Porcelains by Dalen Stevens at Lustre Gallery


Porcelains by Dalen Stevens at Lustre Gallery

Porcelains by Dalen Stevens at Lustre Gallery

Born and raised in southwest Colorado, Dalen Stevens is an avid outdoorsman, backpacking, hiking, and backcountry skiing the mountains and desert country of the region, his work drawing inspiration from at profound connection to his surroundings. And Dalen is a virtuoso in more than one medium. He performs on trombone with a variety of local ensembles. He enthralled the audience with his imaginative arrangements of original and pop sounds at the Telluride Choral Society’s recent SpringSing. And it’s a sure bet his work will have the same effect on the crowd at his encore performance – in ceramics.

Dalen Stevens is the featured artist at the last First Thursday Art Walk of the winter 2013 season, his ceramics on display at the Lustre Gallery, 171 South Pine Street. Recognized as a master of his craft, Dalen has worked continuously with clay for more than 40 years. For his porcelains, he developed innovative glazing and firing techniques, further refining his craft.

“My music and art have always gone hand in hand.  I often think of my clay work in musical terms, as improvisations on a theme, improvisations that express a rhythmic flow with shapes and patterns that ring aurally and visually.  I often find myself actually singing into the pieces as I work on them. Hopefully, when a person sees or holds one of my pieces, he can sense this musical energy distilled into solid form.”

The First Thursday Art Walk is a festive celebration of the arts in downtown Telluride for art lovers, community and friends. The Stevens show at Lustre is one stop among a possible 15, all hosting receptions from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. to introduce new exhibitions and artists.

Another highly recommended stop is the Outside the Box fiber arts exhibition at the Ah Haa School for the Arts, 300 South Townsend. To create this juried show, artists within San Miguel and Ouray counties were challenged to think outside the box. The result is in a collection of work as rich in diversity as it is in creativity using fiber. ( See Related Post.)

Bruce Gomez was the very first artist Will and Hilary Thompson, owners of the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, signed for their stable when they opened their new gallery on Main Street (130 East Colorado) in 1985. Will Thompson first saw Bruce’s work in a Denver gallery, but the timing was not right to work with a pastel artist. Will was buying and selling original graphics exclusively, but he recalled thinking: “This kid really has something.”

Gomez interprets Rodin

Gomez interprets Rodin

In a Gomez, what you see is enough. In fact, his shimmering images are often described as “better than reality.” But scratch the surface and there is so much more: the artist’s lush, layered pastels are unapologetically sensuous, a complex tapestry of abstract passages, gorgeous studies of color and light, and whatever scene the artist’s captured with his camera, his starting point.

Entirely self-taught in the medium, Gomez has worked with pastels for about 30 years. The creative process for the artist begins with a photograph. Next he plots the principle elements of the composition from photograph to paper, which gets treated with sandpaper to create his signature velour effect and shimmering surface. Gomez’ subject matter comes primarily from his travels throughout the western U.S., France, Italy, and England. He tends to feature Telluride, Moab, the Grand Canyon, Wyoming, Paris, Provence, and Tuscany.

Only not this time.

This time the artist has ventured beyond his signature landscapes. Images his latest show include an interpretation of Rodin’s “Le Penseur” (“The Thinker”) and studies of a white horse.

“Bruce Gomez: The Other Side”continues in concert with Telluride Arts’ First Thursday Art Walk.

Located down the block from the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, Arroyo, 220 East Colorado, showcases a new collection of assembled, mixed media “paintings” by Santa Fe artist Blair Vaughn-Gruler.

Vaughn-Gruler is a successful painter and gallery owner on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, whose work is best described as contemporary abstract expressionism.  In “Shingle Style”, the artist shares her exploration of surface, light and shadow by incorporating shingle-like elements in the body of work, a design element  immediately familiar and accessible to Telluride locals given the number of  historic wooden structures still standing around town.

Ecospaces Design Showroom, 398 West Colorado, features the stained glass and pastel paintings of Patti Childers. Her passion and inspiration for stained glass and pastels matches her love of Telluride. She is drawn to the tactile and brilliant colors of the medium and her address.

Composite portrait of TAB models by Drew Ludwig

Composite portrait of TAB models by Drew Ludwig

Telluride Arts’ Gallery 81435, 230 South Fir, offers a rare, up-close view of photographer Drew Ludwig’s portraits of the 2013 Aids Benefit Models. With a mural installation by Danielle DeRoberts, and a trunk show of clothing and costumes from the Aspen Aids Benefit and Onerary, happening through the weekend. Celebrate spring at at the Art Walk opening party from 5-8pm. Music. Art. Clothes. Dancing.

Telluride Arts’s Stronghouse Studios, 283 South Fir, presents “Recology,” a new body of work by local artist Daniel Aragon, a Telluride Arts Small Grants recipient. The exhibit was inspired by Biophilia, a theory that humanity has an innate love for the natural world and its diversity, clean air and water, natural materials, organic shapes, and cycles. It also proposes that the human desires to explore, tinker, modify, create, and progress are innate. Daniel Aragon’s new paintings created for this exhibit illustrate natural, regenerative processes and illuminate the tension between human curiosity and the systems that support all life. Though the works are based on real world projects and technology, they also illustrate the artist’s dream of vital, diverse natural systems. The exhibit is presented in collaboration with Telluride-based EcoAction Partners.

Telluride Arts and the Wilkinson Public Library, 100 West Pacific, collaborate to showcase regional artists’ work on the walls of the library. There are five main exhibit spaces in the library that host revolving exhibits that change monthly. Exhibits can be found in the following spaces this month: 1.) above the music area behind the desk on the main floor, 2.)Youth Art Projects in the youth room, 3.) Ally Crilly, Paintings in the stairwell, 4.) Molly Redecki, Paintings on the exterior walls surrounding the stacks on the second floor and 5.) Joe Skalsky, Photographs in the Palmyra Room.

A free Art Walk Map offers a self-guided tour that can be used at any time to find  all the galleries and venues are open most days.

Listen to Open Art Radio on KOTO from 12 – 1 p.m. on Thursday to hear interviews with the artists.

Maps are available at participating venues and at the Telluride Arts offices located in the Stronghouse Studios + Gallery at 283 South Fir Street.

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