The Steve Glazer Collection

Curatorial Statement

Western Colorado University’s Quigley Gallery is proud to exhibit the Art History of the Gunnison Valley: The Steve Glazer Collection - Crested Butte Art, 1970-1990. The exhibition will open Friday, June 4, 5-8 PM for the Gunnison First Friday Art Walk, and it will continue to be up until August 6. Showing this collection represents the next stage for the M.A. in Gallery & Museum Management (MGMM) program’s continuing project to document the art history of the Gunnison Valley.

Steve Glazer was an icon in the Gunnison-Crested Butte area on account of his extensive support of the cultural economy. Glazer resided in Crested Butte from 1969 until he passed on June 24, 2016, from a long battle with cancer. He purchased the Princess Theater in 1970 to save it from shutting down. He was involved in performances and production of films and shows, as well as helping with the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre.

The illustrious Princess Curtain, commissioned by Glazer for the theater, represents a rendition of Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus with the inclusion of the Crested Butte landscape. The curtain is now on display at the Crested Butte Heritage Museum. Glazer also established the Earth Station Radio, which is now the KBUT radio station. He is a founder of the Crested Butte State Bank, now owned by Bank of the West. Furthermore, Glazer was an outspoken activist in the protection of Crested Butte’s water supply and created the Coal Water Coalition in 2003. The town named their water supply the Glazer Reservoir in his honor.

The Steve Glazer Collection is comprised of thirty works of art that were donated by friends, family, and people that recognized his legacy in the valley. Steve Glazer one day hoped to establish an art museum in the valley and this collection serves as a remembrance of his wishes. Primarily local to the area, the artists exhibited include Patricia Dawson, Susan Anderton, Adam Freed, and many others.

The art collection was compiled by his wife, Diana Graves, to serve as a tribute to his life and achievements. Bailey Backus, a second year MGMM student curated the exhibition. The exhibition is organized by artists, displaying the variety of styles that each artist experimented with throughout the years. In its entirety, the collection boasts a compelling assortment of different mediums, scenes, and techniques. The range of styles perfectly exemplifies how artists found rich influence and cultivated individualistic works based on the surrounding valley landscape and society.