Turquoise Raven Gallery: An Unkindness among the Artists

Paintings. Collages. Mosaics. Photography. Glasswork. Drawings. Walking Sticks. Books. Jewelry. Leatherwork. Pottery.

These are all things that ignite Mary Fuller’s passion for art. For years, she’s had a vision of bringing artists from the Four Corners together into dedicated fine art gallery.

In 2020, after various careers in both the education and nonprofit sector, she decided that it was time to make her dream a reality.

Being a former teacher, Mary understood the value of education. So, she enrolled in the SBDC’s Launching Your Business Workshop with Cindi Dvergsten. “Her knowledge was amazing! After the class, I had two meetings with her. Both were very valuable.”

Then, the pandemic struck, and Mary suddenly needed a lot of patience to get her gallery off the ground. Contractors were spread thin, and it took much longer than she could have anticipated to open the doors.

But, at long last, open they did!

The Turquoise Raven Art Gallery, located right on Main Street in Cortez, has now been open for one month.

The gallery is bright and airy, giving it a museum feel. The walls aren’t crowded with art; instead, each piece stands alone. Scattered throughout the gallery, you’ll find furniture and chess tables. This allows visitors to relax and take their time to get to know each piece of art.

So, how did she come up with the gallery’s name?

“Turquoise has significance in this area. Ravens are so intelligent, rambunctious, mischievous, and bold. It just sat right.”

A group of ravens is called an unkindness, which gave Mary the creative idea for the first exhibit title. She loves being part of the local art community, and some of the local artists have been instrumental in helping her get up and running. Some have been in galleries throughout the country and have been able to offer excellent advice.

Moving forward, Mary’s vision is to continue to create a market for local artists, so their work becomes collectible and appreciated. She also wants to build up young artists by helping them get into the professional art business. “I really want people in this area to be promoted by a gallery, and I want tourists to know that we are here. Montezuma County has numerous artists, and many bring talent, dedication and passion that has previously been unknown.”

Although she had originally planned to open during the summer, Mary is thrilled to be open in time for the holidays. In the coming months, she plans to host a number of small events, including artist talks, literary talks, workshops, art classes, and more. Once everything is running smoothly, she will host a grand opening.

Mary knows that the SBDC played a vital role in getting the Turquoise Raven Art Gallery up and running, and she encourages every prospective entrepreneur to take the SBDC’s class. “Recently, a young man came into the gallery, and I told him to take it when it’s available! There is so much to starting a business. The class gets you into that mindset of thinking that way; it’s important!”

Pagosa Mountain Sports: Go Find Your Adventure

A community outdoor shop with a heavy focus on bikes. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Jake and Janine Emmets, Amanda Gadomski, and Coquette Collins all thought so. So, in 2015, they launched Pagosa Mountain Sports in a tiny house in Downtown Pagosa Springs. And for the past seven years, their business has continued to grow. They sell and provide rentals of stand-up paddle boards, skis, snowshoes, and of course, bikes. They also carry supplies

Read More »
Ignited Imagery

In 2006, La Plata County Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Wingerd received a simple gift. It was a six megapixel camera from his mother. Little did he know that it would change his life. He started taking photographs, and several of them sold in a gallery in Bisbee, Arizona. He became obsessed. For the next ten years, he continued taking photos and videos and practiced editing them. In 2014, Ignited Imagery was born. He worked at the

Read More »
Cedar Enterprises Wildfire Mitigation and Landscaping

In just over two years, Cedar Enterprises went from a one-man show with a pickup truck to a team of employees executing government contracts. How was all this possible? Owner Bryan Wendt credits the supportive team at Southwest Colorado SBDC. Cedar Enterprises specializes in landscaping and fire mitigation. For his first five years in business, Bryan was the sole owner and operator and focused on small residential projects. In 2020, the company was awarded a

Read More »
Mancos Early Childhood Learning Center

By Malia Durbano Many people and organizations came together to bring the Mancos Early Childhood Learning Center to fruition. Ken Charles, with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, read about the proposed center in the Mancos Times. He contacted Brian Hanson, Superintendent of Schools for the Mancos School District and encouraged him to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to build the school. The grant comes from HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban

Read More »
Handcrafted House

Since opening its doors in mid December of 2010, Handcrafted House has seen a great response from the community thus far, says owner Sheryl Lock. Located at 1323 East 2nd Ave., the store offers sustainable finishes and interiors. “We carry all non-toxic finishes and will be expanding into interiors: natural latex beds, rugs, shower curtains, organic bedding,” describes Lock. “We’ll also have more wall stencils and fun things like that; we’ve been adding about a

Read More »
Durango Lawns: Keeping Durango Green

Some people adore yard work. Others prefer to leave their lawn care to the experts, so they have the freedom to go play. It is on this principle that Durango Lawns was founded. Although he is an electrician by trade, Pat Cass spent many of his early years working in lawn maintenance. He enjoys working outdoors and staying physically active, and for years, he dreamed of starting his own lawn company. Finally in 2019, he

Read More »
Skip to content