Art Walk includes painted roof tile originals from Glen Eyrie
Original roof tiles from William Palmer's Glen Eyrie mansion off 30th Street have found new life in the world of art.
Through the Via Affirmativa Tile Project, various artists from around the country have in recent years been painting colorful scenes on the roughly 8-by-4-inch flat, red clay pieces that, according to legend, were shipped back to Glen Eyrie from a demolished English monastery that Palmer himself had found.
About 20 of these tiles will go on display at the Cucuru Gallery and Café, 2332 W. Colorado Ave. during the Old Colorado City First Friday Art Walk June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Via Affirmativa was started several years ago by artist Gary Bradley, currently of North Carolina. A long-time member of the Navigators - the Christian organization that has owned Glen Eyrie for more than 50 years - he found about 1,000 of the tiles piled up after a roof replacement project “and being the artist he was, he decided they would be a really great surface to paint on,” explained Navigators historian Susan Fletcher. “So he came up with a really great project.”
There is no exclusivity attached to Via Affirmativa, she added, noting that blank original tiles continue to be painted, that the paintings usually depict some Glen Eyrie theme, and that Bradley's overall goal has been to make the painted tiles “available in as many places as possible.”
As an historical side note, Fletcher pointed out that although the story about Palmer and the English tiles has often been repeated, she has never been able to confirm it from a first-hand source, and the location of the purported monastery in the stories is not always the same.
Other recent announcements for the Art Walk (in addition to those reported in the May 28 Pioneer) are as follows:
Westside Pioneer/press release