After its “amazing” first year in 2015, the Mancos School of the West is looking to expand its reach beyond the Mancos Valley, steering committee member Linda Rose said.
Artists teach classes in their own studios or outside in natural areas, Rose said. About 18 artists were involved with the school in 2015, and class sizes were small, with usually around six people per class, she said.
In 2016 the school’s season will run from March to October and, unlike last year, will feature classes taught throughout the Four Corners region, not just the Mancos Valley. The school is bringing in several more well-known artists to teach classes in hopes of expanding the school, Rose said.
“We hope to strengthen the school and bring people from outside Southwest Colorado,” Rose said. “We hope they will have a good time and come back bringing friends.”
Classes focus on making arts and crafts such as sculptures, paintings, jewelry, pottery and photographs but also include classes on topics such as writing and fly fishing. The classes vary in length and frequency. Some may take place over several weeks, but others are two-day workshops over one weekend.
Seattle-based mosaic artist Kelley Knickerbocker will teach a two-day workshop in June. The school also is bringing in Kelly Horrigan, a jewelry artist from Brooklyn. Local artists, such as Veryl Goodnight and David Nighteagle will continue to be involved with the school, Rose said.
“We’re interested in any class that helps enrich peoples’ lives,” she said.
People in the area wanted something like the Mancos School of the West for a long time, but there was never a space to host the school, Rose said. The steering committee decided they didn’t need a space when they started the school last year, opting instead to host classes out of artists’ studios, she said.
Even so, Rose said they’re still open to finding a home to call their own.
“We’re aiming to have a space in the future,” she said.
Find out more about the school at www.schoolofthewest.org.