Painting the Town

Eight canvases painted by Southern Ute tribal member Issac Suina with the help of Janice Riley and Ashlynn Dicksen, displayed on the Dancing Spirit Art Corner. The canvases were put on display in May of this year. The Art Corner is located on Goddard Ave. and Empire St., local artists and community members are also encouraged to share their artwork for display.
Photo Credit: Divine Windy Boy | SU Drum

Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center is dedicated to providing the community with programs that enhance creativity and fellowship; promoting education, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts. Dancing Spirit offers ongoing art classes for children, adults, and families; they serve the community with programs that bring everyone together and lift everyone up. The Dancing Spirit Art Corner, on Goddard Ave. and Empire St., has recently been updated with eight canvases with the help of Janice Riley, Ashlynn Dicksen, and Southern Ute tribal member Issac Suina.  

The Art Corner originated in 2010, but did not hold art up until April of 2021, art began to fill up the corner in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for community members to express themselves after a year in lockdown. Kasey Corria, member of the Dancing Spirit Board of Directors, helped to update the corner in May of this year. “Fear was in the air, so it came to me one day at my loss and feeling mournful, let’s do this art corner and they [community members] can do art installation on their own,” Corria said. “It gave them a way to communicate things that were going on and it was really awesome, the art that went in there.”  

With the talents of artists Riley, Dicksen, and Suina the art corner has since been adorned with eight canvases depicting nature and young children.  

The Art Corner is sponsored by Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center and the community is more than welcome to share their artwork to be displayed, and they currently have another set of eight blank canvases ready to be painted. Dancing Spirit has an abundance of art materials needed to complete the canvases if anyone is interested. Artists can reach out to Kasey Corria to share any design ideas or to volunteer to complete the artwork. “They can reach out to me if they have any ideas for the art corner, it is open to all,” Corria said. “I challenge the youth to step up — this public art is an awesome opportunity for you to be able to make people think and make us scratch our heads.” 

Dancing Spirit also has an art co-op currently located at 695 Goddard Ave. in downtown Ignacio, Colo., the co-op is looking to represent the community with art from Native American and community artists. The co-op is operational every Thursday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., artists can rent a space for $25 a month and work two-to-four-hour shifts at the co-op to avoid paying commissions that can be in the upwards of 60% after they create their art pieces. For more information on how to have your art displayed at either the Art Corner or the Dancing Spirit Co-Op please contact Dancing Spirit at 970-563-4600 or visit their website at  

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