Galleries you can live in

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More homeowners are designing their homes around their art collections. Large walls and lines of moveable lighting turn living rooms into gallery spaces. Forethought in landscape design turns ordinary lawns into sculpture gardens.

A 6,800-square-foot home on Steamboat Boulevard, being called "An Artist's Sanctuary," was designed as a museum-quality living space. No home could be better suited to the first annual Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Scholarship Home Tour, designed to pair art with real estate.

The Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Scholarship Home Tour features six homes displaying the work of local, Denver and New York artists. It begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Pick up maps in the Steamboat Springs High School parking lot. Artists include Bonnie McGee, Mary Levingston, Susan Schiesser, Pat Walsh, R.C. Dieckhoff, Jessica Maynard, Cully Kistler, Deb Proper, Don Tudor, Adam Zabel, Pat Zabel, Paula Jo Steele, Barb McKown, Leslie Bell, Karen Schulman, Greg Effinger, Nancy Jeffrey, Julie Anderson, Udo Noger, Dirk Debroiker, Jae Hahn, Jeffrey Keith, Pard Morrison, Mary Ehrin, Renee Fox, Michael Eastman and Sandy Skogland. Advance tickets are $25 at the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors office, 625 S. Lincoln Ave. or at Prudential Steamboat Realty, Steamboat Village Brokers Ltd., Coldwell Banker Silver Oak Ltd, RE/Max Steamboat, Buyer's Resource or Colorado Group Realty. Tickets are $30 on the day of the tour. 879-4663.

The home was built in a joint effort as a speculative property by interior designer Nancy Jeffrey and investor Mary Litterman.

Steamboat architect Bill Rangitsch designed the exterior of the home. Jeffrey designed the interior. For the purpose of the home tour, artwork by local artists will hang alongside work from the Rule Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

The upstairs sitting room of the home features the work of German artist Udo Nger. His work deserves more than a cursory viewing because it has so many layers, literally. Nger paints and cuts his canvas before covering it with another thin canvas. His palette is a spectrum of whites and seems to glow, even when unlit.

The home also holds a 2003 piece from New York installation artist and photographer Sandy Skoglund. The piece titled "Picnic on Wine" is a photo of an installation she completed in California featuring a carpet of 4,000 glasses of red wine, artificial turf and live models.

The collection of art spans in price from ceramic pieces that sell for a couple of hundred dollars to pieces that would sell for more than $20,000.

"Collecting art isn't about the money," Jeffrey said. "It's about buying pieces you are passionate about."

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