Estes Park Studio Tour This Saturday And Sunday | Featured Articles

The Studio Tour is this weekend! If you regularly read the paper, we have been introducing a few artists each week to entice you. A group of 14 local artists have been meeting and planning and creating for the last six months. Now is the time! Call some friends and family, fill up a bottle of water (it’s Colorado!) and set out Saturday morning. Everyone is invited!

Grab a quick coffee or a muffin and our brochure at our sponsor KIND COFFEE and chart out your path. Pick a route or pick an artist and look for the large, horizontal red and yellow flags marking the home studios.

There are ten locations; you can visit one, some, or all ten over the weekend…

See paper for map insert, interactive maps. Artist information is online at

So… let’s get to the last two artists to be featured: woodturner John Lynch, multimedia artist and sculptor Monte Michener.

John Lynch – Studio #7 has been a local fixture in Estes for many moons as well as one of the original members of the Art Center of Estes Park. John has always been passionate about working with wood. His devotion to reclaiming fallen trees—and finding a way for Mother Nature to have a second chance to show off her beauty—led him to the lathe and woodturning.It is a little known fact that one cannot simply go to the local lumberyard to purchase wood of turning quality. The desired wood must come from the log, be mostly blemish free, have impeccable color quality, and be large enough to compensate for the size of the finished product. It could be anywhere from four to twelve inches thick and even larger around. Therefore, the wood must come from a large log and be processed by hand.

Our forests produce mostly evergreens and aspens that are slender at best, which makes finding adequate wood species a challenge. Consequently, John makes many trips to the Midwest for hardwoods and to the West Coast for burl woods, such as big leaf maple. He also relies on the valley tree surgeons, whose quest to remove damaged, dead or unwanted trees often results in his procurement of unique and exceptional woods. With the raw materials in hand, John heads home to Estes Park to begin the process of turning a full-size log into an artful piece of fine craftsmanship.

When you pull up to his studio, a 2 story separate structure tucked into the hillside, the lower level is devoted to storage of wood blocks and walls filled with neatly placed hand woodworking tools as well as a large lathe. John will be giving turning demonstrations throughout the weekend. A master craftsman and furniture builder, listening to him explain the process is an education. Lynch’s precision and attention to detail produces functional and ornamental pieces that are exquisite–perfectly sanded and finished. The second floor is his gallery of finished products: shelves full of beautiful lamps, bowls, cutting boards and so much more all for purchase. Lynch will host artist Wade Johnston, Graphic Artist at his location near the intersection of Hwy 7 and Mary’s Lake Rd.

Monte Michener – Studio #9

Raised on a small farm in west central Minnesota with a deep love of horses, Monte began riding at the age of five. In his teens, his family began purchasing thoroughbreds that failed to get their maiden at the track; tall, muscular specimens, full of energy, completely green to anything outside of racing. His teenage years were spent riding these amazing horses, calming their nerves through long trail rides, then training and showing in dressage and jumping. Many of these beauties would get resold as pleasure horses, others became police horses, a couple became professional Grand Prix competitors and professional dressage horses. Michener joined the local English Riding Club and quickly became one of the top riders in the area, winning all levels of pleasure, dressage, hunter/jumper.

For the last 10 years Monte has enjoyed a different type of horse. Sculpture came naturally when working with the equus form. Michener takes sticks twisted and weathered and places them together in such a way that he seems to give the horses life and movement. He also enjoys building wall busts of Elk, Deer, Bison, Bighorn Sheep and Fish from this unique material. His sculptures have been purchased by horse and animal lovers all over the USA as well as Windhorse Therapeutic riding center in the Front Range. These horse sculptures are in all poses and sizes and are always on display along the river, just past downtown heading to RMNP, at Elements of Touch Spa.

As you walk up to Monte’s Studio, you’ll see a large wooden barn with big swinging doors welcoming you in. A flood of log furniture– from benches to chairs to end tables and plant stands, as well as other yard sculptures line the driveway . Inside the studio, you will find full-epoxy, designer dinner tables to whimsical, barn wood outdoor tables. Paintings fill the space: wildlife with a modern flair to wall blossoms and Picaso people. Wanna know what wall blossoms and picasso people are? Come to the tour! You have never seen anything like it.

The creativity, fun and variety will captivate you. Monte’s use of discarded garden hoses turned into protective shields will make you wonder- HOW? Table size sculptures made of wire and foam cast are expressionistic and embody that animal spirit. One of Michener’s art mantra is reusing and upcycling materials. From his past days in construction, he was always in awe of how many people threw away good, usable materials. A discarded cedar fence becomes a wall quilt, used paint brushes become Paintbrush Peeps. Vivid use of colors are saturated in his paintings leaving you with an uplifted playful feeling. This entire studio/ store has something for everyone.

Monte enjoys working with different mediums and is always trying something new- ask to see his assemblage pieces inspired by his visit to the Caribbean this winter.

This event started six years ago by a small group of artists who believed that the idea of ​​sharing our making space with people is important. It helps neighbors, friends, and the “creative curious” understand who in this town is actively making, what they make, and why. Education and sharing our process is the primary goal. All of us also have finished work for sale.

The Estes Park Studio Tour is Saturday and Sunday, August 6,7 10am – 5pm both days. Look for the iconic yellow and red signs around town to help direct you to locations. Some destinations are easy access and close to town, others are down a dirt road with views of the valley.

Support our sponsors by stopping for food at Bird and Jims, Ed’s Cantina or Rock Inn. New to town and love what you see? Interested in purchasing a home? Please call the realtors who support us as they crave to create a more “artful Estes” and will ensure a good fit and a good home. Interested in building a home in Estes? TW Beck Architects is nationally renowned for innovative design and infuses creativity with form and function in their builds. Your finances can be handled by Christian Hill CPA so you can have some spending money to support the arts. A great bottle of wine awaits you at Rambos liquor store and top dental care is available to you with local Drs Pike and Dr Rauk. At the end of a long weekend of studio touring get some well deserved rest and relaxation at your local spa, Elements of Touch. And lastly how would we know what is happening in town without its local paper? Estes Park News has generously allowed us to reach you and introduce ourselves as well as sponsor us. Big shout out to Estes Arts District for your support and evolving it’s role in the promotion of everything ART in Estes!! BRAVO!

See you this weekend!

Our sponsors:

Estes Park News, EAD, Dr. William Pike, Dr. Daniel Rauk, Rambos Liquor, Ed’s Cantina, TW Beck Architects, Richardson Team Realty, Remax Mountain Brokers, First Colorado Realty, Bird & Jim Restaurant, Kind Coffee, The Rock Inn, Elements of Touch Wellness Spa, Madison & CO and Christian Hill CPA .

Viva Creative Culture!