Telluride Arts: Holiday Art Walk

Part of "Snow" series by Antonio Marra

Telluride Arts: Holiday Art Walk

Rings by Cheryl Rydmark

Rings by Cheryl Rydmark

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Saturday, December 14, 5 – 8 p.m., Telluride Arts hosts a special holiday edition of its monthly First Thursday Art Walk, and three of the principal venues will showcase works in many shades of white (and black).

“Snow White” is the name of a classic fairytale. It is also a redundancy: snow is after all white. But “snow white” perfectly sums up the rationale for the winter kick off show at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. “White” celebrates the bounty just outside our windows – and what’s now on display throughout the gallery.

“White” features the paintings of Rebecca Crowell, Catherine Courtenaye, Krista Harris, Shawna Moore and Susan Sales; the ceramics and porcelains of Nicholas Bernard, Jeffry Brown, Mark Leuthold, Michael Wisner and Godele VanHille; and the jewelry of Petra Class, Barbara Heinrich, Melissa Muszynski, Joan Parcher, Cheryl Rydmark, Jeff and Susan Wise and Marki Knopp.

Ceramics by Goedele Vanhille

Ceramics by Goedele Vanhille

Other than Monet’s luminous snowscapes and the inside of seashells, white has never been so colorful.

(Wine tasting – and not just whites – hosted by Wine Mine.)

Back in the 1960s, the painter Ad Reinhardt famously created a series of “Black Painting,” taking abstraction as far as it could go. Like black holes, the images sucked every possible interpretation into their structure. Yet the paintings were vulnerable: the slightest touch could corrupt their matte surfaces.

So what might they have been about?

“Pure things in a corrupted world,” explained one critic.

Reinhardt’s Black Paintings made lots of noise in their silence.

Based on an all-white series by Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, however, minimalist composer John Cage associated silence with white.

In Western culture in general, white is generally associated with purity and innocence. But in certain countries in the East (China and Japan for two) the color represents death and sickness – like black.

Part of "Snow" series by Antonio Marra

Part of “Snow” series by Antonio Marra

Black is the opposite of white, the absence or complete absorption of light, so the color came to be associated with sickness, evil, death, witches and magic. But in the 14th century, black was worn by royalty, clergy, judges and government officials. By the 19th century, English romantic poets wore black, as did businessmen and statesmen. And in the 20th century, black became the high fashion color – and the uniform of almost every well-heeled New Yorker.

The subject of “black” and “white” is clearly not black and white. It is open to interpretation, as you will see when you visit Telluride Art’s Gallery 81435 and Stronghouse Studios, where the extraordinary mixed media artist (and the new president of the Telluride Creative Dsitrict), Amy Jean Boebel, curated Dichotomy/Dualism, a holiday show in black and white.

Featured artists include Adrienne Lent, Amy Levek, Britt Markey, Meredith Nemirov, Stephanie Morgan Rogers, Henrik Haasland, Riley Arthur, Antonio Marra (see Related Post in Features) and the Silk Dyers of Telluride.

Jill Rikkers "Heart"

Jill Rikkers “Heart”

Other Holiday Art Walk highlights include at group show of Affordable Art at the Ah Haa School for the Arts, featuring jewelry, mosaics, small paintings, ceramic sculptures, photographs, silk scarves and more by a talent pool of local artists including  Ann Cheeks, Michele Foote, Ginny Fraser, Judith Goolsby, Kathy Green, Michelle Montague, Jill Rikkers, Birdie Boyd, Amy Levek, Judy Kohin, Allison James, John Hopkins, Janice Reich, Goedele Vanhille, Brittany Miller, and Rob Schultheis. (Art makes a perfect holiday gift gift. Receive 10% off the sales price during Art Walk.)

Black Bear Trading Company features new black and white photographs by master photographer Robert J Franzese.

Dolce showcases the fine jewelry of Kir, a Boulder-based company owned and operated by a team of women, who oversee design, development, quality control, stone sourcing, raw material planning, and customer service.

Ring by Kir Collection

Ring by Kir Collection

Wayne McKenzie considers Monet his primary influence:

 “When I traveled to Paris, I would stop at the Musee d’Orsay to study Monet’s Waterlilies. I wanted to figure out how the man did what he did.”

But book learning never appealed to the artist.

“I never wanted anyone to teach me how to draw a tree or create a shadow. I have always learned by experience. I feel a person can’t know Monet without seeing a Monet.”

McKenzie, an award-winning plain air artist, (also a top tier ski instructor), shows his work at the Elinoff Gallery.


Earring by Gurhan

Earring by Gurhan

Lustre Gallery celebrates the newest collection of metal artist Gurhan, which bears the signature fingerprints of the artist: hand-hammering and natural imperfections of his materials are evident in every hand-crafted piece.

The work of another crop of local artists – Flair Robinson, Joanna Spindler, Ally Crilly, Scott Harris, Leah Boelman and Melanie Kirkpatrick, plus creations from around the world – are on display at Melange Artist Boutique & Studio.

And more.

In all, Telluride Arts’ Art Walk features 15 venues. Maps are available at participating venues and at the Telluride Arts offices located in the Stronghouse Studios + Gallery at 283 South Fir Street. Or call 970-728-3930.

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