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First News Winter 2005

Business Feature: Trinidad
Great Art - Cool Building

   The magic and lore of the Southwest, history, and a desire to return to small town living moved Gary and Joanie Hessling to settle in Trinidad. A love of old buildings resulted in the purchase of a church, and a passion for the arts led to the opening of Leaping Lizard Gallery. “We never thought when we moved here we would be opening an art gallery in an old church,” quips Joanie. “Although Gary is a sculptor our intentions were to build Gary’s studio first and then a house on our property in Longs Canyon.

   As fate would have it, we discovered the former Presbyterian Church on Commercial Street and fell in love with the building, so the house got put on hold and we leaped feet first into the gallery.”

   Trinidad, although rich in history and smack dab between Denver and Santa Fe with Taos a mere 100 miles away, is not known as an arts destination, or at least not as that term might be understood or applied to places like Santa Fe, Taos, New York, etc.; but with the overwhelming amount of talent in the area and an influx of new people the gallery became a foregone conclusion for Gary and Joanie. “Our goal,” says Gary, “is to have the finest gallery in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico which will hopefully attract other galleries and patrons of the arts, vaulting Trinidad into the rarefied world of ‘arts destination’. Although we continue to fine tune our presentation, we are proud of the caliber of the art we have in the gallery. With work from the serious and studied to the sublime and scandalous, we are fortunate in that we represent artists from around the country, not only nationally known, but emerging as well; and we are always on the lookout for new talent.”

   The arts encompass many styles, mediums and forms. Joanie notes, “Looking to the future we want to utilize this great space for more of the performing arts... acoustic music, small plays and perhaps even a night of comedy. Just imagine dueling cellos surrounded by the finest art in a spectacular building reminiscent of an intimate theater. Delicious!”

Leaping Lizard Gallery
224 N. Commercial Street
Trinidad, CO 81082
719/ 845-1881



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