Magpie Gallery: A Combination of Inspiration & Art
By Kathy Bedell, Saguache Today
In honor of next Saturday’s Saguache Art Festival, here’s the next Meet The Artist story, featuring the Saguache artist and owner of the Magpie Gallery, Judith Page
For art-lovers wondering about the genesis of Saguache artist Judith Page’s colorful, and often whimsical artwork, the answer can be traced to a naughty childhood habit: coloring in the wallpaper.
“Yes, I got caught doing that on more than one occasion,” recalls Page during a recent visit to the Magpie Gallery at the corner of 4th and San Juan. But perhaps that childish indiscretion was more the result of the artist’s self-described upbringing in a “poor” section of Washington, D.C., rather than a desire to deface her girlhood bedroom. After all, most artists work with what they have, right?
However, these days Page’s meager beginnings seem as far away as her birth place, and nowhere is that more apparent than in her Magpie Gallery. From the array of colors used in Page’s mixed media illustrations, to the cross section of textures in the glass and wood beads adorning the windows and walls, as well as the hand-woven decorative baskets and rugs, visitors tend to forget they are in downtown Saguache!
Page has been producing & selling her artwork in the San Luis Valley since 1998. According to the Magpie Gallery website: Judy’s signature style is the use of bold, primary colors to illuminate fantastic imagery.
“My art reflects a way of seeing the world with a sense of wonder, where anything can happen, where things are a little askew,” Page explains on her website. “I hope to excite a sense of curiosity in my viewers, that they might look at the world a little differently.”
And if Page’s art helps people to see the world a little differently, then her partner Dean Coombs’ African collectibles help bring the world to the corner of 4th and San Juan. In fact, it’s that deep sense of texture that visitors to the Saguache art studio connect with the moment they enter, producing that childhood desire to run one’s hands across the rows and rows of one-of-kind beads.
And while many in the San Luis Valley know the Coombs name as the third generation printer and editor of the Saguache Crescent, Dean has been collecting African beads and ethnographic artifacts for more than 20 years, much of which is on display and/or for sale at the Magpie Gallery.
As one art enthusiast expressed during a recent visit, “I’m surprised to see this kind of African collection in the middle of nowhere; it’s lovely!” And no doubt the word has gotten out, as collectors from around the region now seek Coombs out because of his rare and diverse collection of art, particularly his vast selection of high quality beads.
Come and see one of the most unique art shops in the San Luis Valley for yourself; the Magpie Gallery is open during the days and times listed below. And remember that Saguache’s 8th Annual Saguache Art Festival is happening this Saturday, Aug. 19 – do you need a better reason to stop in to Saguache Today?
The Magpie Gallery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. (Closed for the winter from January – April except by appointment). 324 4th Street, downtown Saguache Colorado. Call 719-655-2650.
Saguache Art Festival Celebrated August 19
Calling all art lovers, artists and anyone who has been wondering what’s happening in the arts scene in Saguache Today! Next Saturday, Aug. 19 is the 8th annual Saguache Art Festival and everyone is invited to this fun, free festival in the heart of downtown Saguache.
This year’s festival will feature more than 20 artists and crafters, with music and food throughout Downtown Saguache. The festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork will be on view in galleries, shops, studios, and outside, with media demonstrations during the day and a photography competition held at the Methodist Hall. Visit Hauck/Pedersen, in business in Saguache for over two decades, showcasing figurative expressionist collage and painting. New participants this year include Ramblin’ Roy with his assemblage sculptures and Ruby Creek Press’ photographic postcards of Saguache. The 8th Annual Saguache Arts Festival is presented by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce.