Soda Creek Elementary School third-grader Olin Webster holds his art inside the Depot Art Center in Steamboat Springs. The Routt County Youth Art Show will open Friday.

Photo by John F. Russell

Soda Creek Elementary School third-grader Olin Webster holds his art inside the Depot Art Center in Steamboat Springs. The Routt County Youth Art Show will open Friday.

Depot to host art from Routt County students

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  • Friday, April 4, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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  • All ages / Free

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A wide range of artists, and a wide range of styles, make this year's Children's Art Show at the Depot Art Center a showcase of Routt County schools and a place for the talented students to shine.

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A wide range of artists, and a wide range of styles, make this year's Children's Art Show at Depot Art Center a showcase of Routt County schools and a place for the students to shine.

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A wide range of artists are participating in this year’s Routt County Youth Art Show at the Depot Art Center.

— Olin Webster isn’t sure where art stands in his hierarchy of interests.

The 9-year-old third-grader rapidly can list things he enjoys, finishing one off before he remembers another.

Soccer, skiing, snowboarding, biking and catching air — “I just like to catch air, but I’m not big into doing tricks,” he said — all come before art.

But as one of the exhibitors in the Routt County Youth Art Show at the Depot Art Center, Olin just as easily can explain the process that went into creating his abstract fish art.

“I wanted to do the starfish as the eye,” he said about the painting that features pastels, watercolors and Sharpie stenciling. “I wanted the body to be a swordfish. I wanted there to be weird fins.

“I don’t know how I came up with this part,” Olin added, pointing to a fish below the other fish. “I was thinking something with unicorns.”

The show is part of this month's First Friday Artwalk and will feature a family-friendly opening from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will include lemonade and pizza.

It’s the largest show the Steamboat Springs Arts Council puts on and features more than 350 pieces of art from every school in the county.

“It’s great showing all the children’s art from around Routt County,” said Janet Borden, who has been volunteering with the show for 14 years. “It’s fun to see what the teachers get out of them.”

The artwork features all media and levels.

There are vibrant and colorful pieces from kindergartners as well as detailed stenciling, photography and abstract fish pieces like Olin’s.

His piece took parts of six weeks to create. Olin said he appreciated what went into learning about the art and how it came together.

“It’s not what I like doing most, but it’s fun to do,” he said.

Although Olin may not go on to a career in art, the youth show has proved to be a breeding ground for artists to get their start.

This art show was the first place Gregory Block showed his works. Today, Block’s career keeps trending upward.

“There is pride in presenting your artwork for the first time in a place that presents fine art,” Arts Council co-director Kim Keith said.

In addition to the show, the Depot Art Center will host an artists talk at 10 a.m. April 12. Students and teachers will give five- to 10-minute talks about their inspiration and favorite parts of art.

“It’s just fun to see that they’re so unafraid and uninhibited to do something at a young age,” Borden said.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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