Annual Joshua Been art show benefitting Land Trust set for Dec. 12

Landscape artist Joshua Been hosts the seventh annual Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas Benefit Art Show from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 at his gallery, 139 W. First St. in downtown Salida.

Last year’s event raised $1,000 for the Land Trust and attendees packed the gallery.

“This is the only event of its kind in the Valley,” said Been, who paints landscapes in the Impressionistic Realism style. “The idea is to put like-minded people in the room with art depicting the land that they live in.”

Been said he is an avid supporter of the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas because its conservation work helps protect the views and scenes he captures on his canvas.

Painted in the “here and now,” Been’s work depicts the variety of life in the 21st Century, which can include manmade objects, figures and animals to provide a sense of scale.

“I like to have a statement of our growing population but also want my work to be uplifting, to provide a spiritual connection with Wilderness,” he said. “The land attracts a large number of tourists, and we could ruin that by killing the scenic views of farmlands on mountainous backdrops.”

Since 2009, the Land Trust has helped protect more than 9,000 acres and placed 33 properties under conservation easement, and manages two reserves.

At the annual benefit, 30 percent of sales will be donated toward continuing the land trust’s work in protecting natural, agricultural, scenic and historic lands and water in Lake, Chaffee, Fremont, Saguache, and Park counties.

Works available will include a wide selection of gift-oriented miniatures in addition to Been’s larger paintings.

Kalamatapit Catering will provide hors d’oeuvres for the free event. For more information call the land trust at 539-7700.

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