From the Artist: Karen Vance on her newest creation for the Grand County Historical Association

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photo courtesy of Karen Vance |
photo courtesy of Karen Vance | "The Trestle at Rollins Pass” oil painting was recently created by nationally renowned artist, Karen Vance, to help support the Grand County Historical Association."

by B. Travis Wright, MPS President of the Board of Directors, Grand County Historical Association

The Grand County Historical Association (GCHA) is honored to receive continued support and creative talent from nationally renowned artist, Karen Vance. She recently shared her inspiration for her newest masterpiece, currently being raffled as a GCHA fundraiser:

“I recall the first time I experienced the Rollins Pass trestle… I had won, at the GCHA Auction, the high bid for a Jeep Tour for two, with then-President of GCHA, Bob Temple. Bob and his wife Jeanine were a wealth of local historical information and champions of the historical association. My husband and I rode up in a convertible “open air” Jeep with Bob and Jeanine as tour guides. We rounded the bend near the West portal of the railroad tunnel, and looked up to the trestle, in silhouette against the blue Colorado sky. Bob narrated the story of the railroad, the engineering, construction and perils of the weather and terrain the workers faced. It was an awesome experience to listen to its history while viewing the magnificence of this man-made vision and architecture linking the east and west of the Continental Divide, and bringing the American West into the 20th century. This initial awe was what I wanted to capture in this painting.

“Using my memories, sketches, and Travis Wright’s photography, I orchestrated my experience and heart-felt love of this area of Colorado where I’ve lived and painted for 35 years.

This is the 4th original oil painting that I’ve donated to the GCHA for a raffle fund-raiser. The first was “October Morning”—a view of Byers Peak from the Norgren Ranch Meadow below. The raffle brought over $10,000, won by Jean and Dwight Miller, and helped to keep the Hot Sulphur museum open with a purchase of a new boiler. Later, the painting was on the cover of Art of the West’s Guidebook of American Western Art, and featured in the book “Colorado Landscapes – Peaks and Plains” by Ann Scarlett Daley, Curator of the Denver Art Museum’s American Western Art Collection, and local resident of Rendezvous, in Fraser.

My sincere hope is that through ‘The Trestle at Rollins Pass’ my language of art will speak to your heart. Please buy some raffle tickets. Please help our Historical Association maintain, teach, promote, and inspire our hearts and our generations to come… and maybe, your ticket will be the winner too!” —Karen Vance

Tickets are $25 each or 5 tickets for $100. You may also purchase 30 tickets for $500 and receive an autographed copy of Images of America: Rollins Pass. Tickets are available county-wide at Cozens Ranch Museum in Fraser, Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs, and Heritage Park Museum in Kremmling.