Steamboat Springs Artist Barbara Hinton has been paying close attention to trash Dumpsters lately. In fact, Hinton, who is moving to Vancouver next month with hopes of taking another step in her art career, believes the Dumpsters are one more reminder of why it's time to move on.
Hinton is a mixed-media artist who often incorporates found items into her work. But in the past few years, she was finding items in the natural environment, not the urban environment. Not surprisingly, much of her work focused on the connection between humans and nature.
Now she's ready to take a different approach and just can't stop thinking about all the good garbage in the Dumpsters and just how much there will be in her new urban home.
"I just think how I'm going to have access to all those Dumpsters," she said. "It's all about the Dumpsters."
About 40 pieces of Hinton's work will be on exhibit and for sale at a final one-night show of her work Saturday. It also is a going-away party for the artist, featuring a variety of live musical acts.
Hinton, who is from Canada, has been in Steamboat Springs for more than four years and was instrumental in helping get the Mixed Media Painting School off the ground. Her work has been sold here and hangs at the Comb Goddess, Rocky Mountain Spa and at the Swiss Haven.
Now she wants to get into a more urban environment, where there are different influences and a larger art scene. She also hopes to gain some more exposure for her work.
"Artistically, I think I need more discoveries and more stimulation," she said.
So far, it looks as if she is on the right track. Respected gallery owner Patrick Painter has hired Hinton to work in one of his galleries in Vancouver, which is a big step for the artist toward getting known in a larger scene.
But Hinton doesn't want to streamline her work for the buyer. If what she creates sells, that's great. If not, Hinton will still pursue her art.
"It's really not about being pretty, it's about a true expression of exactly how I'm feeling," Hinton said.
She also hopes to continue to pursue the volunteer work that she started in Steamboat, one of which is helping residents of a women's shelter. Her goal is to start a painting program at a shelter.
"It really is a safe outlet for people to express themselves," Hinton said.
Despite the optimistic prospect, leaving Steamboat is bittersweet. That's why she is having the show and the party.
"I really like the idea of filling the gallery with all my different types of friends," Hinton said.
The music at the event will show that diversity of people she hopes will come. Victor Morales, a native of Mexico who has played theaters in Mexico City, will play classical guitar to start off the night, followed by bluegrass music. Opera singer Kerry Rusthoi and guitarist David Markle will follow that, and then one-time Steamboat musician Mark Johnston will play a small set.
To end the night, punk band Neurological Music Experience, also known as NME, will play. The band members, all from Craig, also will be an interactive performance with the audience that night.
"I love the idea of having an opera singer and punk band," Hinton said.
The NME members were worried about shocking the audience, Hinton said.
However, she said she hopes they do. Maybe the best element of the going-away party would be to see different groups in Northwest Colorado interact with each other, such as punkers hanging out with classical music lovers.
"It's definitely going to be overlapping the cliques that go on here," she said.
The show opening and party are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Depot. Costumes or fancy dress are encouraged.