“Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess”

Photograph by Daniel Workman, CMC Photography Student

Photograph by Daniel Workman, CMC Photography Student

‘Less Is More’ in Aspen

CMC students, staff, faculty express what sustainability means to them

By, Carrie Click

At a time when more people are talking about sustainability and reducing humans’ impact on the environment, an upcoming exhibit at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen is focusing on these principles through artistic interpretation.

In “Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess,” exhibit curator and Colorado Mountain College art instructor K Rhynus Cesark has gathered nonjuried work from approximately 25 Colorado Mountain College students, faculty and staff from throughout the college’s nine-county service area.

Colorado Mountain College offers a bachelor’s degree in sustainable studies at several campuses, though the exhibit’s contributors come from not only those locations but from other campuses as well.

“We have participants from Aspen, Spring Valley, Rifle, Steamboat, Leadville and Breckenridge,” said Rhynus. “This call for entries has encouraged dialogue between students and faculty, and faculty to faculty, [about] creating work that is sustainable with regards to the materials and practices used, as well as the concepts that the artwork addresses.”

‘Range of interpretations’

In the initial call for entries for the exhibit, Rhynus posed the question, “What does it look like to live simply and with less in our culture of ‘more’?” Participants have answered this question through their artwork, and also through a written explanation about how their work addresses the “less is more” question.

“There’s a broad range of interpretation,” Rhynus said of the submitted work and the writing.

There are black-and-white photos: one of a sparse landscape with more sky than land, and one of Costa Rican children standing in line in a slum with plates and spoons in their hands, and another of a diner wearing a hazmat suit while eating at a fast food restaurant. There’s a sculpture made from dog bones, a wreath made of plastic toys.

Christine Anderson, a painting instructor known for her large-scale figurative paintings, submitted a piece she calls “Plastic Fish Dinner,” of fish made of discarded plastic containers hanging from borrowed fishing poles leaning against one of the gallery’s walls.

“The theme pushed her to think outside her creative comfort zone,” Rhynus said. “I enjoy seeing artists push outside that zone.”

Excess in Aspen

Rhynus, who teaches at the college’s campus in Aspen, said she believes it’s an ideal place to present a show that delves into a “less is more” theme, even though some aspects of the area – such as enormous, expensive homes – can be materialistically excessive.

“I feel there are many Aspen residents who dedicate themselves and their businesses to address and adhere to the importance of sustainability,” Rhynus said. “I feel this concerns everyone, regardless of income bracket or demographics. To some this might seem like a contradiction in terms – hosting ‘Less Is More’ here in Aspen – but I don’t agree. I feel it’s a perfect fit.”

“Less Is More: Sustainable Art and New Media in a Culture of Excess” opens with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, 255 Sage Way, at the Aspen Airport Business Center.

The show runs through March 31, though those who want to see the exhibit are strongly advised to call 925-7740 first to make sure a class or other event is not in session in the gallery. For additional information, contact Alice Beauchamp, CMC ArtShare director, at 947-8367 or visit cmcartshare.com.

 

 

 

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ArtShare Gallery to Exhibit Alix Knipe

"Language of Lost and Found" / 30 x 20"

“Language of Lost and Found” / 30 x 20″

‘Traces of Place: Sculpture by Alix Knipe’ opens on Jan. 9 at CMC ArtShare Gallery

Internationally recognized ceramic artist Alix Knipe will be the focus of “Traces of Place: Sculpture by Alix Knipe,” a solo exhibit of her work, opening Jan. 9 at the CMC ArtShare Gallery in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Based in Carbondale, Knipe has taught ceramic arts at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle and Aspen. She has received numerous academic and fine arts scholarships and awards, among them a Fulbright research fellowship studying pottery in Turkey and a graduate student fellowship studying ceramics in Burma.

Knipe’s exhibit opens with a free public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 9. The show runs through Feb. 27. CMC ArtShare Gallery, 802 Grand Ave., in Glenwood Springs, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Note that the gallery is closed Christmas Day (and the afternoon before) and New Year’s Day (and the afternoon before). For more information, call 947-8367 or visit cmcartshare.com.

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Gone Clubbin’

This article on the Pottery Club of Aspen’s annual Holiday Pottery Sale was first printed in the Aspen Daily News. The event runs from Dec. 11-13 at CMC in Aspen. Numerous CMC faculty and students take part.

Two Dozen Potters Find a Common Interest, and Put it On Sale

Photo of pottery by Jordan Curet.

We’ve got ski clubs and equestrian clubs. There are mushroom-hunting clubs and broomball clubs, running clubs and book clubs. The Roaring Fork Valley is home to hundreds of groups of people who get together and bond over a shared interest.

Most of them don’t get their time in the spotlight, but for the Pottery Club of Aspen, this is their chance to shine. Every holiday season, the nearly 25 members of the group put their products on sale at Aspen’s Colorado Mountain College  annual pottery sale.

But, the sale is not just a sale, say members, and the group is not just a group.

“It’s so much more than just a studio,” says Emily Lanese, a potter who’s taken classes at CMC for eight years. “In it we have people who have millions of dollars and teachers and preschool teachers, we have raft guides and a retired electrician.”

All of these members — many of whom got their start in ceramics through a class at CMC — create wares and sculpture throughout the year, and then seize the opportunity to sell it at the year-end event. Each student puts several dozen items on sale, from bowls and mugs to larger sculptures, so the result can be thousands of pieces from which to choose.

Anne Goldberg, a professional potter and adjunct faculty member in ceramics at CMC, says that the diversity in offerings is one of the best parts.

“Students can see the varied work that faculty members make and see what other students are making,” she says.

This year, she’s contributing nearly 100 pieces, most of which fall in the porcelain tumbler family.

Besides providing works to sell, every pottery club member must help with putting on the event. That includes everything from public relations and logistics to figuring out how to price and display their work.

“A lot of people have no experience in relation to selling their art,” says Goldberg. “So from an instructor point of view, it’s a practical application on how to market themselves.”

That can be valuable for fledgling artists aiming to take the leap between amateur and professional.
“It makes them be more critical of their own work,” says K Rhynus Cesark, who also is an adjunct faculty member in ceramics at CMC, and has several pieces featured in the holiday show. “They have to figure out what they want to put in and what they don’t, so there’s some editing.”

Both instructors agree the experiential learning part of the process can’t be taught in a classroom, but the benefits exist for more than the students. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each piece sold goes back to the pottery club, and the funds are used to support the organization, along with purchases that are donated back to CMC and some of the college’s programs, giving the whole event a philanthropic side.

“I love the community that we’ve developed here and the friendships,” says Lanese. “It’s really a vast variety of people, and we all learn from each other. I create a lot more pieces in the fall in getting ready for this show … but for me the joy is in making it and being with all the people at the studio.”

This is the one time each year that she puts her ceramics on display and sells them. So, it’s an added bonus, but not a necessity to sell. For others, like Goldberg and Cesark who are professional potters, they depend more on the money they’ll make.

“I usually buy a few things too,” says Goldberg. “Especially the students’ work is really wonderful and they try a lot of different things. As a professional artist, it’s great to see their curiosity and be inspired.”

Mentors support students, and students support other students — who are sometimes also friends. The newcomers then inspire the instructors and the whole process becomes a celebrated community cycle. And isn’t that what clubs are all about? 

Holiday Pottery Sale
Presented by Pottery Club of Aspen
Opening reception:
Dec. 11, 5-7:30 p.m.
Sale: Dec. 12 & 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Colorado Mountain College — Aspen
255 Sage Way,
Aspen Airport Business Center

– See more at: http://enews.coloradomtn.edu/2014/12/10/18834/#more-18834

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Sopris Theatre Company Presents

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Colorado Mountain College art instructor Joel S. Allen has five pieces from his ongoing series "Hooked on Svelte" hanging in the "State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now" exhibit in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Dustin Bartholomew/courtesy

Colorado Mountain College art instructor Joel S. Allen has five pieces from his ongoing series “Hooked on Svelte” hanging in the “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now” exhibit in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

CMC art instructor featured in prominent Arkansas exhibit

— Joel S. Allen has spent about 15 years working on a series of hand-wrapped hanging fiber sculptures, an art installation he calls “Hooked on Svelte.

Despite his obvious commitment to the project, he was surprised when he was contacted by two men traveling the country in search of exceptional art for a gallery exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The curatorial duo from the museum drove nearly 100,000 miles across the United States in 2013, meeting nearly 1,000 artists in their hometowns, searching for work that otherwise might go unappreciated on a national level.

The team conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with artists to select those whose work they found the most compelling.

“They traveled all over the country visiting studios,” said Allen, who teaches Art in the Environment and a 3-D design class at Colorado Mountain College.

Allen ultimately was selected with 101 other artists to display a combined 200 works of art, including five of Allen’s hanging fiber sculptures, in “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.”

The finished exhibition brings together arts from all areas of the country and features photography, works on canvas and paper, performance art and video.

“It was pretty intimidating and awe-inspiring to be selected,” said Allen, who thinks another museum curator probably referred his work to the curatorial team. “I was very excited.”

Allen’s hanging installation uses twine and yarn along with pill bottles, wine corks and other seemingly random materials to create methodically designed sculptures.

The exhibit opened Sept. 13 and runs through mid-January at Crystal Bridges, which sees about 2,500 visitors each day, Allen said.

On the State of the Art website, curators describe Allen’s work as “alien and earthly, synthetic and organic” and said “Allen reminds us that the potential for unearthly beauty lies everywhere around us, waiting only for the touch of human imagination.”

The exhibit’s placement in an Arkansas museum away from the New York or Los Angeles art world is significant, Allen said.

“It’s really a game changer for the art world,” Allen said. “They’re trying to bring art to everyday people.”

Crystal Bridges was founded by Walmart heir Alice Walton and features a year-round collection of permanent art pieces by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol.

The State of the Art exhibit was featured on a CBS Sunday Morning segment Nov. 9 where Allen’s work can be seen hanging in the background during some of the video.

Allen said he feels honored to be included with other well-respected artists in the exhibit.

For more information about State of the Art, including videos and descriptions of each artist’s work, visit www.stateoftheart.crystalbridges.org.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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Colorado Mountain College landscape painting exhibit comes ‘Close to Home’

Five renowned artists are your neighbors

by: Carrie Click

Usually, it goes something like this: You arrive at an art exhibit and look around. If it’s a landscape show, you admire the talent and perspective of the painters, but you don’t recognize the scenes depicted. They depict a far-off beach or city, or maybe a historical event long since passed.

That’s not what will happen when “Close to Home” opens with an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Colorado Mountain College’s campus in Rifle. The exhibit, which will hang on the walls of the building’s main hallway through Jan. 10, features the works of five well-respected, collected local artists, four of whom live so close to the campus they could almost walk there from their studios. And the fifth artist, Andy Taylor, only lives as far away as Carbondale.

Artists flocking to Silt?

Rolling through the town of Silt, it might not immediately be apparent that the community is such a magnet for artists. But it’s where painters Dean Bowlby, Dan Young, Jane Lee and Lanny Grant live and work.

For Bowlby and Young, who attended Glenwood Springs High School together, a move down valley with room to breathe and to paint brought them to the town.

“It wasn’t intentional,” said Young of landing in Silt. “After I grew up in Glenwood, I wanted to get out of here but then I realized that I had grown up in a beautiful place. Silt is kind of a coincidence. It’s a more affordable place for artists who make their living painting, which we all do. So Dean (Bowlby) is here, and Jane (Lee), and Lanny (Grant).”

Grant grew up on his father’s ranch in Peach Valley east of Silt, and now lives on Silt Mesa. His work has been featured for years in greeting cards by the Leanin’ Tree Publishing Company in Boulder and represented in several galleries. (Grant and Bowlby also teach courses at Colorado Mountain College.) And even though many of Grant’s paintings feature high-alpine vistas such as Pyramid Peak and Wyoming’s Grand Teton, he also paints locally.

“There’s a lot to discover and paint here,” he said.

Painting your backyard

Fellow Silt artist Bowlby agrees with Grant’s view of the local artist’s subject matter.

“What we have at hand can often be neglected and looked past, no matter the wonder that may be present,” said Bowlby, whose work features European scenes as well as local landscapes. “I love travel, but that needn’t discount my backyard for awe. It all depends on a perspective.”

Young has a favorite place near Silt he likes to paint on location. He, like the other artists, appreciates painting scenes that might otherwise be passed by.

“To appreciate what’s in your backyard, you have to paint your backyard and my backyard is Silt,” Young said. “Sometimes my paintings literally come from what I see out my back door.”

Lee said she also believes in observing the subtle sights close at hand. “[In Silt], there’s the wonderful open sky,” she said. “Here I can see the top, bottom and sides of a cloud coming through the canyons.”

Artists capture color, moods

Taylor, who’s lived in Carbondale since 1975, is equally as inspired by areas close to home.

“Although I take excursions to specific places looking for something to draw,” he said, “I am surprised often about what I find on the way to and from that destination.”

Taylor said he doesn’t paint plein-air – literally, “open air” in French – when creating his work. Instead he draws on site, then returns to his studio to paint. Grant has a similar technique. He starts most of his paintings on location on smaller canvases, then creates larger paintings at home in his studio.

“The value of painting on location is an artist’s attempt to capture color and fleeting moods of a rapidly changing landscape,” Grant said.

For Lee, painting landscapes in the outdoors is one of the pleasures in her life.

“I prefer to work in plein-air,” she said. “I’ve heard that every day that you paint on location adds one more day to your life. It’s just kind of magical.”

Colorado Mountain College in Rifle is at 3695 Airport Road. Young and Taylor are represented by the Ann Korologos Gallery of Basalt.

 

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“”Close to Home” opening reception November 7

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Rifle CMC and Chevron Present Free Concert

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Figurative painter Andrea Kemp coming home

"What Transcends" Andrea Kemp

“What Transcends”
Andrea Kemp

 

Glenwood Springs native Andrea Kemp is bringing her figurative painting back to the Roaring Fork Valley from Denver when Colorado Mountain College’s ArtShare Gallery exhibits her work. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., and Kemp’s paintings will be on view at the gallery Sept. 4-Oct. 27.

Kemp has local roots but she is developing into an artist with worldly appeal. The June/July 2014 issue of International Artist magazine features an overview of Kemp’s process and philosophies on painting. Her paintings of nudes, vegetables, flowers, interiors and landscapes often feature ultra-realistic images so precise they can look like photographs. Her work is primarily shown in Denver, and she was also featured in 2006 at the CMC ArtShare Gallery.

The Colorado Mountain College ArtShare Gallery is at 802 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs. Contact 947-8367 for more information.

 

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Edwards Campus – 1st Annual Student Art show

Student show

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