Local writer, artist win grants for contributions to the art world, Durango Herald, March 11, 2008

Arts & Entertainment Editor

A Pagosa Springs arts critic and a Durango artist and gallery owner have been awarded grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Arts critic Leanne Goebel, who writes regularly for The Durango Herald, has been awarded $20,000 by the Arts Writers Grant Program of Creative Capital, a branch of the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Goebel was awarded the money, according to the foundation, to fund trips to Denver, New York, Santa Fe, Venice and “art fairs and biennials around the globe.”

Goebel said the foundation gave her even more money than she asked for.

In her application, she wrote, “Being an art critic in a small town requires sensitivity. Situating aesthetic objects within their broader social and political context does not win one friends. But then, that’s not the goal. My job as an art reviewer is to educate readers and help them understand work with which they may not be familiar.”

Goebel has also won a second grant, a $500 Small Steps Grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts to develop the Pagosa Springs Writer’s Residency Program.

She will start this year working with vacation rental property owners near her home in Pagosa Springs to donate two to four weeks lodging during the nonpeak seasons of spring and fall.

Writers will be selected by jury. They will stay rent-free to work on a project and will be required to give back to the community with a workshop, reading or working with youth or seniors.

Lisa Lenard Cook the author of the novels Dissonance and Coyote Morning will be the first writer to participate from May 9-23.

Durango artist and gallery owner Karyn Gabaldon also has received a Small Steps Grant for $500 to develop a series of free lectures on how to make a living in the arts.

Gabaldon delivered her lectures at her gallery Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts last autumn.

“The premise is that by educating artists and enabling them to make a living in the arts, they will stay in the community and contribute to the arts and culture,” Gabaldon said.

She may want to invite the enterprising Goebel as a guest lecturer.

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