Steamboat Springs A trip browsing through the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s more than 5,000-image historic photo collection can be a fine way to lose track of time and make a day feel like an hour.
“People love the historical images,” Executive Director Candice Bannister said.
It’s that interest that led the museum to decide to put on display some of its favorite shots, starting today with a photographic exhibition opening during the First Friday Artwalk festivities in Steamboat Springs. “In Black & White: A Photograph Exhibition of the Tread of Pioneers Museum Collection” will open at 5 p.m. in the museum at Eighth and Oak streets. It’s free and features wine and appetizers.
Picking the right images wasn’t an easy task, Bannister said. The museum has focused on collecting and protecting old photographs for as long as it has existed. That always has meant accepting donations of photos from families and working through scrapbooks to find appropriate shots.
It used to mean carefully caring for negatives and prints and storing them in acid-free archival sleeves. Now, in addition to that, it means making high-resolution digital scans of the images, a process that museum staff members have been at for nearly a decade.
The digitalized images then are stored on hard drives on and off site, and on DVDs stored in a bank vault.
The ongoing process has led to a string of happy surprises and interesting discoveries. The museum’s staff collaborated to generate a list of its favorite photos, and Bannister turned to Joel Schulman, of PhotoGraphicsArt, to help pare down the list and print the photos.
“They tell the history and the story of our area through black and white images,” Bannister said. “We tried to do a good representation of things. We have a lot of ski images but also focused on some old shots of town and some of the really unique shots.
“It’s about the feeling or the aspect of our history that it evokes, how it makes you feel when you see it, what it makes you think about Steamboat Springs and how it takes you back in time.”
The Tread of Pioneers Museum will be one of more than two dozen downtown businesses participating in June’s First Friday Artwalk. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. today.
First Friday Artwalk shows
❱❱ The Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat features three artist shows. Photographer Barbara Sanders’ photographs reflect her interest in old buildings and the people who live in them. A Paula Jo Jaconetta photograph display features vintage botanical images with mixed media, and a display of Dancy Gould St. John’s work includes oil paintings inspired by the changing landscapes. Call 879-4744. 1009 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Azteca Taqueira shows the art of James Milo Alfring, who has lived in Steamboat Springs for six years. The Colorado Mountain College graduate plans to attend art school in Denver this fall and works as a tattoo artist at Oak Creek Ink Drilling Co. Call 870-9980. 116 Ninth St.
❱❱ The Center for Visual Arts shows new summer work by its more than 80 local artists. Artist Rebecca Hilley will be featured with “Yampa Valley Splendor,” which includes landscape collages inspired by the region. Call 846-5970. 906 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Chocolate Soup shows Professor Charles Hardy’s etched and engraved prints created using Renaissance-era tools. Call 870-0225. 737 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Colorado Group Realty features emerging 3-D artist Nils Thunstrom, who uses found and discarded objects; as well as photographer Judy Jones, who presents a collection of digitally enhanced flower photographs. Call 870-8800. 509 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Creekside Cafe shows the work of Mary Beth Galer in her show “The Art of Imperfection,” which includes eclectic mixed media painting on canvas and paintings on architectural salvage, furniture and murals. Call 879-4925. 131 11th St.
❱❱ East West Frame Shop features the show “There Was Once a Romance” by Michelle Ideus, which strives to bring horses, flowers and Steamboat scenes to life. Cheri Duty, meanwhile, will show funky gemstone and wire-wrapped jewelry. Call 879-5225. In the alley at Eighth and Oak streets.
❱❱ Epicurean Café shows watercolors of Kauai and landscapes of France and Steamboat in paintings by Rebecca Pauvert. Call 875-0997. 825 Oak St.
❱❱ Gallery 11 shows images of Steamboat Springs and the West captured by local photographer Ken Lee. Call 870-8887. 908 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Harwig’s/L’Apogee features the work of painter Patricia Murphy in its new upstairs gallery. Call 879-1919. 911 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ High Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty showcases local landscape artist Steve Bolander, who will present a new collection of oil paintings inspired by the Rocky Mountain region. Call 879-8101. 708 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Howelsen Place Gallery features abstract expressionism paintings by Gino Hollander, as well as metalwork and antique artifacts by European sculptor David Marshall. See www.david-marshall.com and www.ginohollander.org. Call 846-0659. 703 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Images of Nature features nature and wildlife photos by Thomas D. Mangelsen. Call 871-1822. 730 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Liberman Photography features landscape photographs by David Liberman as well as custom water fountains incorporating crystals, minerals, stone and bamboo by Robert Yazbeck. Call 303-877-7707 or 846-7685. 24 Fifth St.
❱❱ Off the Beaten Path features the work of artist Maggie Smith, who has been working in oil, watercolor, mixed media and printmaking. Call 879-6830. 68 Ninth St.
❱❱ The Olympian Sales Office shows a preview show of abstract paintings by gallery artist Will Day, presented by the K. Saari Gallery. Call 879-8100. Fifth and Yampa streets.
❱❱ Rustique Home and Garden Collection features handcrafted jewelry designs. Call 870-2980. 624 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ The Spa/Salon features photography by local Olympians Caroline Lalive and Nelson Carmichael. Call 871-0202. 24 Fifth St.
❱❱ Sleeping Giant Gallery features the art of Cully Kistler, Don Tudor photography and Raku-fired stoneware by Brown Cannon. See www.dontudorphotography.com. Call 879-7143. 601 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ Steamboat Art Museum features quilts by David Taylor, a nationally recognized artist. Call 870-1755. 807 Lincoln Ave.
❱❱ The Steamboat Springs Art Council at the Depot Art Center features the Delectable Mountain Quilters of Steamboat Springs’ 16th anniversary quilt show. Call 879-9008. 1001 13th St.
❱❱ Tread of Pioneers Museum features a collection from its 5,000-photograph library of local historic photos. Call 879-2214. 800 Oak St.
❱❱ Urbane presents photography by local Peter Arnold. Call 879-9169. 703 Lincoln Ave., Suite B101.
❱❱ Wildhorse Gallery features new work by nature and wildlife painter Lee Stroncek, as well as a new grandfather clock by Wayne Westphale. Call 879-5515. 802 Lincoln Ave.