Ah Haa: Elaine's Last Picture Show, 3/24

“Elaine’s Last Picture Show,” an exhibit and sale, takes place Friday, March 24, 5-8 p.m. in the Ah Haa School’s Daniel Tucker Gallery. The show illustrates the depth and breadth of Elaine Fischer’s creativity and represents the last opportunity to purchase her fine art in a gallery setting, while supporting the further education of aspiring young artists. Elaine’s work is to be displayed and sold this one night only. Don’t miss out.

Self-portrait in abstract

Elaine Fischer was a Telluride resident for over 30 years.

Rather, only 30 years.

Elaine started out life in town cleaning kitchen sinks etc. as a maid.

She went on to tidy up town business.

Finally Elaine returned to her first love, making art, and wound up cleaning again – this time, lots of paint brushes.

In 1996, when she was mayor of Telluride, asked to describe her philosophy of life, she replied: “Live life to the fullest.”

And for years, Elaine Fischer did just that, contributing to the greater Telluride community as council member, mayor, county commissioner, artist, philanthropist, role model, and beloved friend.

Indecision, by Elaine Fischer

From childhood, it was a slow, but steady march back to the easel.

Elaine created her first opus magnum in kindergarten, a work her teacher hung in front of the classroom for weeks. In elementary school, she was chosen for a special art program at the Carnegie Institute, one of only 300 Pittsburgh kids selected to study theory and technique. Elaine attended the course from ages 9 – 17, graduating high school with a rock solid background in ceramics and painting. At Rhode Island School of Design, Elaine learned to sculpt. Sculpting led to a deeper interest in painting – and no wonder: Elaine is the niece of world-renowned painter Philip Pearlstein, whose tactile nudes appear to have been sculpted with paint.

Elaine Fischer shared other things with Uncle Phil, adjectives such as matter-of-fact, sharp, hard, clear, not idealized, in-your-face, words that also sum up Pearlstein’s body (pun intended) of work.

As an art form, portraiture generally falls into two camps: the brush for hire, whose job is to enshrine social and public roles; and students of human nature, who tend not to decorate reality. Elaine Fischer’s portraits landed squarely in the latter art-for-art’s-sake camp. Nothing about her work was politically correct. Pointing her paint brushes at her heart, Elaine wound up revealing bare naked truths about who she really was  – and the fact she was one heck of a painter and personality.

At its bi-annual meeting on July 5, 2016, the Telluride Foundation’s Board of Directors selected the late Elaine Fischer as 2016 Outstanding Citizen of the Year, an award that honors individuals who unselfishly make extraordinary contributions to the region’s quality of life. Elaine was unanimously selected for her legacy of exemplary service and volunteerism.

As an Outstanding Citizen, Elaine was honored with a commemorative plaque and a grant of $5,000 that was given to the Elaine R. C. Fischer Visual Arts Scholarship Fund designed to help graduating seniors continue their education in visual arts.

Unsigned self-portrait sketch

And now the Telluride community has a chance to enhance the fund by obtaining an original Elaine Fischer painting or sketch. The event is also an opportunity to celebrate with others who loved Elaine as a person and admired her as an artist and so much more.

“Elaine’s Last Picture Show” features a variety of Elaine Fischer’s work in a wide range of prices, so there should be something for everyone.

Again, all proceeds from the evening will help fund fund a scholarship which is just part of Elaine’s robust legacy.

Elaine created art that was original and personal. Anyone who knew her was inspired by what happened when she picked up a paintbrush,” said longtime friend Amy Levek. “We, Elaine’s friends, hope people in the Telluride community will help keep her memory alive by supporting the scholarship fund she had always dreamed of establishing. Whatever money is raised through this show will help Telluride students find their own artistic expression through further education.”

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Susan Viebrock

Susan Viebrock

Susan is Telluride Inside… and Out’s founder and editor-in-chief, the visionary on the team, in charge of content, concept and development. For 19+ years, Susan has covered Telluride’s cultural economy, which includes non-profits and special events. Much of her writing features high-profile individuals in the arts, entertainment, business, and politics. She is a former Citibank executive specializing in strategic planning and new business development, and a certified Viniyoga instructor.
Susan Viebrock

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