Littleton's historic Depot Art Gallery, housed in an 1881 building, starts the new year with an especially appropriate combination of exhibits: Art by seven new members is displayed in the front or baggage room, while a retrospective of work by founding member Millie Kelly, who died last year, fills the back waiting room. Both exhibits run until Feb. 17.
New members include Cele Bergstrom, who works in graphite and oil; Maria Bouziane, oil and acrylic; Stephen Johnson, photography; Dianne Kerwin, ceramics; Darlene Maestas, glass, jewelry, watercolor; Nancy Myer, photography; and Annette McElhiney, acrylic.
Bouziane's paintings of American Indians and Western landscapes are the first seen as one walks in and turns left and she has more on the south wall.
The multi-skilled Maestas exhibits a collection of bright glass pieces, a series of decorative clocks and several watercolors, including “Cat Eyes.”
Nancy Myer's appealing photographs are soft-textured and at first glance resemble pastels.
The Baggage Room is filled with more works than usual in a variety of styles and techniques that these new members bring to the mix of Littleton Fine Arts Guild artists.
Watch for them in future shows: They change about every six weeks — each with a different theme. Next up on Feb. 20 is the annual Anniversary Show, which runs until April 7, followed by “Favorite Places” April 10 to May 19. Members will also have an exhibit at Town Hall Arts Center's Stanton Gallery from March 12 to April 30.
Millie Kelly's family shared works they had and a very good photo of this energetic longtime member, who was totally involved in saving the old depot and re-purposing it as an art gallery.
Bicentennial funds helped, and she and other Guild members organized community fundraisers, managed an agreement with the City of Littleton, the depot's owner, and organized friends and families to scrub and polish the old building, readying it for a second century of community life.
The nearby caboose was acquired in 1979.
Littleton Museum director Bob McQuarrie oversaw the project, which opened as a gallery in 1978, replicating the depot's appearance in 1902. A bay window in front holds a desk where the stationmaster held forth and a raised platform at the back of the room held baggage and freight.
In addition to handsome, large watercolor and oil landscapes, Kelly's sketchbooks and smaller drawings are grouped, and pages of the guild's huge scrapbook are open to newspaper clippings featuring this active member.
Kelly was still creating and selling intricate beaded pins in her late years, and juried a show as recently as two years ago, a bright and cheerful nonagenarian.
Her contributions to Littleton's extensive art community will be long remembered, with the cozy red depot in its place near the tracks.
A framed sketch Kelly made and contributed for the “Save the Depot” campaign rests on a table filled with memorabilia, including a few remaining beaded pins.
If you go
The Depot Art Gallery is at 2069 W. Powers Ave., Littleton, north of the old courthouse and the Buck Recreation Center. Staffed by volunteer members, it is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free, and in addition to the paintings exhibited, there are smaller works in jewelry and ceramics, as well as note cards by the artists, which are moderately priced and make great gifts. 303-795-0781, depotartgallery.org.