ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 128-129

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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 | artisspectrum.com
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 | artisspectrum.com
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
by Kat Dennis
Founded as a farming community in 1859, Wheat Ridge, Colorado has become a place of rich mixed culture. Up until the
mid twentieth century, Wheat Ridge was renowned as the largest producer of carnations worldwide, an accomplishment
that is celebrated annually during the Carnation Days Festival. In early August, various booths (Arts of all types, food and
products of all sorts included), fireworks, and music in the park draw people from all over the country – sometimes even
the world – to help celebrate. The city, despite having a population of 30,218 in 2011, feels like a small town and although
it is nestled up against the outskirts of Denver, it’s just a quick drive to some of the best parts of the Metro area. Take a
five minute drive east and you will end up in the middle of downtown Denver; take a twenty minute drive west and there
you will find the glorious mountains of Colorado. You can even go further and drive for about forty-five minutes to reach
Central City or Blackhawk, two famous mining towns that were turned into gambling towns.
Wheat Ridge is home for some of the finest art galleries that small towns in Colorado have to offer, including “The Art
Lounge,” housed in the upper level of a popular brew pub/restaurant called “Colorado Plus”. The owners, Terry Womble
and Lance Noriega, are both contemporary abstract painters.
38th Avenue, newly considered the” Downtown of Wheat Ridge” is going through some renovation to beautify it and to
give the town an eclectic mix of businesses that serve the community and welcome visitors by offering a taste of small
town life without the drive.
The Teller Street Gallery, which not only shows work in the front part of the building, but holds classes in painting and
sculpture, and The Wheat Ridge Art League are also well known here and have their annual contest during Carnation Days
every year.
Mike’s Camera, a photography-centered store whose home office is actually located in Boulder, recently opened up a store
within walking distance of the art district in Wheat Ridge.
So now not only is Wheat Ridge filled with cultural and artistic opportunities for people of any age, there are also plenty
of businesses to aid local artists in their work and help the “small town feel” by doing so
From the landscape to the wildlife to the “Big City” being just a short distance away, THIS is why Wheat Ridge will always
be a small, hometown sort of place.
Beaufort, South Carolina
by Lillie Simpson
The Low Country area known as Beaufort, South Carolina is filled with beautiful natural sites, a fascinating history, and rich
art and culture. Historical downtown Beaufort is endowed with charming waterfront homes. You will find a good deal of his-
tory with horseback rides as you can see Woods Memorial drawbridge in the distance. The downtown area holds events
throughout the year, such as the Waterfront Festival and the Gullah Festival, where so many artistic views can be seen on
display. Also, University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Center for the Arts, which is located downtown encourages cultural and
economic development within the city and county of Beaufort by hosting art exhibits, theatrical events, concerts, and other
performances. It is also home to the USCB Festival Series hosted by Ed Arron (
/
center-for-the-arts/ ).
Furthermore, St. Helena is a sea island in Beaufort County, South Carolina. During the 19th century there was a mixed culture
of African American slaves, indentured servants, and Europeans who were also in the area. This area was somewhat isolated
from the mainland, and this mix of culture became what is known as the “Gullah” culture. The Gullah culture continues to be
a great influence the art culture in this area.
Located on St. Helena Island, Penn Center is also a major attraction. It was one of the first schools built in America for freed
slaves. One of the most important establishments of the Penn School was “to promote and preserve the history and culture of
the Sea Islands”. The school preserved much of the island’s African American history and culture through collections, histori-
cal documentation, oral histories, music recordings and handicrafts such as sweet grass baskets. In 1901, it became known
as the Penn Normal Agricultural and Industrial School after adopting the Hampton Institute and Tuskegee industrial arts cur-
riculum. It served as a retreat for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960’s. (
).
Down the street from Penn Center, lies a great historical ruin called the Chapel of Ease. It served many purposes; including
educating freemen, but in 1886 it was burned by a forest fire and never repaired. It can be seen along the roadside of St.
Helena Island.
Beaufort, South Carolina attracts many people from all over the world for relaxation, fun, and to experience the culture within
the diverse art scene.
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