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Metalworkers will gather and show in Salida

Brief by Central Staff

Art – July 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Every summer since 1996, Salida has hosted a small convention that provides a bonus for art lovers.

It’s the annual gathering of COMA — the Colorado Metalworkers Association, which has about 175 members: jewelers, designers, metal sculptors, stone cutters, students, and teachers.

Most of the convention concerns technical matters, with workshops and demonstrations on topics like stonecutting techniques, opalescent enameling, and cold forging. They also hold a swap meet for materials and tools.

But they also present their work to the public. This year’s theme is “Semi-Melt,” and the metalworks (which come in all sizes) will be on display from July 20 through August 11 at cultureclash gallery, First and F streets.

The convention itself runs July 20-22.

Why hold it in Salida? It seems that metalworkers are not distributed evenly among the state’s population — most live in small towns scattered around the state, rather than along the Front Range. And Salida’s near the middle of the state, making it more convenient than a metropolitan location.

Another reason, according to the COMA newsletter, is that “the town boasts a disproportionate number of resident metal workers, gem dealers, and jewelers.”

Local metalsmiths Jerry Scavezze and Michael Boyd have made presentations in past years, and Harold O’Connor will lead a workshop this year. Other local participants will include Susan Bethany, Todd Tychewicz, Nicole Hausen, Toni Tischer, and Dave Morgan.