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Water Wheel Inn - Gunnison, Colorado
From the Owner, Jim Valenzuela MD
Art in the Gunnison Valley
Lodging Specials
Local Art Shops
Upcoming Events
From the Owner...
Catherine's Fused Glass Art
Our Gunnison Valley has much to offer visitors with a passion for art. The Gunnison Art Center displays great exhibits year round. The GAC is located at the main Gunnison intersection of highways 50 and 135, southwest corner in the brown brick historic bank building. Up valley, I especially like the Paragon Gallery on Elk Street in Crested Butte.

Check out new comers: Allan Ivy, detailed below, has a knock-your-socks-off photography/studio at Mesa RV Park which is located just west of our hotel on highway 50. My dear wife, Catherine, a longtime fused glass artist, has begun making creatures of glass. Like the blue cow?


Jim Valenzuela

Art in the Gunnison Valley
We've asked different friends from around the area to give us some helpful information on art in the Gunnison Valley. Enjoy!

Fine Art Photography -
I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in South Africa. I Went to college in Pretoria and studied Chemistry, Physical Metallurgy and Plastics Technology. Photography has been an incredible journey for me, I got my first camera on my 21st birthday. Shortly after that I spent a year working for a Professional Photographer in Pietermaritzburg. Francie and I got married the same year and in 1985 we took off on an extended honeymoon spending 6 months hitch hiking through Europe before flying to the States where we bought a 73 VW Beetle and traveled for another six months through 41 States covering 36000 miles. I carried 32 pounds of camera gear and took thousands of photos in both 35mm and 4x5 inch which I developed in converted bathrooms along the way. We returned to the family ranch where we bred Bonsmara cattle and expanded the family business. In 1999 our ranch was expropriated by the Government and we moved to the UK were we started a chain of fast food stores selling traditional savory pies. Since then we have traveled and photographed at every opportunity from our base in the UK. We are now based Gunnison Colorado where we have established Mesa RV Resort, a Photographic Gallery and a venue to conduct Photographic Workshops. We opened the doors to our new Gallery on May 28th. It is situated on the east side of the RV and Boat Storage Yard and is open Monday through Saturday 10-12 and 2-5. Look out for the bus!! We are planning a busy workshop schedule for the summer and hope to extend it through the fall.

Kim Nesbit
I consider myself fortunate to have spent my entire life in Gunnison, Colorado. I grew up in this beautiful valley surrounded by horses and other assorted animals. I received my first horse at age five, a little Shetland pony named Merry Legs, the first of many wonderful horse companions.

I began drawing in my early childhood with animals being my primary subject matter. I studied art throughout high school and continued my art education at Western State College where I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. While attending Western, I was able to study with talented art professors and other aspiring artists.

My primary subject matter has always been the horse. I spend my spare time on the back of a horse learning the finer points of horsemanship. Lessons generally taught by the horse, if I listen close enough. While I'm out riding some folks say "I'm out playing!" I say "I'm out doing subject research!" The real inspiration for my artwork is in the fine detail. Attempting to capture the rippling muscles of a horse galloping across a field, the fuzzy whiskers on a colt's muzzle, or the intricate stitching on a finely crafted bridle is my challenge. My favorite quote is from Pablo Picasso who said "If you want to draw you must shut your eyes and sing."

My artwork can be seen at:
Our Place Gallery
126 North Main
Gunnison Co. 81230

Gordon and Anne Possien - Rocky Mountain Crafts
Gordon at 6'3" standing
next to one of his carvings
Gordon and Anne Possien of Rocky Mountain Crafts have been earning their livings as artists since 1979. Gordon is a woodcarver and Anne is a pencil artist. Each of Gordon's wood carvings is an original creation. An endless imagination is his main ingredient for his talent of working with wood. He has accepted numerous commissions for both private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe. Gordon enjoys working with each individual client, creating distinctively unique custom designed works of art.

Lodging Specials

Check out all of our summer specials that include golf, fishing and more.
View All Specials

Local Art Shops

Gunnison Arts Center

Artists of the West Elks

Gunnison Gallery
970-641-6111 (new website will be up July 2010)

Our Place Gallery

Rocky Mountain Frames & Trophies

Paragon Gallery

Rijks Family Gallery

Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery

Lucille Lucas Gallery

Bike to Mike's

Bike to Garlic Mike's and receive 2 for 1 drinks everyday and pasta dinners deals on Wednesdays with Live Music (only if you Bike to Mike's). Going on all summer.

Upcoming Events

Fat Tire Bike Week
June 23rd - 27th
The world's oldest mountain bike festival. Voted Best Festival by Bike magazine.

Gunnison River Festival
June 25th - 27th
Expect great flows, great weather, and great fun!

Bayou in the Butte
June 26th - 27th
Music, food, beer, wine, fun for two days in Crested Butte town park and Center for the Arts outside stage.

Bridges to the Butte 24-Hour Townie Tour
June 26th
This one-of-a-kind 24-hour bike tour loops through downtown Crested Butte, meandering across the town's bridges.

Summer Fashion Show
"On the River"

June 27th
Fashion show will consist of great fashions by our local area retail stores, a gift show, an auction and a wonderful luncheon.

Crested Butte Music Festival
July 3rd - August 5th
Various Locations

Independence Day
July 4th
Activities in Gunnison, Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte

Crested Butte Music Festival's Bluegrass Weekend
July 9th - 10th
Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
July 12th - 18th
Various Locations, Based at Crested Butte Nordic Center

Crested Butte Land Trust Wine & Food Festival
July 22nd - 25th
Complements the array of amazing offerings in the Town of Crested Butte and the Town of Mt. Crested Butte

Crested Butte Arts Festival
July 31st - August 1st
Located on Elk Street

More Event Information

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Events and Festivals
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The Water Wheel Inn
37478 W. Hwy 50 - Gunnison, CO 81230
Toll-Free 1-800-642-1650 - Local (970) 641-1650

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