Garman’s to remain in Old Colorado City
Business to become museum; grand opening May 16-17

       Not so fast.

Michael Garman is shown during one of his travels, circa late 1950s.
Courtesy of Vanessa Garman

       After announcing last August that poor health was forcing him to retire, internationally popular sculptor Michael Garman has decided to keep his business going in Old Colorado City after all.
       The grand opening of the new Michael Garman Museum is scheduled Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17 at the Garman building, 2418 W. Colorado Ave. The event will include the celebration of Garman's 71st birthday, according to his daughter Vanessa, who manages the operation.
       Some details about the new plan are being kept under wraps for now, but her announcement on the business website (michaelgarman.com) states that the museum will “highlight Michael's work from the last half-century.” And, at the grand opening, “new city-scapes will be revealed along with one-of-a-kind sculptures that have never before been publicly displayed. For the first time, Garman collectors will be able to design their own one-of-a-kind Shadowbox Street Scenes... Michael will be available to visit with customers and personally introduce the new museum.”
       A “sneak peek press preview” is planned Thursday, May 14 at 10 a.m.
       Ironically, the change of plans stemmed from his retirement announcement, during which he revealed plans to shut down what has been the Michael Garman Gallery and sell the building in which he'd created, manufactured and sold his pieces since 1975. He was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill” that followed his announcement, Vanessa Garman said in her website statement. “He has deeply enjoyed all his years in Old Colorado City. The thought of adding another vacant storefront to his beloved neighborhood did not sit well with [him]… Though his health has not improved dramatically, Michael possesses the same determination that once inspired a vagabond hitchhiker to travel across two continents and create an empire in which he could pay tribute to the common man, the wino and the hero in us all.”
       The museum will include a sales side, with copies of some of her father's character statues still available, she said.
       Garman has been forced to move away from Colorado because the altitude is bad for his heart - a congestive condition for which doctors gave him less than two years to live, he told a press conference last August. The plan at that time was to end wholesale production of the Garman statues Nov. 1 and retail production Dec. 31, leaving the store open until the inventory was gone. But over the winter there had been an unconfirmed report about Garman possibly keeping the business going in some new form.

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