With a focus on Northwestern Colorado art and culture, the Steamboat Art Museum (SAM) in downtown Steamboat Springs was established in 2006 when a group of artists felt the town needed an art museum that reflected its rich heritage. Since then, the museum has offered a venue for artists to exhibit their work which is inspired by the culture of the west. Apart from the exhibitions, the museum has an educational mission and offers outreach programs that both have proven beneficial to the community. In addition, there’s a workshop room and a library where visitors can get to learn about and practice one of the many forms of arts on offer there.
Modern Art, Historic Building
The saying “new wine in old bottles” couldn’t apply better to SAM. The museum is located in the Rehder Building, which dates back to 1905. It’s also on the list of historic buildings and efforts to maintain and preserve its original beauty are underway. At the time it was built, the town of Steamboat Springs was transforming itself from a frontier town to a bustling commercial hub and a growing economy. This is reflected in the architecture of the building, which combines Renaissance Revival and Romanesque styles. This unique style still bears testimony to the long, winding history of the town and the cultural influences that have added their marks on its character.
Local and International Exhibitions
Over the years, Steamboat Art Museum has offered over 35 exhibitions both of local artists and in collaboration with other countries such as Mexico. One of those exhibitions featured a collection of Russian art that goes back to the early twentieth century. Artists such as Clyde Aspevig, Donna Howell-Sickles, Scott Christensen, Jim Norton, and Quang Ho have also displayed their work here, along with national traveling exhibits. The University of Wyoming has loaned SAM its Bill Gollings exhibit which is worth around $10 million.
As part of the museum’s outreach to the community, regular Steamboat things to do and workshops are held here, including interactive workshops for all ages. Anyone with an interest in art can benefit from the outreach programs which offer opportunities to complete art projects. All programs are run by licensed art educators. In addition, the Museum Store is a venue for art lovers to own a piece of art by one of over 40 artists and jewelers, authors, and crafters.