Local artists and newcomers sell at Holiday Farmers Market – The Durango Herald

About 45 food and art vendors were featured on Saturday

Durango – Dustin Cook of Dustin Cook Design paints his first commissioned piece as he is surrounded by his artwork on Saturday at the Holiday Farmers Market in La Plata County Fairgrounds. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)

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The annual Holiday Farmers’ Market held on Saturday at La Plata County Fairgrounds welcomed local farmers, ranchers and artists. Some of the vendors at the covered market are relatively new to the scene and are taking the chance to participate.

Dustin Cook of Dustin Cook Design was one of the newer artists to set up at the Saturday market. Cook, a freelance graphic designer, has been from Durango for 11 years and an acrylic painter for 10 years.

This was Cook’s first year to participate in farmers’ markets. He attended the weekly farmer’s markets when there was a retail space to house it and also attended the Sunday art markets in the summer, he said.

On Saturday, he could be seen working on his first commission, an acrylic on canvas project. Cook sat at his booth with his artwork propped up on an easel, his previous works displayed behind him and on a table for passers-by to inspect.

One large room featured an Escher-style labyrinthine composition with cubic rectangles merging with each other.

“He’s (MC Escher) a huge influence to me,” Cook said without looking away from his web.

Cook said he drew his whole life, but about 10 years ago he picked up a brush and hasn’t put it down since.

Attending farmers’ markets has helped Cook get his name known to the public, he said. He sees familiar faces in the markets and there is more interest in his work since becoming a salesperson.

He said an increase in recognition makes people more likely to support a local artist.

Dustin Cook, of Dustin Cook Design, said he was heavily inspired by Dutch surrealist artist MC Escher, famous for his depictions of impossible architectures envisioned in woodcuts, lithographs and black prints. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)

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Cook is a freelance graphic designer and no stranger to “Durango Tango” – he’s a bartender at J. Bo’s Pizza and Ribs to help pay the bills.

Learn more about Cook’s graphic designs at www.dustincookdesign.com.

Deb Wolf is another artist new to the farmer’s market and the Durango region. She is from New England, where she attended many other similar markets as a salesperson.

Wolf’s specialty oil painting and frame making, she said. It focuses on the use of recycled materials for its executives.

She pointed to a room and said its frame was constructed from recycled pallet wood.

“I wrap a lot of my frames in aspen bark,” she said.

She mainly paints landscapes and seascapes, mostly from her imagination.

“I like to play with light, texture and shade,” she said. “My goal is to make them powerful enough that way. “

Wolf has carried his passion for art since childhood, she said. She attended art school and studied art therapy and dabbled in design.

She said it just made sense for her to merge art and curation through her practice of using reused wood materials for her custom frames.

Deb Wolf, of Deb Wolf Designs, shows her work on Saturday at the Holiday Farmers Market at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. She is an oil painter and prefers to make her own frames from recycled wood materials. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)

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“I’m going to buy some frames,” Wolf said. “No. 1, they’re overpriced. No. 2, they all look alike. Black, brown, metal. Boring. It occurred to me, why not make my own? I like the look rustic from the use of aged wood.

The framing is pretty easy, she said. All you need is a miter saw, a miter box and a wood router.

“Be good enough at measuring,” Wolf said. “Measurement is the key. Now it’s easy, I can do three a day.

She said her husband recently bought a snowblower which came on a large wooden pallet. She said seeing the palette made her feel as bright as a child in a candy store.

The Holiday Farmers’ Market was just the second market Wolf attended, but she loves Durango.

“We (Wolf and her husband, Joe) lived in Santa Fe when we were in our twenties, so we came to Durango a lot,” she said. “We made the decision to take the big step.

Wolf’s art is available online at www.dwolfdesigns.net.

Theresa Fagundes is a local artist and quilter who started making pottery about seven years ago. Her first farmer’s market was the Thanksgiving 2020 Farmer’s Market. She said she attended about three markets during the summer this year.

She works in her garage and says she loves to translate the natural beauty of the world into her pottery and quilts.

“My main goal is to bring in the outside world,” she said. “You can walk outside and see color and beauty everywhere, but sometimes I think we forget to work for it. I think my pieces remind people to look for it.

Fagundes majored in art to start college, but her mother suggested she try something like nursing. That’s what she did – for 13 years. But she has returned to art and this is her first gig these days.

“About three years ago it (pottery) really took off due to unforeseen circumstances,” she said. “But it was pretty amazing to watch that happen.”

Discover more art from Fagundes at www.fiberandglaze.com.

Nina Heron of Bhakti Moon Botanicals, had a station at the Holiday Farmers Market with essential oils and other skin, body and spa care products that she developed.

“We try to grow as much as possible and sustainably source all of our products and ingredients – aromatherapy, herbal, product line,” she said. “Here, we make everything in a natural and organic way.

Heron is a clinical aromatherapist and has worked with essential oils for at least 30 years.

“I like working with spas,” she says. “We create body care and services. I have worked in the spa industry as a massage therapist. I have owned my own spas.

She said she started to create her own products and the project took off from there. She said that becoming a salesperson for her own products was a natural progression and that she loved the creative process.

“The core of what we do is create spa rituals in your everyday life,” Heron said. “To make every little bit of routine a little bit more sacred in some way. It’s just an invitation to bring this more into your daily life and into your daily routine. You create more presence, joy and beauty.

Becky Heine, owner of Southwest Sweets, holds a Spiced Rum Bundt cake that she made and was selling along with other baked goods on Saturday at the Holiday Farmers Market in La Plata County Fairgrounds. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)

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Becky Heine and her new business Southwest Sweets are one of the newest sellers in the market this holiday season. Cookies and brownies are her goal, but not just any cookies – giant cookies.

“I’m just a brand new company and this is my second market now,” she said. “I hope to get my name known and get people to try my cookies and all that.”

Heine launched Southwest Sweets around September, she said. It offers a wide array of cookie flavors such as spicy chai snickerdoodles, gingerbread caramel and oatmeal toffee. Its menu also includes vegan options.

So far, her customers seem to be drawn to the more unique flavors, Heine said. Gingerbread Caramel was a big seller on Saturday at the Holiday Farmers Market. Her gluten-free brownies also performed well and were sold out by 1pm.

She said her favorite product was her brownies. With her business thriving, she said she plans to start a website in the near future.

Heine with Southwest Sweets can be reached at [email protected] and followed at @ southwest.sweets on Instagram.

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