Lucy Boody moved to Ridgway from Telluride with fellow artist Michael McCullough in 2003. Over the next decade, the couple would serve as the town's unofficial creative ambassadors, a creative power couple with an ocean of talent and ideas between them. Boody is a fiber artist who has shown and sold all over the country. Michael created some of the most iconic sculptures to be found on the Western Slope.
Q&A with Lucy Boody, Old Firehouse Studio
Among many other projects, together they opened the Old Firehouse Studio, which was also their home, started the Public Art for Ridgway program and created the Alley Poems and Alley Art projects, which add a touch of literary and artistic whimsy to Ridgway's nooks and crannies. When McCullough died in March, Ridgway mourned a creative visionary who was also one of the city's great civic champions, credited by Mayor John Clark as the person who "almost single-handedly made the Creative District happen." Boody was by his side every step of the way.
Confluence Denver: Why did you move from Telluride to Ridgway?
Lucy Boody: Michael decided I was going to be his girlfriend, and he kind of hit me over the head with a club, and off we went. We decided we would quit our jobs, and just make art -- make a garden, drive the firetruck around. The firehouse became this very ideal location. The first thing we did was put in a sink and a powder room. It was our living quarters; we were the first people who had ever lived there. It was a studio and a gallery, there was a retail space. It was really a dream, for eleven years.
CD: And it was a busy place.
LB: We would give up to 75 tours a day sometimes. We had endless traffic all the time. School kids would come for tours. Tour buses would come by. People from Europe and all over the world. They were so impressed with what we had done, with our lifestyle. We would get letters that said things like, 'When we got back to Australia, we quit our jobs, straight away.' And we would look at each other like, 'Hmm. What were they thinking?' They really bought the whole pony show. [Laughs.]
CD: What was the impetus for the Alley projects?
LB: Michael really was brilliant. He was great at coming up with ideas but he often needed a little push. That's often where I came in. About six years ago we just had this brainstorm about words and how they are just as much of an artistic embellishment as visual arts. He said, "I think we need alley art," and he got to it right away. He painted plywood, he picked out the poems himself. Eventually Kierstin Bridger a local literary hero said, 'Let's tidy this up.' They worked together on it, very tight and close.
CD: How would Michael feel about what's happened in Ridgway just in the past few months?
LB: Michael loved Ridgway and he loved the arts; he'd be very happy to see how far we've come. His enthusiasm for the town was riveting. We did so many things that helped people see, all you really need to create is the desire. If you have the desire, then anything is possible.
Photo by Matt Inden.