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Jessie O’Brien’s articles

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Local freelance journalist taps into her 7-year-old self to write new children’s book

Kate Siber is a freelance journalist who has been living in Durango for the last 13 years. Her byline often appears in Outside Magazine, but her work has been featured in National Parks Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, and Men’s Journal. As a freelancer, Siber is able to follow her story interests,...

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Printmaker Grace Turman Damien’s symbolic self-portraits

Local printmaker Grace Turman Damien is quick-witted and funny, but her reliefs reveal her dark shadow without being too literal. Turman Damien said her work is typically a reflection of the inner worlds and thoughts she expresses through symbolism. Next month, Turman Damien will be creating Moku Hanga (Japanese woodblock...

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The twisted American history of black braids

Black hair is as much an art form as it is an essential part of African American identity. On April 15, Fort Lewis College Black Student Union held a hair show to discuss the historical and cultural meaning of what black hair represents.

“Hair is a piece of culture that isn’t necessarily always talked about,” said...

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Fencline Cider in Mancos is your new boozy home away from home

Pour it up. And by “it” we mean apple cider, because out at Fenceline Cider in Mancos, you’ll find plenty of the good stuff. The new cidery is the latest addition to the Four Corners’ vibrant local brew scene, but in this case, the brewers are eschewing hops and barley, and are utilizing local fruit from the town’s...

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Local yokels: artist Tony Lemos

As a young painter, Tony Lemos had an understanding of impermanence. He grew up in the homes of the elderly people his mother, a nurse, cared for. He spent much of his time with the aging – some with Alzheimer’s disease, some with Lou Gehrig’s disease – which helped him form a deep compassion and an understanding of how time...

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Artist writes a musical to cope with his mother’s dementia

When you walk in John Thomas’ studio, tucked away off of 9th Avenue, one of the first things you’ll notice is a fireplace mantle that’s been converted into a bar top. The bar isn’t for personal use, though. It’s part of the set he built for the musical, “Mama’s Bar,” which he wrote with his mother while she was in Sunshine...

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Durango’s wheeled wonders

Durango is home to weirdos, outdoor daredevils, and creatives, so it isn’t surprising that badass bikes – cycles that are cooler, or faster, or more unique – have always been popular with locals. These function-meets-fashion bikes tend to mirror the rider’s personality and interests, and act as a rolling example of just how...

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Winning the Macho’s Nachos challenge

My editor had the “fun” idea to do the Macho’s Fast Mexican Food nachos challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, it’s essentially eating a cafeteria tray piled with a mountain of tortilla chips made with corn from all of Nebraska’s cornfields. On top of the chips sits a mound of beef, cheese, sour cream, pico de...

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Local Yokels: El Moro bartender Lucas Hess on the rum comeback

Local Yokels is a new weekly series where we feature someone from Durango who we think you should know. This week meet Lucas Hess, a bartender at El Moro Spirits and Tavern. His love of cocktails runs deep, and while he is a bourbon fan, he said people shouldn’t overlook the spirit found in our favorite tiki drinks....

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Ink utility: Tattoos are more than an artform

While tattoos are certainly an artform, the ink beneath the skin is not always about self-expression. There are ways the centuries-old needle-driven art is being used in practical, or even scientific, ways, often to help make our lives easier. From aesthetics to ancient medicine, here’s how tattoos are used for function....

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Hitchin’ a ride

U.S. Highway 550 between Durango and Hermosa is one of the few places in America where it’s still normal to see hitchhikers. For the past two months, I’ve driven that stretch of highway to and from work, and at least once a week I’ll see someone with a large pack, sun-kissed cheeks, and uncombed hair under a sweat-stained hat...

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The twisted American history of black braids

Black hair is as much an art form as it is an essential part of African American identity. On April 15, Fort Lewis College Black Student Union held a hair show to discuss the historical and cultural meaning of what black hair represents.

“Hair is a piece of culture that isn’t necessarily always talked about,” said...

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