July 2021: San Juan Mountain Mining & NG RR History

Exhibits, Show, Sale • Silent Auction.
FREE History Programs
Wed., 1 pm. July 14 at MCA. With Karl Schaeffer, Ridgway Railroad Museum.
Wed., Noon, July 21 at MCA. With Kate Burke and Gail Saunders, Ouray County Historical Society.

Friday, 6:30 pm. July 30. Anne Hockenberry conducts workshop Gems and Mineral Painting.

Montrose Center for the Arts celebrates San Juan Mountain mining history and the steam-powered narrow gauge railroads that served them. This is a community event, involving  presentations by  Ouray County Historical SocietyRidgway Railroad Museum, and Guest Artist, Jeff Ellingson, curator at the Durango Roundhouse Museum. The Lucky Stars, entertained at the opening Reception, Friday July 2nd. The themed show features work from regional artists and photographers.


Exhibiting in the MCA Gallery through July

Exhibiting in the MCA Columbine Room all month

Special Programs & Community Events through July
Ouray County Historical Society | Ridgway Railroad Museum | Guest Artist from Durango Roundhouse Museum

The community event continues all month, with a special programs at the Montrose Art Center.

Fri., July 2nd at 6:30 pm Jeff Ellingson talked about the Durango Silverton Railroad and its place in San Juan Mountains history and his 37 years working his way up from car cleaner to museum curator. Jeff also told some stories about his special friend, the late James Burke, and recited one of Burke’s nostalgic poems–a beautiful tribute. Thank you Jeff!

Sat., July 3rd. Hike to Corkscrew Turntable With Don Paulson, of Ouray County Historical Society, leads . Reservations. 970-325-4576.

Wed., July 14, 1-2 p.m. Railroad History of the Uncompahgre Valley, Then and Now. Presented by Karl Schaffer, President of the Ridgway Railroad Museum,  Coffee, cold drinks, cookies. Reservations appreciated (so we have enough seating and refreshments.) FREE, but donations appreciated; this is fundraiser for MCA and RRM.

Wed., July 21, noon-2 p.m. San Juan Mountains Mining and Railroad History AND History of Ouray. Presented by Kate Burke, Vice President of the Montrose Center for the Arts and regional history book and magazine publisher, and Gail Saunders, Ouray County Historical Society Archivist. Includes historical photos, video, stories, and time for Q&A. Bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee, cold drinks, cookies. FREE, but donations appreciated; this is fundraiser for MCA and OCHS..

Friday, July 30, 6-8 pm. Anne Hockenberry popular Art educator, conducts a special evening class, Gems and Mineral Painting.


Silent Auction, Original watercolor paintings by Virginia Blackstock and Jeff Ellingson.

Mineral Exhibit in the Gift Shop.

Historical photo display in Columbine Room with Jeff’s Ellingson train art.

Books and greeting cards by local authors and artists and Silverwork from Silverton for sale in Gift Shop.

Musical events. The Art Center was recently gifted a grand piano, and a few soirees are planned, dates yet to be determined. Contact us if you’d like to play!

Stay tuned, there will be more. If you have a related topic you would like to present, please contact the art center at 970-787-9428 or email us, webmc4arts@gmail.com

Programs & Events


Friday, Dec. 3, 5-7 pm.
Opening Reception: Cheri Isgreen, Solo Show. Bill Wilson & Apprentices, Passing it On. MVAG Miniature Show.

Friday, Dec. 31, 5 pm.
MCA Art Mart closes.

Prior Events


Friday, Nov 5, 5-7 pm.
Opening Reception, 3-Women Show, A Clear Way of Seeing: Julia Reid, Cristin Johnson, Jenny McIntyre.
Dave Kauffman, Wood Turning, Columbine Room. MCA Art Mart opens.


Friday, Oct.1, 5-7 pm.
Opening Reception, Montrose Visual Arts Guild Group Show, Main Gallery
Dave Kaufmann, Wood Turning, Columbine Room
Music: Seaton Greenfield

Sat., Oct 2. 6-8 pm.
1920s Melodrama, The Darling, the Daring, and the Decadent
With Grand Valley History Players - Interactive performance

Wed., Oct. 13.noon-2 pm
History Wednesday at MCA. Program: Old Tyme Recreation with Gail Saunders, OCHS.


Friday, Sept. 3. 5-7 pm.
Opening Reception, Pat Jeffers, Abstract Art. Solo show
Exhibit: SW Colorado Historic Opera Houses
Music, Jazz piano by Keaton Greenfield

Wed., Sept. 8  noon-2 pm
Program: Historic Opera Houses. With Kate Burke and Maggie Stevens

Friday, Sept. 17, 7-8:30 pm. Fundraiser
VIP Reception & Concert
Concert with Deb Barr, A Musical Retrospective
Montrose Methodist Church
Thank you to our Concert Program Supporters


Friday, August 6, 5-7 pm.
Opening Reception at MCA: A Midwestern Dream, photography by Natalie Heller.
Exhibit: The Rood Collection, 19th Century Art Exhibit.
Music: Noalani.

Friday, Aug. 13, 6-8 pm
Program: No Matter What, Keep Laughing
With comedians Nancy Norton and Stephanie McHugh and musician Cheryl Gaudet.

Wed., August 18. History Wednesday at MCA. Noon-2 pm.
Program: History of Montrose. With ZillaMay Brown, Montrose Historical Society.


Friday, July 2, 5-8 pm
Opening Reception at MCA: San Juan Mountain Mining & NG Railroad History. Jeff Ellingson Guest Artist, Final Sale Square Deal Fundraiser. Music by  the Lucky Stars, Ridgway.

Wed., July 14. History Wednesday at MCA. 1-2:30 pm
Program: Railroad History of the Uncompahgre Valley. With Karl Schaeffer.

Wed., July 21. Noon-2 pm.
Program: San Juan Mountains Mining & NG RR History. With Kathryn Burke.
History of Ouray. With Gail Saunders.

Wednesday, July 28-31. Montrose County Fair Art Show.
Art show at Montrose Fairgrounds Event Center. Show Superintendent, Kate Burke, MCA. 

Art Center Fundraiser – All Month
Bid on original Watercolor by renowned artists Virginia Blackstock and Jeff Ellingson

D&RGS 315. By Virginia Blackstock

Virgina Blackstock D&RG 315

Artist has donated painting for fundraiser!

CLICK HERE to place a bid on this beautiful painting – now on display in the gallery.

Lightner Creek Trestle. By Jeff Ellingson

Artist has donated painting for fundraiser!

CLICK HERE to place a bid on this beautiful painting displayed in the gallery all month in July.

Opening Reception July 2nd, 5-8 pm

Lucky Stars Entertained

The Lucky Stars from Ridgway, Daryl and Ted,  entertained with live music all evening, while guests visited with artists and enjoyed adult libations and light appetizers.

Jeff Ellingson, guest artist

Jeff Ellingson, renowned watercolorist and curator of the Durango Silverton Roundhouse Museum. loves to talk about trains and will gave a train talk at 6:30 pm. He talked about his 37 years with the railroad, and recited one of Jim Burke’s poems, The Mudhen.

Narrow Gauge Railroads and San Juan Mountain Mining History

Montrose Center for the Arts celebrates San Juan Mountain mining history and the steam-powered narrow gauge railroads that served them. Meet railroad artist, Jeff Ellingson, curator of the Durango Silverton Roundhouse Museum and renowned watercolorist along with Jim Pettengill, VP of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, many other local and regional artists. This is a community event, sharing activities with the Ridgway Railroad Museum and Ouray County History Museum.