Artist as dinner theater

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Local artist Cully Kistler found herself in an interesting situation in Aspen last weekend.

An Aspen beer distributor had seen her work on the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Web site and liked it.

He invited her to an event called "Artful Indulgence" at the Baldwin Gallery. When she arrived, Kistler knew she was being commissioned for a painting, but she didn't know the subject matter or the circumstances.

She was escorted into a basement room full of 80 people eating dinner. In the corner was a blank 30-inch-by-36-inch canvas. She was given two hours to paint what she saw.

The people in attendance were from across the United States. The host had flown them into town as a thank you for their business, Kistler said. In front of each place setting was a fabric box full of chocolate truffles. The person who got the white truffle won Kistler's painting.

The original is being framed, and giclee prints of the painting are being made as presents for the remaining guests.

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