Art + Urban Agriculture = Art On The Farm

THE FIRST ART ON THE FARM EVENT WAS HELD JULY 24 at Guy's Farm, a local urban farm on West 38th Avenue here in Wheat Ridge. Dozens of community creatives banded together to organize the inaugural event. PHOTO: GUY NAHMIAC

When the Wheat Ridge Creatives group meets to discuss ways to bring the community together with local artists in a social event, trust them to be, well, creative. Wheat Ridge has a lot of creatives, and it also has a lot of urban farms – small farms where property owners grow produce and flowers. Voila: Art on the Farm.

One member of Wheat Ridge Creatives is Melinda Stewart, who moved to Colorado 11 years ago and to Wheat Ridge in 2013. She is a fine artist and an art teacher and became active in the art community when she relocated to Wheat Ridge. She established Sweet Ridge Studios, where she offers classes for kids. Stewart has worked with other group members to plan Art on the Farm and other social events for the arts community.

Prior to the pandemic shutdown, the city agreed to partially fund a study to explore the arts in Wheat Ridge. Artspace, the organization that visited in February 2020 (weeks before the shutdown) joined with community members and city staff to discuss the “State of the Arts” in Wheat Ridge, and to provide a framework for exploring not only a live/work development, but also a plan to identify an arts district in the city and to help guide continued community building for creatives. One of the recommendations in the study was to re-brand the interest groups with a new name – thus, Wheat Ridge Creates as the city affiliated group, and Wheat Ridge Creatives for those who identify as active creatives.

On the evening of July 24, the first Art on the Farm event was held on Guy’s Farm, an urban farm off of West 38th Avenue. Owned by Wheat Ridge resident Guy Nahmiach, a member of the original Artspace Feasibility Study Committee, the farm provided a perfect backdrop for artists to display their art and to demonstrate their talents. During the three-hour event several artists taught mini-classes focused on their medium. Others created paintings that will be sold, donated or – in one artist’s case – given as a prize in a baby shower game. Community members and neighbors arrived with their children (kids welcome; furry kids not invited) to walk the path that extends the length of the farm and watch the artists work.

Future Wheat Ridge Creatives activities include the next Art on the Farm to be held Aug. 28, 4 to 7 p.m., again on Guy’s Farm, West 38th Avenue and Ward Road. The Wheat Ridge Creatives social gatherings are held at a local restaurant or brewery, the next Aug. 19, 5 to 6:30 p.m., on the back patio of Brewery Rickoli, 4335 Wadsworth. All local artists and those with an interest in the Wheat Ridge Creatives community are welcome.

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