The Arts + Agriculture Forum will explore how the arts and the agricultural sector can work together for advocacy and economic development. Through this intersection, we can elevate shared values, engage with challenging issues, tell important stories and strengthen community vitality.
- Audrey Sayles, Kayla Ravenkamp or Staci Beauford, Co-Founders of Some Girls and a Mural
- Richard Saxton, artist, designer and educator with M12Studio and CU Boulder
- Harrison Topp, Owner/Operator of Topp Fruits and Director of Membership for Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union
The agenda for the evening is:
- 5:00 – 5:45 pm Networking, Entertainment, Food & Drinks
- 5:45 – 7:00 pm Remarks and Panel Discussion
- 7:00 – 8:00 pm Continued Networking, Conversation, Food & Drinks
CBCA is closely monitoring the current restrictions and best practices for health and safety as they relate to in-person events. If necessary, CBCA will offer this program in a virtual format.
Some Girls and a Mural
Audrey Sayles, Kayla Ravenkamp and Staci Beauford make up the group of mural artists known as Some Girls and a Mural. They spent their childhood alongside their grandparents and parents as they worked to earn a living from the land, and it made these women believe they could undertake a 60 ft tall mural on a grain bin for their first project, ”Heart of Harvest”.
The buzz on social media from that first mural with 129k views and 5k likes in 24 hours showed the need for art in their rural communities and the agriculture community at large. Coverage from "Next with Kyle Clark", "The Denver Channel", Successful Farming, The Fencepost, High Plains Guide, Limon Leader and Eastern Colorado Plainsman has amazed these small town ladies. The support and imagination of the locals keeps plenty of unique canvases under their brushes. Since 2018, the group has been asked to paint over 17 different works of art ranging in size from a large wind turbine blade to a small book return at the library.
The dream at the heart of the company is to tell the story of the Eastern Plains of Colorado on the canvas of the white grain elevators that guide travelers on I-70 to the Rocky Mountains. They call their dream “Paint the Plains”.
Richard Saxton is a visual artist and educator whose work focuses primarily on rural knowledge and landscape. Saxton’s work is conceived through an interdisciplinary cultural framework and can be contextualized through social and site-based art practice. Saxton’s work has been described as contemporary vernacular, non-heroic, and an art infused with rural experience without subscribing to any one genre or culture. Saxton is the founder and director of M12 STUDIO, an interdisciplinary group that creates and supports new modes of art making in often rural and remote areas. The studio focuses on experiential practices that explore community identity and the value of often under represented rural communities and their surrounding landscapes.
Saxton is the co-editor of The Center Pivot Library (Last Chance Press, 2018) and A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier (Jap Sam Books, 2014) and as a creative practitioner has worked both regionally and internationally. Recent exhibitions and commissioned works have appeared at the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, Washington, D.C.; Sala Diaz in San Antonio, Texas; The Santa Fe Art Institute; The Des Moines Public Art Foundation; The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, The 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale; The Kalmar Konstmuseum in Sweden; Franklin Street Works; Wormfarm Institute; The 2011 Australian Biennial (SPACED); The 2010 Biennial of the Americas; The Center for Land Use Interpretation; The Kohler Arts Center; The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore; Wall House #2 in the Netherlands, and The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Saxton and M12 are the recipients of numerous awards including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Harrison Topp is the Director of Membership with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union where he helps build the capacity of volunteer chapters and increase organizational membership. Harrison is also the owner operator of Topp Fruits, a family orchard business growing high altitude, exquisitely pleasurable fruit in Western Colorado. By straddling the worlds of commercial production, advocacy, and community organization, Harrison engages with the full gamut of agriculture to understand its strengths, weakness, threats, and opportunities. He has received awards from LiveWell CO, the Mt. Lookout Grange, and National Farmers Union. Harrison Graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/TV Production and Anthropology.