MOUNTAIN: An Exhibition of Paintings and Collages

Sponsored by Mountain Studies Institute and The San Juan County Historical Society

Artist’s Statement for this Exhibition

This work is about the look and feel of the mountains and the objects related to being in the mountains – pyramidal shapes, areas of blue, horses, mules and dogs, the elk, maps and tarps, etc.  How the mountains, skies and these other things look is important.  That these images are of very specific places which are pinpointed on the maps, makes it clear that specificity of place is of utmost importance.  Of more significance is that the landscape itself and paintings thereof can suggest what lies beyond.  In a compressed and metaphorical form, whether it is the land or a land substitute (a painting), we can get an idea, a glimpse of something beyond ourselves and our lives here.  The detail of  place and thing holds the purpose of suggesting something other than itself.  How or when the local implies the universal is interesting to us.  A place or a thing can be a veil over what we yearn to understand, a portal.  The science of place and thing is, in itself, mysteriously wondrous but the essence is infinite.

Judy Graham Silverton, Colorado 2008


Caledonian Boarding House

The Caledonian Boarding House, which was located in Minnie Gulch, was being destroyed by the elements, when the San Juan County Historical Society took steps to save it.  The building was painstakingly dismantled on the mountain, the parts meticulously numbered, and all its 8” x 9” logs were hand-hewn into flat square surfaces. Then, like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, it was miraculously put together again!  The unique double-dovetail corner joinery of the original Caledonian building, can be seen from the outside of the entrance. For photos and additional information about the Caledonian, please click here.


San Juan County Historical Society

Since it was established in 1964, the San Juan County Historical Society has kept its original purpose always in mind – to preserve for the future the history of San Juan County. They are a non-profit Colorado corporation with a fully operational Archive; a Museum; an extensive collection of photographs and documents; they have helped in the stabilization of several old mining structures in the county, including the Old Hundred boarding house in Cunningham Gulch and several structures at Animas Forks. Explore the unique history of the San Juan region by going to the Historical Society  website.


The Mountain Studies Institute

The Mountain Studies Institute is an independent not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002 in Silverton, CO. They connect scientists and stakeholders across the San Juan Mountain region to go beyond scientific inquiry to the meaningful application of knowledge that makes a difference for the quality of the environment.  A sustaining premise of MSI is that it encourages the interdisciplinary study of the scientific, cultural, human and historical aspects of the San Juan Mountains. Visit their website to learn more.