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Homestead Gallery launches bi-monthly meet and greet

August 14, 2020 | Local News
Courtesy photo
Jim Fronapfel, a Berthoud artist, holds up one of his pastel portraits, “A Taste of Royalty,” at The Homestead Fine Art Gallery, which has a new meet and greet event the second and fourth Fridays of the month. The next one is Aug. 14, when visitors will have the opportunity to visit with the gallery artists.

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

A Berthoud gallery is hosting a new meet and greet as a first step in joining other downtowns that offer first and second Friday gallery walks.

The Homestead Fine Art Gallery Meet ’n Greet launched July 10 and 24 to give visitors a chance to meet local artists—the next meet and greet, which is held bimonthly, will be Aug. 14.

“We’re not waiting for anybody else to start things,” said Jim Fronapfel, a Berthoud sculptor and portrait artist featured in the gallery. “We’re jumping on board. We’re trying to be up front, be creative and start this stuff ourselves.”

The meet and greet will be 5-8 p.m. the second and fourth Fridays of the month at the gallery, 344 Mountain Ave. Artists who are part of the gallery will be featured and stay the entire time, while the other gallery artists can drop in or stay as they choose.

Currently, the gallery shows eight artists with room for two more to join, since the gallery is limited to 10 artists. Their works include landscapes, portraits, figures and animals in oil, acrylic and pastel, plus there is jewelry and blown glass.

The two featured artists will have more space to show their work, including on additional easels set up on the sidewalk in front of the gallery. They also will be able to introduce themselves and, when the event is more established, give a short presentation about their work and life as an artist.

“We want to teach artists how to sell their artwork by selling themselves and their stories as artists,” said Fronapfel, who was one of the featured artists during the first meet and greet.

The artists can talk with visitors about who they are, why they do art, the type of art they do, what art means to them and how they see their art in the world, among other things, Fronapfel said.

Art buyers and collectors often purchase art because they like a particular gallery, as well as the artist and their stories, Fronapfel said. Artists do better by telling their stories, instead of relying on passersby to take interest, he said.

The meet and greets include live music, starting with Jeanie White of Cheyenne, a vocalist and guitarist, who also will perform at the next event. Roger “Red” Snyder, one of the gallery artists, performed at the last event on cello and guitar and also was a featured artist alongside Fronapfel.

The gallery’s first meet and greet had a small turnout, but the second one brought in 25 to 30 visitors. The event is one way the gallery is living out its new mission statement of being one of the premier art galleries in Northern Colorado. The gallery reworked its mission statement in January, but then the pandemic put a temporary pause on carrying it to fruition.

“The biggest thing we’ve done right now is we want to show what it means to be a premier gallery,” Fronapfel said.

The featured artists Aug. 14 will be Peggy Keagle, gallery manager, and one of the new artists TBA. On Aug. 28, the featured artists will be Dave Ryder and Kim Andrews. The other featured artists include Pat Sebern and Janine Ewing-Belletire July 24. Debbie Brazill also is a member of the gallery.

“I enjoy the meet and greets as an opportunity to meet people and find out about them, plus, of course, to show off my talents and hope for an interested party to purchase and give (my art) a good home,” said Andrews, who works in oil to create plein air paintings, landscapes and portraits.

Ryder finds the meet and greets a great way to introduce visitors to glass making and to give a personal experience meeting the artist.

“I like to meet and talk with people who enjoy art. I enjoy telling the story of a particular piece, detailing the steps involved in achieving shape, texture and color pattern,” Ryder said. “There are always fun questions, such as ‘What makes the color in glass?’ and ‘Do you ever get burned?’”

Through Aug. 10, Fronapfel will auction off one of his pastel portraits, “A Taste of Royalty,” of a Vietnamese orphan boy dressed in royal clothing. He will donate the proceeds to Bridging Hope, a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides assistance to disadvantaged women and children in Vietnam.

Fronapfel will encourage the winning bidder to keep the piece for six months and auction it off to a charity of choice in exchange for a print with the same message of continuing the cycle with gifted prints.

“I would like to see how long this piece keeps going,” Fronapfel said, adding that the boy has a taste of royalty from his effort to change the world by garnering donations.

For more information about the gallery, visit The gallery is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday.

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