Telluride Arts: February First Thursday Art Walk

Telluride Arts: February First Thursday Art Walk

Telluride Arts presents the first First Thursday Art Walk , the second of  the winter 2016 season. Celebration of local talent takes place Thursday, February 4. A free Art Walk map offers a self-guided tour that can be used at any time to find galleries that are open most days. Listen to Open Art Radio on KOTO from 12-1 p.m. on first Thursdays to hear interviews with the artists. Maps and gallery guides are available at participating venues and at the Telluride Arts offices located in the Stronghouse Studios + Gallery at 283 South Fir Street.

With artist Susan Sales, for the most part, “new” rhymes with “recent.” Though Sales has added a new twist to her bag of tricks – stripes this time, meant to be read either horizontally or vertically – the end result remains familiar. And that’s a very good thing: the artist’s quirky, complex, abstract “landscapes” continue to snap, crackle, and pop with color and convulsive spatial drama. Her special flair is still there.

Complex Interactions, 48” x 48”, oil on canvas.

Complex Interactions, 48” x 48”, oil on canvas.

Over a career that spans 30+ years , we are still talking about a person crazy in love with paint, color, surface, texture and gesture, like her antecedents, the rough and tumble Abstract Expressionists of post-World War II America.

In general, AbExers preferred the focus to be on the medium, not any message. Those artists just went for it, attacking their canvases with large brushes, sometimes dripping, even throwing their paint. What you saw is what you got. And that was good enough.

Conclusion Illusion, 48" x 48"

Conclusion Illusion, 48″ x 48″

And like her antecedents, Sales’ images celebrate the creative process, which starts with raw canvas.

The ground is numerous layers of high-quality gesso, sanded between coats. From there, things get really interesting, decisions about what colors, what method – knife, rag or brush. What feelings does she want to arouse: wild or calm? Or both. Horizontal tends to be more contemplative, more landscapey. Horizontal is grounding Vertical is about reaching for the sky, trying to touch infinity. Vertical is dizzying.

Endurance Run, 48" x 48"

Endurance Run, 48″ x 48″

Nine new paintings by Susan Sales are on display at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, part of Telluride Arts’ First Thursday Art Walk, a celebration of the arts scene in downtown Telluride for art lovers, community, and friends. Eighteen venues host receptions from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. to introduce their new exhibits and artists.

The Ah Haa School for the Arts presents “Net/Work,” its 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition of Regional Artists.

The exhibition features work done in all mediums –  painting, ceramics, sculpture, printing, fiber, metals and other (excluding photography and video –  completed in 2015 (or early 2016) by artists located within 150 miles of Telluride. About 60 pieces were selected by our jurors for the exhibition. And four cash prizes will be awarded during the opening reception on Art Walk eve, February 4: $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place & People’s Choice Award.

regional_15 promo

Telluride Arts’ Gallery 81435  presents “Searching for Black North: Hello, Land of My Longings,” a show by artist Jena Schmidt. The exhibit runs through the end of the month.

Clouds Rest 44x40 resized

Clouds Rest

“I am seeking for a place that may only exist in spirit or imagination through my own experience in nature and on the canvas.”

Through her artistic practice, Schmidt explores concepts of direction, wilderness, spiritual guidance, and exploration.

When her grandfather passed away, Schmidt’s family inherited his old camping gear. One of the items  given to her brother was a brass compass. Inside the lid, her grandfather had etched the words, “Black North.” Seeing those words, lit up her imagination: was this a clue to an undiscovered place, one only her grandfather knew about? Schmidt later found out the words were just a reminder that the arrow for North on the compass was black, but never mind, the artist still found Black North pulling at her towards a wild and mysterious landscape.

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake

The search for a place Schmidt knows doesn’t exist allows her to build her own myths and, at the same time, demystify the unknown when she finds answers.

“For me, painting is about a search, though I don’t always know what I am searching for. But as I allow my eyes to be open to possibility, my perspectives are changed both in life and in art and a new piece to the story is uncovered.”

Jena Schmidt is a Salt Lake City, Utah native. She grew up with a love for art of all genres.

Telluride Arts’ Stronghouse Gallery + Studios presents “A Permanent Record,” a show by artist Heidi Pitre. The exhibit runs through the end of the month.

Hotel New Hampshire

Hotel New Hampshire

Though she normally creates large-scale oil paintings, Pitre recently created a series of pen-and-ink drawings on vintage library borrower cards from books that date back as far as 1930. The cards are pieces of paper ephemera, created to perform one simple function. None were ever expected to retire from their first “career” and start a new life as a permanent guest on a collector’s wall.

Each card was selected by searching through stacks of thousands of forgotten books, which had been cast aside. The card titles may call to mind times when we lived inside their worlds for a little while, rooted for their characters, or wished we could be with them – or even be them.

Death In The Afternoon

Death In The Afternoon

Typewritten information introduces each book and names carefully signed in cursive inspire thoughts of the historic public libraries and school reading rooms we once knew. Each pen-and-ink drawing refers to its book in ways best left to the imagination.

Heidi Pitre is a graduate of the University of New Orleans with a BFA concentration in painting. She has worked mostly in commercial art, as well web design, though she always created original work on the side. Although she experiments and works in different mediums, Pitre always returns to oils, where she is inspired to work out tangled relationships, hopes, doubts, and fears with a brush on canvas.

Anna Karenina

For more about other shows in the February Art Walk, click here.

List of participating galleries includes:

Ah Haa School

Baked in Telluride

Gallery 81435


La Cocina de Luz

LDGiles Art & Design

Lustre Gallery

MiXX projects + atelier

Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery

Slate Gray Gallery

Stronghouse Gallery

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art

Tony Newlin Gallery

Turquoise Door Gallery

Wizard Emporium

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