Telluride Arts: Art Walk, January 2017
Telluride Arts promotes a culture of the arts within the Telluride Arts District, which contains a remarkable concentration of activities that engage artists from around the region and across the globe. Telluride Arts’ First Thursday Art Walk is a festive celebration of the art scene in downtown Telluride for art lovers, community, and friends. Participating venues host receptions from 5 –8 p.m. to introduce new exhibits. A free gallery guide offers a self-guided tour that can be used any time to find galleries open most days. Guides are available at participating spaces and at the Telluride Arts offices at 135 West Pacific across the street from the Telluride Library. Listen to Open Art Radio on KOTO from 12-1 p.m. on First Thursdays to hear interviews with artists. For further information, you can also call 970-728-3930.
The New Year is a time for reflection; we look over our shoulders and try to make sense of the bits and pieces of our lives. The process is sort of like creating a mosaic. Like the colorful, magical work of mixed-media artist Flair Robinson.
And ringing in the New Year takes on a whole other meaning when you can actually wear the ring in question on your finger – say, something delicate and/or intricate by beloved jewelry designer Christopher Beaver.
Robinson and Beaver were the two featured at the Ah Haa‘s annual New Year’s Eve gala. Their work remains on display at the school for Telluride Arts’ first First Thursday Art Walk of 2017, January 5, 5 – 8 p.m., and throughout the month. (The show closes January 26.)
Mosaic is the art of creating images from small pieces of colored glass, stone, and other materials such as ceramic tiles. The resulting assemblages are used primarily for decorative purposes, generally inside a home or church. The technique used to create mosaics has been around for centuries, examples abound in pre-Islamic Persia, ancient Rome, and early Jewish and Christian cultures. Mosaics dominated church art throughout the Italian Renaissance and Baroque eras (16th and 17th centuries) and the art form is still going strong today.
Flair Robinson is a self-taught mosaic and assemblage artist. She works primarily with hand-cut ceramic tile, glass, and recycled junk, finding inspiration in vintage advertising, old road-side signs and attractions, carnival games, fabric and dreams. But Robinson is first and foremost a colorist, fascinated by kaleidoscopic combinations of varying hues. Flair admits to getting high all the time – from taking bits and pieces of nothing and turning them into something.
Christopher Beaver of Moon Bear Jewels, also a renowned healer, has lived in Telluride since 1993. He became intrigued by nature’s treasures at an early age, always loving the colors and shapes of different stones. His work has always flowed from that fixation.
Beaver traces his artistic roots back to his study of indigenous cultures. Years ago, he first expressed his admiration and connection to Native Americans through the medium of leather, fashioning a pair of pants using a simple hole punch and a pair of dull scissors for tools. Next came one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, which came to be sold all over Europe and in cities from Puerto Vallarta to Washington, D.C.– and then in the Telluride region.
‘I adore adorning people. I love the moment a woman puts something on and feels like she is ready to go out and meet the world. There is nothing more satisfying than bringing out someone’s inner beauty. That is why I do what I do…”
When crafting his pieces, Beaver claims a person he loves comes into mind and becomes his muse du jour:
“Lucky for me, I have those people around me in spades. I am blessed with a diversity of friends, loved ones, and a spiritual family. They are all somehow get grafted into my process. They inspire me to create with a loving energy. My messy working table is my canvas: I sit there and imagine what this person or that person would want to wear and why. It is with that in mind, I sit and create.”
Beaver has now been working in this fashion for about 15 years. He imbues each piece with loving energy that shines through all his collections.
“I think of my art as a living testament to the amazing women who grant me the privilege of being their friend. For love, with love, and through love this work exists and I, for one, am very grateful.”
There is a beautiful synergy between the two artists: Beaver’s small metal- and jeweled-pieces seem to ground Robinson’s large-scale, ornate installations. Threaded through their work is a shared conversation about light, personal reflection, simple form, and symbolic themes.
“We are thrilled to host two incredible, long-time locals,” says Ah Haa Executive Director Judy Kohin. “Christopher and Flair are uniquely brilliant in wonderfully different ways. The pairing of their work creates a surprising, colorful, exciting, and provocative, show.”
What new at Telluride’s oldest gallery, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art? Short answer: everything.
January 3, 2017 marked the day the venue at 130 East Colorado Avenue changed hands from its original owners, Will and Hilary Thompson, to Ashley Hayward and Michael Goldberg, part-time locals now based in San Francisco, who have been gallery customers for years. Baerbel Hacke, who began working with the Thompson’s in 1987, remains as director. She is supported by Christin Marcos and Malarie Reising Clark. The symbolic passing of the torch is scheduled for Art Walk, again, January 5 (also Hacke’s 66th birthday).
To celebrate, in addition to new encaustics by Shawna Moore, new oil paintings by Catherine Courtenaye, and new abstracts by Gordon Brown, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art will be introducing the work of Nelson Parrish, a hybrid of painting and sculpture fashioned from resin, pigmented resin, racing stripes, wood, and fiberglass.
“Nelson told us when we met over off-season that he challenged himself with a 30-mile swim off the coast of California in order to study the color blue,” said Malarie.
More about Nelson Parrish (from the catalog of a recent show) :
Southern California-based R. Nelson Parrish was inspired by his native Alaska’s totem pole, which is typically a decorative narrative of the legends of a culture told through man’s relationship with the land. Since hunting, shing, farming and trade traditionally were cornerstones of society, the totem pole united the stories of a community with its environment, through a form that inextricably linked art with nature. Requiring enormous labor, skill and craft, totems traditionally were made of wood, but today are also made of stone, glass and many other unconventional materials.
Parrish’s sculptural pieces are handcrafted of wood, aerospace aluminum and layered bio-resin, infused with splashes of vibrant color and racing stripes. The narratives depicted in Parrish’s work are conceptual and aesthetic tributes to seminal moments of expression or intense feeling, often triggered by nature and sports. Parrish seizes on the essence of the moment, and portrays its emotional story.
Prestigious venues including BMW Welt in Munich Germany, The Kimball Art Center in Park City UT., Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, CA., Museum of Art & History in Lancaster, CA., and the Anchorage Museum in Anchorage, AK. have featured Parrish’s work., which is also in the collections of John Legend, Rob Lowe, and the Hermes family.
Architectural Digest, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Outside Magazine, and Departures are among the publications which have showcasedParrish’s images.
“With purpose and passion Parrish…brings art and athleticism into graceful contact. That is rare and inspiring. It is also the mark of Parrish’s originality,” said David Pagel, art critic and contributor, LA Times.
The work of Stephanie Morgan Rogers is on display through January 31 at Telluride Arts’ HQ Gallery, 135 West Pacific, directly across the street from the Telluride Library, open daily 12-6 p.m., or by appointment. Her “Songline” features paintings, jewelry, and installations.
“1. Songlines. Australian Aboriginal mythology. A path across the land (or sometimes the sky) marking the route followed by an Aboriginal ancestor made during the Dreaming; often recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance, and painting.”
Named for the mythological Aboriginal calling to follow a mysterious dream track,“Songline,” the show, is about Morgan’s own creative walkabout.
“I have embarked on a journey into my own art process and created imagery that illustrates some significant discoveries along the way.”
This allegorical body of work is the continuation of her ongoing theme centered on relationships between land, humans, animals, and the Great Unknown.
Born and raised in Seattle, Stephanie Morgan Rogers is a fine artist known for her illustrative, whimsical, yet sophisticated style. She often paints on metal, encouraging a patina that evokes layers of history in her pieces. Inspired by myth, history, folklore, and spirit, Morgan’s images have been described as a seamless blend of old world ambience and American folk art. Mountain Living, Vogue Living, and Sundance have featured her work, as well as some commercial endeavors including Starbucks. She lives on a small ranch in Ridgway, Colorado with her husband Tate, three children, and an extended family of animals whom she describes as her muses.
Through January 25, Telluride Arts’ Gallery 81435, 230 S Fir Street, exhibits the work of Emily Palmquist. The opening reception, 5 – 8 p.m., coincides with Art Walk. The show is entitled “Mountain Bed.”
“Dependent upon life around me, I am willed to paint it. To better absorb and perhaps celebrate my various environs, painting offers to capture some essence or wives tale of the everyday sticks and stones that keep me standing,” said the artist.
Emily Palmquist’s newest series of images is an intimate observation of the mesa she has inhabited over nearly three winters. Seasons transform with the interchange of birds and wildflowers, the various state and movement of water, a hen’s first egg, and her last feather. Winter leaves the fence lines buried up to their ears, slowly emerging with spring. Summer’s leaves turn brown and dry just in time for the winds of fall to blow the trees bare. Days are stitched together with tracks in the snow, rain clouds pulling low against the valley, and another dead vole at her threshold.
“I turn a circle as land and life keep a rhythm around me.”
Art Walk, Participating Venues, January:
Ah Haa School for the Arts
Baked in Telluride
Elinoff & Co. Gallery
LDGiles at Happy Print Studio
MiXX projects + atelier
Slate Gray Gallery
Telluride Arts HQ Gallery
Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
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