The walls of the room were cream-colored and inset with seven windows, which provided light, as well as a view of surrounding Cortez streets. Inside, six artists sipped wine and sketched while soothing musical tones floated through the air.
This was the scene Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Cortez’s first-ever “Drink and Draw,” a unique event held at the Cortez Cultural Center, which was designed to encourage artistic expression in the local community.
Hosted by local artist Donna Steward, “Drink and Draw” provided participants with the opportunity to sketch a still life, receive artistic instruction and sip wine on the side.
Five artists of varying skill attended the event, which, according to Steward, turned out to be a great success.
“It went really well, considering it was the first time,” said Steward. “They were relaxed, and it was a nice environment. Everyone was happy with what they did.”
Among those in attendance was Crow Canyon Archeological Center President Debra Gangloff, an amateur artist with a specific interest in drawing.
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw,” said Gangloff. “Since I moved here about four years ago, the landscape makes me want to draw. I’m not very good at it, so I thought that this might be a way to start.”
According Anne Beach, with the Cortez Cultural Center, attracting artists like Gangloff was the chief purpose behind the Drink and Draw event.
“We really want to encourage artists in our community,” Beach said. “The depth of art in our community is deep. The Cultural Center wants to offer classes in art and an opportunity for local artists to exhibit their works here.”
More than just an art class however, “Drink and Draw” was designed to provide participants with an opportunity to make friends and extend social networks.
“Getting to meet people who have the same interests is great,” said Gangloff. “It’s what the Cultural Center does. Every time I come here, I meet a part of the community that is really engaged in Cortez.”
Due to the success of “Drink and Draw,” a second event is being planned for November. Individuals interested in obtaining information about the event are encouraged to contact the Cortez Cultural Center by phone or access the Center’s Facebook page online.
“Unfortunately, we live in a society that drones creativity out of us,” said Steward, speaking of the upcoming event. “On the other hand, when you exhibit great creativity, businesses say: ‘Oh, you are thinking outside the box.’
“You really need to experience non-linear thinking in order to be the best that you can.”