Touchstone Laramie

The biennial Touchstone Laramie 2020 Online Exhibition is set to showcase new work created by local artists during the last two years.

A biennial showcase of local artists is moving online for a month-long exhibition and sale.

Touchstone Laramie, which has taken place every other year since 2020, is set to run from Nov. 6-Dec. 5 through laramieartistsproject.org.

Normally, the Touchstone Laramie exhibition takes over the floor of a local hotel during a long weekend, with rooms transformed into galleries. The set-up allows viewers to meet and chat with artists as they view the work in an intimate setting. Artists display new work they’ve created during the past two years.

Event organizer John Baker said this year’s virtual edition aims to maintain the personal setting despite limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s forced us to look at some different technology we might employ to try to maintain the flavor of that event,” he said.

An opening reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Nov. 6, with registration required. During that event, audience members can participate in a moderated chat with the artists and view a looping display of sample work from each one.

Local musicians will provide the soundtrack, and participants can even take advantage of food and drink specials offered by Coal Creek Coffee and Sweet Melissa Café.

“We’ve tried to encompass every aspect that we can think of that goes on with our live event, but in a different way,” Baker said.

During the exhibition itself, viewers can view the artists’ newest work, get in touch with them directly, learn where they have more work on display online and in galleries, and purchase their work. There will also be at least one panel discussion at some point during the exhibition.

“We’re trying to include as much information as we can, within the context of entering each person’s small gallery,” Baker said.

About two-dozen artists are participating this year, working in a variety of media including photography, paint, fabric art, sculpture, printmaking and more. Some are new to the exhibition, while others are long-time participants.

The Laramie Artist Project is a collaboration of exhibiting professional artists that put together the Touchstone show. Baker said their goal is to showcase work being done locally.

“We set out to present this personable event every two years as a means of informing the community and also inspiring the community to do their own artwork,” he said.

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