Art is brightening Niwot's coffee houses in November


November 11, 2020

Deborah Cameron

Alicia Varga's work at the Old Oak Coffee House

Coffee houses can unite communities together around a love of caffeine, conversation, and the arts. At the beginning of this month, Niwot's coffee houses welcomed two area visual artists to their walls. The Old Oak Coffee House is presenting work by mixed media artist Alicia Varga for its monthly showcase while Winot Coffee is displaying work by astrophotographer Jim Miller.

The two installations couldn't be more different.

Miller's photographs are colorful long-exposure shots that take views away from earth, encouraging them to consider the solar system, galaxies, and nebulas that exist beyond our planet. According to a statement he provided for the NoBo Art District, he takes his photos with telescopes and monochromatic CCD cameras that are officially designed for astronomy. Most are taken from his homes in the mountains near Boulder.

Completed using the lithography techniques she specializes in, Varga's paintings are softer but equally colorful, coordinating well with the bold yellow walls of the Old Oak. At the same time, her work focuses on things that are earth-bound, including a person walking in the rain, stacked coffee cups, and Gwen Stefani.

Varga is an experienced artist with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Colorado State University and a concentration on both graphic design and printmaking. She expressed excitement at the support she's felt from the Niwot community connected to her installation. "It's been a complete pleasure to be here," she said. "Hannah, at the Old Oak coffee house, has been so supportive of my work. Being here means a lot."

As much as the artists appreciate being in the shop, customers appreciate the chance to view the work as they get their morning latte, snack, or light lunch. Katie, a barista at Winot Coffee, shared that many of the customers come just to view the art.

Deborah Cameron

Jim Miller's photographs at Winot Coffee

Kate, a barista at the Old Oak Coffee House, said that as she works her shifts, she enjoys the art. "Having the local art here at the coffee house is a great opportunity for the local artists to get some exposure and it's also a great way for the local community to see things they might purchase, that they might not ever see or know about otherwise," she said.

Kate also shared that this kind of exposure at The Old Oak is soon going to extend to those working there. In 2021, employees are slated to have their art hung on the shop's walls or otherwise displayed. The baristas are excited to be able to connect with the community that they pour for day-in and day-out.

From what's happened connected to art in Niwot's coffee houses so far, the public will be excited to view it too.


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