The City of Gunnison is one of the oldest municipalities on the Western Slope. Much of its history still stands nestled between newer structures that comprise the City today. Both the residential area and the business district in the downtown area contain significant numbers of historic structures which have retained their basic character and have, thereby, maintained the "Old West" flavor of the ranching community. The Community Development Office assists property owners in listing their properties on the Historic Registry and publishes a Walking Tour of Historic Gunnison (pdf brochure) that is distributed to visitors through the Chamber of Commerce. The brochure is also available in the Community Development Office, 201 W. Virginia Avenue. If you are unable to take the tour in person, you may also take a virtual tour of the historic properties.
Since the first exhibition in 1993, SculpTour has fulfilled a community vision of an outdoor, visual arts exhibition of three- dimensional artwork placed in highly visible and accessible places in Gunnison. The purpose of SculpTour is to provide Gunnison residents and visitors with interesting arts imagery to entertain, contemplate and from which to learn. Through an intergovernmental agreement, many pieces from the City's collection are located at the Blackstock's Government Center, which provides a place for more optimal viewing of the pieces. To expand the walking tour of public art, pieces from the Western State College collection are also featured in SculpTour. The City publishes a printable brochure of the SculpTour, but you may also take a Virtual SculpTour.
Original Art in Public Places - Murals and Galleries
Gunnison has an ecclectic mix of art in public places and it is fun to stroll through the streets, alleys, and local businesses to enjoy the art that is on display. In addition to the specific murals, be sure to visit the local galleries to check out the art work that is on display. Along the way, you may see sculptures that are part of the SculpTour program. Some of the art is located in historic buildings that are part of the Historic Walking Tour. A printable brochure is available, but you may also take a virtual tour of the murals and galleries.
Chainsaw Carving Tour
These masterful carvings are the remains of dead trees that had to be limbed and girdled due totheir potentially hazardous state. The sculptures are created solely with chainsaws. Paint, burns and stain are added to the finished piece to add character and dimension. Two to three days of work goes into carving these trees from start to finish. Most of the carvings are the result of the "Carving Up Colorado" chainsaw competition that is held the third week in August. For more information about the competition, contact the City of Gunnison Parks and Recreation Department. Take a Virtual Tour of the Chainsaw Carvings or print the brochure.