Telluride Arts: February Art Walk

Telluride Arts: February Art Walk

Telluride Arts promotes a culture of the arts within the Telluride Arts District, which contains a remarkable concentration of activities that engage artists from around the region and across the globe. Telluride Arts’ First Thursday Art Walk is a festive celebration of the art scene in downtown Telluride for art lovers, community, and friends. Participating venues host receptions from 5 –8 p.m. to introduce new exhibits. A free gallery guide offers a self-guided tour that can be used any time to find galleries open most days. Guides are available at participating spaces and at the Telluride Arts offices at 135 West Pacific, across the street from the Telluride Library. Listen to Open Art Radio on KOTO from 12-1 p.m. on First Thursdays to hear interviews with artists. For further information, you can also call 970-728-3930.


Or at the very least, Get Art.

Telluride Arts’ February Art Walk is at least in part about bringing a little joy into a bemused, beset world.

That is quite literally the case with the show at Telluride Arts’ Gallery 81435, where the magic realism of New Orleans-based artist Chris Roberts-Antieau is on now display. In her artist’s statement below, Antieau pledges allegiance to joy (and love):

Artist Statement

For the record, magic realism is a term coined by a German art critic to describe works that feature paradoxical elements and/or strange juxtapositions which collectively convey a feeling of unreality and infuse the ordinary and familiar with a sense of mystery and wonder. For an artist like Antieau, these juxtapositions make her improbable, dreamlike, fantastic visions very compelling and almost convincing.

Officially “Outsider Art” such as Antieau’s is made by a person who is self-taught, but possessed of an expressive impulse that gets externalized in a manner outside conventional art norms and culture. In her capable, albeit untutored hands, however, Antieau turns those impulses into an aesthetically appealing drama that hints at the yawning sense of magic inside us all.

Antieau’s colorful, humorous, hopeful fabric works lights up the Telluride Arts District during the Mardi Gras season.

As they will light(en) up your world too.

Bird Healer, Fabric Appliqué, 22.5″ x 30″,

Bird Healer, Fabric Appliqué, 22.5″ x 30″,

Chris Roberts-Antieau is a self-taught pioneer of machine embroidery. Her principal body of work, which she describes as “fabric paintings,” are highly sophisticated tapestries created in her signature style of fabric appliqué and intricate embroidery, crafted on a simple Bernina sewing machine.

Antieau’s subject matter ranges from joyfully candid cultural commentary depicting unbelievable true stories (such as James Brown’s “Funeral: And The Tragic Aftermath”) to more personal reflections on nature, perception, reality, and truth.

The First Tree, Fabric Appliqué, 36.5″ x 57.5″

The First Tree, Fabric Appliqué, 36.5″ x 57.5″

For her show at Gallery 81435 entitled “Ad Lucem,” Antieau displays a collection of works that capture otherwise elusive revelations.

Ad Lucem” is a Latin expression meaning “to the light,” a phrase that underlines Antieau’s search for meaning through art and by finding meaning, finding joy (as this section of her artist statement suggests).

“I am fascinated by the mind’s ability to create individual perception and by the self-constructed belief system that creates that perception. We are what we believe we are. We see what we believe we see. We ‘know’ what we believe we know. My work is a chance for me to stretch these boundaries, to explore things like dreams, intuition, natural phenomena, the afterlife, and unbelievable true events.”

With over 30 years of experience, Chris Roberts-Antieau has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is included in several public collections, among them: American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; House of Representatives, Washington, DC; and the Boxing Hall of Fame, Canastota, New York.

Surrounded By Ghosts,Fabric Appliqué, 32.75″ x 29.25″

Surrounded By Ghosts,Fabric Appliqué, 32.75″ x 29.25″

Witty, honest, and unconventional. Antieau’s artworks display such a high level of sophistication and detail that is often mistaken for oil painting.

Antieau’s fabric appliqué and embroidery masterpieces will be hosted at Gallery 81435 from January 28- February 28, 2017. The opening reception is Thursday, February 2, 5-8 p.m. The closing reception Tuesday, February 28, 5-8 p.m.

With a similar penchant for the surreal and for questioning our perceptions, jeweler Betsy Youngquist shows her work alongside Antieau’s images. Small and large eyes are the artist’s leitmotif motif, the centerpiece of everything from pendants to broaches. They offer the wearer additional lenses for seeing and being seen.



This past summer, Elisa Gomez headed for a new adventure where her home was on wheels and her habitat constantly in flux.

The work on display at Telluride Arts’ HQ gallery, collectively ‘Habitat,” represents Elissa Gomez’ explosively colorful response to Western landscapes she experienced while driving around the Western U.S. in her Chevy Astro Van, plus pieces done in her Salt Lake City studio at the culmination of her trip.

Velvet Love #4 (1)

Gomez’s visual journal and sketchbook exploded with ideas  captured on her journey through the natural beauty in her own backyard, from the striking majesty of our National Parks and forests to the changing moods of the ocean.

Each painting razzle-dazzles with vivid colors, deep textures, and gestural movements.The images are ebullient and uplifting– and joyful.


velvet love 3


For an artist who lives in the mountains, smells the pine trees each morning, or wakes up to a salty breeze, this body of work is the result of the many studies Gomez has done and continues to do to further her artistic evolution.

“Working primarily in mixed media on canvas, Elisa Gomez wields her materials with the skill of a practiced fine artist while composing her canvases with the ease of a studied art historian. Evidenced by a few discernible, well-executed, and discrete operations, her working mode transposes the schema and aesthetic of both European and American Abstract Expressionism with a studied sensitivity particular to her training and practice. Gomez demonstrates a playful attention to color, texture, and surface. Palette and visual movement between, amongst, and across forms figure heavily into her pieces. In style as well as composition, Gomez’s work is replete with recurrent aesthetic maneuvers and nonetheless peppered with extensive variation and experimentation. Her canvases continue to surprise and delight the viewer in their transposition of elements across genres and movements. Gomez currently resides in Austin, Texas,” Elizabeth D. Miller, PHD Candidate, UCSD.

velvet love ix

“Habitat” runs until February 28, 2017 at Telluride Arts HQ Gallery, located at 135 W Pacific in Telluride, Colorado. Open daily from 12-6pm or by appointment.

At the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, beloved Ah Haa teacher and founder of the Telluride Painting Academy artist Robert Weatherford is handing out bouquets


weatherford #1


The great tradition of flower painting was in full bloom in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Dutch artists treated florals with awe and excitement. Those images, however, were and are really riffs on mortality, depicting as they did fallen leaves, munched and torn petals. Not to put too fine a point on it, every flower – human or otherwise – is meant to reproduce before it falls to the ground and rots.

In any case, their heyday is short-lived.

The tradition of floral painting rolled on into the 19th century, with Van Gogh’s world famous sunflowers, but he also made gorgeous images of irises in the garden of Saint-Paul de Mausole after he arrived in the asylum. (Van Gogh called his irises a “study,” but they sold at auction in 1987 for $54 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting at the time.)

Then there was Monet, who produced 250 images of waterlilies from the garden of his home at Giverny.

Bonnard painted anemones; Matisse, pansies.

In the 20th century, iconic artist Georgia O’Keefe rendered the faces of flowers in oils, up close and personal – way personal and, ahem, deeply feminine, as you know if you know the work.


weatherford #2


Which brings us up to date with Weatherford’s intricate floral arrangements, watered with the unfettered emotions of a true Expressionist and dripping with glaze to preserve their beauty.

“An eternal theme, flowers in a vase plunges me into wonder at nature’s generosity. We expect to feel awe watching a sunset. But flowers in a vase is something that catches us as we cross a room. It’s a glory that startles us in the moment of forgetfulness. Floral still-lifes, as well as everyday flowers in a vase, are a shrine to nature.”

Joining Weatherford on the gallery walls, Colorado-based Terry Gardner portrays trees, sometimes tortured, other times elegaic, as visual haikus for seasonal change against the backdrop of landscapes of the American West which the artist openly loves:

“Every painting is an emotional investment depicting the intimate corners of the American West. Some are close to home, some are high in the mountains, but all capture the spirit of the surroundings. I am most interested in presenting what is not visible, expressing the mystery and intrigue of the past and the present. From drawings and studies are born paintings and what’s reflected in the palette is a deeper connection with the American West.”

From Gardner's Windy Ridge series

From Gardner’s Windy Ridge series

Gardner was born and raised in Missouri where he received his Bachelor of Arts from Maryville University. He moved west to paint outdoors and develop an intimate relationship with the land and life of the West. He currently lives in Golden, Colorado.


“Terry does charcoal sketches before painting in oil. We will have several sketches here on display to accompany the paintings,” explained gallery director Baerbel Hacke.



The Telluride Dance Collective (TDC) is a newly formed dance company working in residence at the Palm Theatre. TDC calls on a wide spectrum of movement backgrounds and styles to create and perform original dance.

Both Weatherford and Gardner will be in attendance during the opening and the Telluride Dance Collective will put on special interpretive performances of the artwork at 6, 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

It is all about RAW emotion at Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts.

RAW poster no submission date

Every artist knows the creative process is messy, painful, ecstatic, but above all, it should be honest. In the act of art-making, an artist walks a cathartic path strewn with emotional bread crumbs on a continuum from agony to ecstasy and back, ultimately resulting in a finished work that captures those emotions.

Every winter, the Ah Haa School for the Arts puts out a call for a juried exhibition, encouraging artists within a 150-mile radius of Telluride to submit work ranging from ceramics, painting, and printing to fiber, metal, and sculpture. This year’s theme was RAW. Finished or unfinished, submitted works were meant to embrace the root emotions, eclectic materials, and intentions that inspired them into being

“The jurors for our 4th annual regional exhibition, the RAW SHOW, had a remarkably challenging task this year: selecting pieces from over 128 fantastic submissions. We are so grateful for and impressed by every work submitted to the show,” said Kris Kwasniewski, adult curriculum manager, Ah Haa.

RAW opens with a 5-8 p.m. reception during Art Walk on February 4 and remains on display through February 27.

The public is encouraged to stop by Ah Haa to check out its display of the Telluride region’s most tender, wild, exposed, honest, lascivious, rough, and RAW works created over this past year.

Share in the joy of the act of creating whether you are the maker or the viewer, whose presence at these shows helps to complete the work of the artists.

Art Walk, participating venues, February:

Ah Haa School for the Arts

Baked in Telluride

Elinoff & Co. Gallery

Gallery 81435

Gallery Now

Ghost Town Grocer

Kamruz Gallery

LDGiles at Happy Print Studio

Lustre Gallery

Medicine Ranch

MiXX projects + atelier

Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery


Slate Gray Gallery

Telluride Arts HQ Gallery

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art

Turquoise Door Gallery

Wizard Emporium

For information about exhibits, go here.

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