Linda Wingate was managing a restaurant in Steamboat Springs when she found a window that needed attention. A glass artist went to work on the window, and Wingate, enthralled, soon found herself with a new passion and career, as a three-dimensional, multimedia glass artist.
“I decided glasswork was something I wanted to do, but couldn’t afford at the time, so I started teaching myself,” Wingate says. “I was working part-time, making small pieces and selling them at local gift shops.”
That was in 1982. Now she works full-time at her craft, winning awards and accolades while surrounded by a community of artists that support and challenge her. This weekend, Wingate and her studio will return as a featured stop on the Stapleton Open Studios Tour, which includes 26 artists showcasing a range of work that includes photography, watercolor and acrylic paint, sculpture, and jewelry. (Here’s the full list.)
The open studios tour is a production of Stapleton Artists, a nonprofit organization Wingate joined several years ago that provides an inclusive community for local artists. Wingate has participated in the seven-year-old tour since its beginning, showing off her skills and teaching others about her craft for the better part of a decade.
In 2017, Ice, the piece Wingate calls her most rewarding, was selected over dozens of other works to be the poster photo for the Stapleton Open Studios Tour. The glass bowl took many hours to complete, requiring her to ultraviolet glue on hundreds of tempered glass chips, one by one.
“The talent is incredible in our group, so to be selected was an honor,” Wingate says.
This talent is something that is showcased by the Stapleton Open Studios Tour, which Wingate says is not about sales but rather information and instruction.
“When you come into our studios you will see people painting or throwing clay, working with their medium, and it inspires those who come in to try something they didn’t think they could do,” Wingate said.
Maybe even a restaurant manager in a ski town.
The Stapleton Open Studios Tour, which is free, will run Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 28-29) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at local artist studios in the Stapleton neighborhood. There are downloadable, printable maps on StapletonArtists.org, and the locations will be easy to identify in the community by their yard signs and door banners.
On Friday evening, Sept. 27, the public is welcome at a reception for the artists from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Cube.