artworks into homes and businesses), Art Commons (an affordable shared social studio space), and Art as Healing (a valley-wide collaboration with art, health and recovery).

“The art of a community becomes its self-portrait,” said Art Base Board President Jay Magidson. “A gift to fund our strategic plan and the implementation of three new programs will enable us to ensure our existing programs remain accessible to all ages and abilities. An investment in the arts supports local jobs, generates tax revenues, promotes tourism and strengthens the community fabric.”

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On a related note, Vallee Noone received the Wyly Open Winner (WOW) award at the recent Wyly Open, and received $250. Her cut-paper work was titled “Valley of the Noonday Sun.”

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The Art Base continues its show “Art Within,” featuring works by Holly Gressett, Dana Higbie, Elaine Hill, Genna Moe and Jocelyn Murray. The show offers the public a unique opportunity to view the array of artistic expression within The Art Base staff and continues through Dec. 23.

“Botanicus Mysteria,” featuring nationally exhibited Basalt resident Kris Cox continues at The Art Base Annex. Cox’s new body of work features various sized archival photographic prints on rag paper mounted on MDF panel. Beewax is applied to each piece combined with other collage elements. The show continues through Jan. 2.

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The Charles J. Wyly Gallery at The Art Base will feature nationally exhibited artist Jill Sabella through Feb. 6. An opening reception is slated for Jan. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will feature Sabella’s paintings, monotypes and watercolor washes.

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The Art Base Annex will feature printer/art facilitator Craig O’Brien through Feb. 6. An opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 8. He founded O’Brien Graphics and has printed the works of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, Carol Anthony and others.

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Related notes

The Art Base will participate in Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Wintersculpt 2016 — a lively 48-hour snow-sculpture competition. Art Base team-leader Vallee Noone and sculpt-mates will transform an eight-foot-square snow cube into a freestanding creation that best represents Anderson Ranch Arts 50th anniversary, and reflects the Ranch’s core values of art-making, creativity, community, critical thinking and discovery. Sculpting begins Jan. 14 with judging on Jan. 16.

On Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m., The Art Base Annex presents an “Art Talk” with Craig O’Brien, who will discuss his experiences over the past few decades as a master printer working in collaboration with many renowned artists. The suggested donation is $10.

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Published in The Sopris Sun on December 17, 2015.