2015 Happenings

June 5, 2015, 11:35 am

Press Release: Labor, Mining and Immigration

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Irene Grilley, 738-2858

The Museum of Friends new exhibition opening, December 19th, “Labor, Mining and Immigration, Contemporary Artists Interpret the On-Going Struggle.”

Please join us for the opening of a new exhibition on Friday December 19th, from noon until 7 pm at 600 Main Street in the 1st level gallery space. This exhibition highlights the works of artists from many parts of the United States. The “Labor, Mining and Immigration” exhibition began as homage to those who lost their lives at Ludlow, and its surrounding areas one hundred years ago. As submissions from artists from many parts of the country were received, this exhibition has evolved into a statement about many timely national issues. Some artists in this exhibition explore the contemporary concerns of labor: minimum wage, illegal immigration, corporate, and safety and health related abuses in the work place. These are New York artists: Constance Del Vecchio Maltese, Larry Racioppo, Peter Gourfain and Connie Hwang who resides in Berkeley California. Reggio is a Trinidad artist, Joe Adamich from Pueblo, John Dyes, Texas and Billy King from Arkansas all responding to the courage exhibited by miners and the legacy of their labor through photographs, sculptures, mixed media and paintings.

The subject of immigration is relevant to another Berkeley artist – Guillermo Pulido, and Walsenburgs’ Brendt Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli. These artists are referential in their treatment of the subject matter and honor those who have made sacrifices.

The exhibition continues through March 30th and contains a lively public program schedule of films related to these topics. All will be shown on Thursday afternoons from 3 to 4 pm, followed by a group discussion. MOF welcomes high school students who are interested in these timely subjects. The first film viewing will be January 15: “Animas Perdidas” (Lost Souls) is the story of a young Latina filmmaker documenting the emotional journey of her uncle, a U.S. military vet deported to Mexico. With today’s U.S. – Mexico border issue, Animas Perdidas helps explore national identity, and what happens after deportees are sent to a homeland they don’t consider home. The other dates are: January 29th, (Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire), February 19th, (Labor and the State of the Union) and March 12th (Colorado Experience, The Smaldones). Please visit for more details.

During this exhibition the “School-tour” program will be available for students from RE1 and RE 2 grades 1st through 12 with age appropriate tours and curriculum materials. The Friday Art Lab will resume in the spring with the first session scheduled for May 1st. There are scholarships available and financial assistance for the “School-Tour” program. Please call 738-2858 for further information.

December 11, 2014, 4:47 pm

Claude Appel, Exhibition of Photographs

Claude Appel Backstory, copyright 2011
Claude Appel Backstory, copyright 2011

Please visit 109 East 6th Street Gallery to view the most recent photographs of well-known local photographer Claude Appel.

September 21, 2012, 8:59 am

Chieftain article on Zoe Childerley and “Where’s Walsenburg?” Artist in Residence Program

This from the Pueblo Chieftain:

‘Where’s Walsenburg?’ Project tries to

create portrait of struggling town


WALSENBURG — A good photograph can do a great deal to bridge a cultural gap.

English photographer Zoe Childerley has proven as much during her two-month stay as an artist-in-residence at the Walsenburg’s Museum of Friends. She is the first to participate in “Where’s Walsenburg?,” a project started by museum directors Brendt Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli-Berger.

The goal of the program, which will continue with a new artist-in-residence each year, is to illuminate “all of the social aspects” of the town and its surrounding areas, said Cocchiarelli-Berger. The idea is based on the work of photographer James VanDerZee, who used his pictures to document life in Harlem in the first half of the 20th century…


Please see article:


August 2, 2012, 3:54 pm

Please see article:

August 1, 2012, 12:23 pm

Photos from the Zoe Childerley reception

[Galleries 2 not found]

June 13, 2012, 10:31 am

Artist in Residence program events

Our first-ever artist in residence, British photographer Zoe Childerley, has arrived and will be taking portraits of community members in her studio in the 600 Main Street Gallery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays noon – 4 pm. Come be a part of her project, “Where’s Walsenburg?”

June 22, Friday, 5:30 to 7pm -“Artists Talk on Art” Series.
Zoe Childerley, will show images of her work with discussion following.

July 5, Thursday, 5:30 to 7pm – Photography Workshop
“How to take a good photo” with Zoe and contribute your images to the Where’s Walsenburg community Program.

July 20, Friday, 5:30 to 7pm – “Artists Talk on Art” Series.
An overview of the images created during Zoe’s artist-in-residence program “Where’s Walsenburg” and participants’ images from the workshop.

August 24, Friday, 6pm to 8pm – EXHIBITION OPENING, Where’s Walsenburg? The images of Zoe Childerley with an exhibition of “Portraits from the Heart” by Eudora Welty

This program is made possible with funding by Colorado Creative Industries.

June 1, 2012, 12:28 pm

Three distinctive artists help inaugurate new gallery space

Opening on Aug. 14 in the newest gallery space of the Museum of Friends is the exhibition Brendt Berger Monumental Paintings / Linda Fleming Wood Sculptures from 1988 to 1992.  Upstairs in the special exhibition gallery is the multi-media works of Peggy Zehring in a show titled In Process.  An opening reception for the show will be held Aug. 14, 5-7 p.m., at the gallery, located at 600 Main Street in Walsenburg.

The inauguration of the Museum of Friends’ downstairs gallery, in the Main Street space formerly occupied by Duckwalls, coincides with the Bergers’ (co-founders of the Museum) interest in developing the downtown area of Walsenburg and raising the visibility and awareness of contemporary art in Walsenburg and the region.

“In the last 100 years of international art making, we have moved away from depicting the world in the style of realism moving towards contemporary expression which is multi-dimensional,” Curator Maria Cocchiarelli-Berger said. “The abstract works featured in both new exhibits attest to the distinctive possibilities of three different artists’ interpretations of their expression.”

Brendt Berger is a painter/printmaker with roots in Hawaii who refers to the imagery of his heritage in his more recent work.  In “Monumental Paintings,” he relies on his formal training as a painter using color, form and composition to express his creativity as his life unfolded in the 1980’s while living in New York. “Dilworth’s Rib,” “Hawaiian Heart,” “Umbrella,” “John Lennon, and ” Ricardo Meets Death at Kuster King” refer to real events in the artist’ life.  The largest work, “Dilworth’s Rib” is a memorial to Berger’s dear friend and poet Dilworth Faber, a New York street poet also known as the Penny Man.  This would need more space to see it in its entirety, but due to the height of the gallery ceilings one panel had to be omitted.  On view is a reproduction which accurately portrays the whole work measuring 15 feet by 50 feet.

In common with Linda Fleming’s Wood Sculptures from 1988 to 1992, both Berger and she used recycled materials before it was in fashion.  Fleming’s wood remnants were taken from construction sites and found in neighborhoods in which she has lived.  

These components contain the history of what they had been as they are transformed into new forms.  Interested in the demonstration of scientific theory, Fleming found a parallel between these materials and the particles out of which all matter is comprised.  Each has taken on numerous forms and she constructed her sculptures with the intent to express this in 3 dimensions.   “Flask,” the largest of these works, is 130 inches high by 96 inches wide and 48 inches deep.  Created in 1990,  it defies logic, seeming to stay balanced while suggesting it may tumble at the same time.  “Green Ring”, considerably smaller with a wonderful patina of green, is intricately formed in such a manner that the viewer is continually drawn in to understand its construction.

Upstairs, in the permanent galleries of MOF, is a special exhibition of Peggy Zehring in process.  Beginning with the entrance hall and moving throughout the space are more than forty mixed-media works and a complete wall recreation from her studio.  The “in process wall” displays the objects which become incorporated into her completed mixed-media three-dimensional bas reliefs.  Zehring’s expression is dependent on her search for inner truth.

“For 30 years now, I have been using my art to explore my Truth – mentally, physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually,” Zehring said.  “I began by painting and drawing it.  In the mid-80’s, after a trip to Mexico, my work started becoming more three-dimensional. I became interested in experimenting with materials such as sand, marble dust, chalk dust, sawdust, ashes, joint compound, plaster, string, Spackle, cardboard, found metal objects, leather, sticks, wasp nests, birds’ nests and acrylic mediums, among others.  I especially seek materials which have been softened and aged by the earth.”

In conjunction with the new exhibitions and the museum’s interest in developing the downtown area, public programs have been designed to encourage downtown walking traffic, shopping and dining.

Upcoming public programs:

New Artists Series: Artists Talk on Art
Thursday evenings at 5:30 in the new Main Street location.

August 19,

Terri Madigan, Area Director for Friends of the Over the River, will give a presentation on Over The River project to answer questions and inform supporters of how they can be involved.  Over The River is a two-week temporary work of art created by world-renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The artists plan to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the water of the Arkansas River at eight separate areas between Salida and Canon City.

September 30

Peggy Zehring, Multi-Media artist with an exhibition on the 2nd Floor of MOF, will discuss her work, process and teaching philosophy.

October 14,

Brendt Berger, Painter, Printmaker with an exhibition on the 1st Floor of MOF, will discuss the formation of the Museum of Friends in relation to his Paintings on view.

October 28,

Kenny Schneider will present his film “Peggy Zehring – in process” at the Fox Theater
A documentary filmed in the artist studio that explores who she is as an artist.

Date and time to be announced:

Dennis Oppenheim, internationally acclaimed public artist with work in the permanent collection of the Museum of Friends, will present images of his new public sculpture, Light Chamber, in the Denver Justice Center.

Community Outreach

Yoga for Mind, Body, Soul

Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor Arleen Feiccabrino leads a class for adults every Tuesday from noon to 1:30 pm.  Please bring a yoga mat or towels.  Fee $5.00 per class.

School Tour Program

K-12 Curriculum-based programs offered Tuesday through Fridays, $3.00 per student

*The Museum of Friends is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon until 5 pm.  Admission is free with suggested donation of $5.00 per adult and $3.00 per child and senior citizen.  MOF is supported in part by Colorado Creative Industries, the Faris Land and Cattle, Volunteers for Change, the Huerfano World Journal, and numerous individuals.

August 11, 2010, 8:20 am

Door to find rest at NY’s Asian American Arts Center


Children create self portraits in Liberty

By Bill Knowles
World Staff Writer

On the front side is an enlarged portrait of Liberty from the collage of portraits painted on the back side.

The wooden door and the collage on the back side were originally exhibited in the “Artists in China: June 4” show from 1990. The show commemorated those who died in the brutal repression, by Chinese authorities, of the democratic demonstrations during the Tiananmen Square uprising in June, 1989.

“The Chinese demonstrators used the icon of the Statue of Liberty as a symbol and in the art work “Door”, I used images of youth working on their ‘Statue of Liberty” mural to express their freedom,” Cocchiarelli explained.

October 8, 2009, 3:50 pm

Recognition of Martha (Martie) Henderson by Senator Mark Udall

grip_grin_final.jpgOn Wednesday, September 16th at 10 am during the weekly Commissioners’ Meeting at the Huerfano County Courthouse, Ms. Martie Henderson will be recognized with a certificate of accomplishment from Senator Mark Udall. Gloria Gutierrez, Senator Udall’s Pueblo representative will present the certificate.

Since 1996, Ms. Henderson has constructively helped to change the face of downtown Walsenburg through her refurbishment of dilapidated buildings (commercial and residential). Henderson’s retail enterprises “Southwest Imports” and “The Cowboy Connection” have created viable shops that allow the visitor to Walsenburg a venue that adds to its economy by presenting delightful and varied array of merchandize. Her elegantly restored “La Plaza Inn” Bed and Breakfast transformed the old Kirkpatrick hotel into a working reprieve for the tired traveler looking for a bit more than the usual fare. Recently, the “Gallery” at the La Plaza Inn has added to the ambiance of staying there. The Gallery at the La Plaza Inn is a commercial art gallery that features the works of contemporary local artists. Ms. Henderson and Tom Hart, a Nebraskan native developed the Art Gallery as a response to the new contemporary Art Museum one block away – the Museum of Friends.

Henderson has restored 4 commercial and 4 residential buildings since arriving in Walsenburg 13 years ago. She with other merchants in the downtown area, are promoting a cohesive re-development plan that includes the arts, restaurants, entertainment and a variety of retail stores thereby creating jobs and resources.

Previous to coming to Walsenburg Henderson published a travel magazine “Rocky Mountain Clubs and Resorts” and a 500 page travel guide called “Discover the Rockies.”

September 24, 2009, 11:53 am