I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. I have been making art since 4th grade and hoping to bring a sense of place and peace for others. I watch people’s movement and the drape of clothing, hair and skin in sunlight. I imagine and impressionistically interpret people and animals in settings of my own creation. I feel that their strength, dignity, weakness, or sorrow is evident in my work. Animals have attitude too. Some are dignified and some are silly or playful. I also love interpreting the majestic Rocky Mountains, lyrical florals, seasonal scenery, wetness, and wildlife. What is new to painting? It is that indescribable individual scrawl, stroke, line, or choice of color. It is the puzzling mix of learned and experimented. Great artists become and become until their hair falls out and their jaws droop.
For me, it is the most intriguing career anyone could have. Art influences thought and engages senses. Paintings make people wonder and meditate. I always wanted my paintings to bring a sense of calm and joy.
I was inspired by the word “Interlude”. What is in between the stroke, the color, the shapes and breathing spaces. What makes someone pause and contemplate a piece of art?
This show began specifically as a water series. A small voice in my mind said “water”, and I thought “why not”? So getting the shapes, energy and inconsistencies created with a brush was my challenge. I have always loved challenges. Water is a great challenge revealing contradictions that when put together properly look cohesive. I also wanted to showcase other people and other forms of art in this show. I chose wall art, jewelry, woven hooked wool, metal sculptures, and ceramic art masks. I am excited and pleased with this show.
I am interested in serenity and solace, but I also love energy, force, atmosphere, texture, and joy. I love teaching and bringing out the intuitive best in others.
I really love my orange wave because it is refreshing and big! There, you can engage, get lost in the imperfections, and gaze at the sunset colors just as if you were actually on the beach. You can long for warmth and wetness, beach balls, umbrellas, and swimsuits.
I need the whole ocean to be drenched in!
My art is featured on
I have been doing creative work for a very long time—watercolor, acrylic, fabric character dolls, hooking - all self-taught. In 2012 I went to work for Eric Bransby, well known muralist, and my life changed. He caught me drawing one day and began to encourage me to pursue the arts. He has been my mentor and critic ever since in both fiber art and painting. I have received in-depth training from two very fine local artists—Reveille Kennedy in watercolor and Judy Michael Myers.
What draws me to painting is the ability to see the world with a different eye—colors, light, details that I didn’t see before—and translate that on paper. It is an exciting journey and I learn something new each time I paint. I look forward to going to my studio for a new adventure.
For this show I created a hooked handbag in a geometric design. My process is to acquire 100% wool in the colors I need. Cut strips to size. Draw designs on graph paper until I like one. This took 10 tries. Then hook the bag on monks cloth, bind it with yarn, line it and make a strap. It is my favorite as it is the best design I have ever done.
I am just beginning on Instagram and have posted some work on my personal page.
I was born and raised in Colorado. My career began due to a strong fascination with faces and the human figure as early as I can remember… I really only wanted to constantly draw people! I earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a minor in Psychology from Colorado State University in 2006. I have been a member of the Portrait Society of America for 5 years. In addition to winning multiple awards throughout Southern Colorado, my work has been featured and shown in galleries and many group shows. My large acrylic painting "engaging her intellect" was published in Acrylic Works 3 in 2016, and many pieces are in private collections nationally and internationally. I currently live in Canon City, Colorado, where I create new works and commissions in my home studio. I enjoy teaching workshops and private lessons, as well as art classes focusing on history and technique for middle school and high school students locally.
I enjoy the challenges and rewards of creating art! Seeing an idea in my head and taking it into reality is exciting!
My goal as a figurative artist is to rouse ideas and responses in my viewers by preserving novel and intimate moments from life. The inspiration for my work is innocence, curiosity, elegance, strength, and vigor. I find a welcome challenge in portraying the human form with idealistic values of integrity, character, and grace.
The inspiration for this body of work came from a time in my career when I wanted to create more realistic faces in clay. I am a very curious person, and although I have a formal education, I am largely self-taught when it comes to realism, especially in clay.
I set out to create as many clay faces as I could in a month! But I got a bit tired of just building a face over and over… My personal creativity got in the way!
I called this series “sketches in clay”.
I began treating the faces as though I were drawing out ideas in my sketchbooks. I only made 39 faces in that month, but I loved how I was able to build and carve and pierce and paint each work to create different personalities.
Each face was a new slab of clay, usually molded over newspaper wrapped in saran wrap. I would build 6 “blanks” at a time. After the clay stiffened up a bit, I would go back in and begin pushing, pulling, adding, and subtracting clay until it became recognizable as “human”. From there I would trust my gut and carve or build more details.
(With my “punks”, I would have pre-built circles in many sizes that I put on their faces to see what direction was calling me!)
Often, I think that my work can be very serious at times.
These masks started as “perfection” project and ended up showing a playful side of my creativity!
I hope the viewers are attracted to the work for its realism and attention to detail and enjoy the “personality” in each mask.
It is a little tricky for me to choose a favorite work. Each face has a part that I think is clever or unique.
If I have to choose a favorite from the show, I would pick (at this moment) my “owl” punk. She reminds me a little bit of Velma Dinkley from the Scooby-Doo cartoon series… probably the hair style. She was my favorite character when I watched as a kid. I liked how she was intelligent and often times the biggest factor in getting the mystery solved!
My work can be found at:
My website… www.anitadewitt.com
My Facebook page… Anita Dewitt@AnitaDewittArtist
My Instagram page… anitadewittartist
My Etsy page for sculpture… SculpturalPottery (Anita Dewitt)
My Etsy page for 2D art… Anita Dewitt
As a retired registered nurse and former military spouse, there have been many places that have been called home and art has always been a creative outlet over the years. Working in a variety of mediums, I enjoy both studio and plein air opportunities in acrylic. oil, pastel, and watercolor. The spectacular scenery of Colorado is a daily inspiration and traveling with a watercolor sketchbook is a must!
Art, for me, is the ideal venue to express one's emotional and spiritual response to a subject. My goal is to connect with the viewer in this digital age by interpreting nature's beauty and the human experience in original art works.
The current health challenge of COVID has resulted in an unexpected opportunity to reflect and explore new subjects in a variety of mediums. I delved into abstraction during the initial quarantine period as it relates to our digital age with acrylic and a larger canvas.
My process is a general theme of "what if?" I continually explore a variety of mediums as they relate to my observations and what is the best way to communicate to the viewer. Planning and multiple sketches done prior to the actual painting process over several days is essential. This process helps me work out any compositional/design hurdles of the work prior to placing paint on a surface.
As the artist Paul Serusier remarked "Art is the communication between two souls". To achieve that connection on an emotional level is vital, regardless of the varied responses by viewers. As a volunteer watercolor instructor with Alzheimer residents and the Memories in the Making (MIM) organization, I find it extremely fulfilling, striving to inspire hope to all viewers. My "Whimsical Animal" series inspired my first grandchild hopes to produce a smile for viewers.
This abstract, titled "Intercession" is a reflection of the variety of crossroads we all encounter during our lifetime. As with any challenge, but especially during COVID, the yellow background color was selected to represent the spiritual presence of faith and hope that surround us all.
My work is locally available at Europtics located at the stores of Briargate.
My website: www.m4miller.faso.com
Suzy Hunt Gardner
The daughter of an artist and in a family of artists, I've drawn, colored, cut, pasted, whittled, sculpted, soldered, molded, knotted, painted, and created from whatever was available for as long as I can remember. I started making jewelry when I was 10. A lifelong lover of sparkly things, this is a dangerous pastime for me ;) !
I studied Art at Mesa State University in Grand Junction, Colorado, and have continued my studies with different classes; some taught by other artists, some at Bemis School of Art in Colorado Springs and at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. I’ve enjoyed classes in Sculpture, Metalsmithing, Drawing, Painting, Human Anatomy, ceramics, & raku, in addition to many others.
Art is Life! Breathing and eating and sleeping, working and relaxing! It’s love and hate, vexing and flying. Most artists will tell you that Art never stops. It’s who and what we are. It’s always and forever.
Reveille [inspired me in my work for this show.] Lol! Ish …! It is so hard with the world the way it is to get inspired! If Rev hadn’t asked me to do this show, I would probably not have tried to do anything. With the Sword of Damocles … okay the “Interlude” show hanging over my head – it made me get out of my funk and work on getting my Mojo back. Once you start, the world goes away and it’s just you and a canvas or a pile of clay or some bits of silver. Just you and creation.
One of my pieces, “End of the Day” is a pendant created, amazingly, … at the end of the day. I was forcing myself to fix a half-finished bracelet that the soldering gods just wouldn’t let happen. I was tired and frustrated and lost. I just started melting the darn thing with my torch! Ha! That’ll show ‘em! Don’t mess with me! And then… in the chaos of frustration … I saw something begin to be …. I saw something I liked! Something that sparked creativity in my brain! And I started working from there. Art is just chaos brought into order. (Not my quote, but attributed to several artists, and so true!)
In the picture, “End of the Day” is on the soldering block. To the upper right is a bracelet (hidden in the vermiculite – a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral which undergoes significant expansion when heated … hmmm… for me it just means you can put metal down into the vermiculite and it “sinks” or takes away the heat and doesn’t catch on fire. Which is a good thing for my purposes 😉.) The bracelet hidden in the vermiculite is like the bracelet I started “End of The Day” with… except it’s all together, lol. The round stones to the mid right are chalcedony (wonderful stone bringing peace and calm to the world) that I am going to mount in “End of the Day”. If you want to see the final product, stop by Commonwheel for the “Interlude” show!
My sculpture, “Solace” [is my favorite piece for this show]. I love the peace it makes me feel. When I was trying to find a name for the sculpture, I realized that when I looked at it, it made me feel solace. The lady is giving herself a gentle hug and finding peace within herself. We all need that. Especially now.
You can find my work at these local stores and galleries:
Kreuser Gallery, Gallery 113, Arati Artists Gallery, Consign and Design, Fratelli’s Italian Restaurante, Thrive Salon and in the gift shop at the Museum of Mining and Industry
My Website: dreamfollower.net
Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamFollowerbySuzy
Here is your chance to get to know some of our artists in the August 2020 gallery show and preview their art.
I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, you could often find me copying works from children’s books with pencil. My favorites were Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor. I dreamed of going to the Art Institute of Chicago and even sent in an application when I was in middle school (I wasn’t accepted! J) However, my interests expanded as I grew, and I married and raised 5 amazing boys. To keep making art, I painted murals on their bedroom walls and even painted a few murals for the children of friends. When my kids grew up and left home, I continued to express my creativity through music and became a Therapeutic Musician. However, I always kept up drawing here and there. Fast forward to Covid 19 times and I found myself with LOTS of time to create! Alcohol inks fascinated me with their nature and unpredictable behavior, so I began experimenting and enjoying the way the inks flowed. But I really am a detail focused realist artist and I longed to be able to tame the inks without losing their innate beauty. My works here today are the results of that experimentation process.
Making art to me is simply the creation and expression of emotion or the telling of a story, in whatever medium you choose. I choose to express myself through music and visual art.
This show has inspired me to look more closely at the flora and fauna of this beautiful state we live in and how these “creatures” make our world so much more colorful. The inks really bring that out, I think.
When I was choosing subjects for this show, I sat down and brainstormed the flora and fauna of our state that I thought were “quintessential” Colorado. After choosing a subject, I would find images that made me feel something strongly. Usually, I would find a specific feature or aspect that drew me in and made me “feel”. I then used that feeling as I painted. I grew attached to the subject and its uniqueness as I painted, which, hopefully, comes through in the finished piece.
I would hope that the observer might see the amazement of nature in my paintings. I use realistic detail because I am drawn to those intricacies and I hope others will see those details and say “wow, I’ve never noticed that before!” I also hope to evoke a noticeable emotion in the viewer, like “those eyes are so Intense, I feel ________.” For me, evoking feeling is a very important aspect of any art.
I think my favorite piece in this show is “Gentle Strength”. I loved painting the gentle curiosity I saw in this little fellow. Bears are often seen as vicious and to be feared, and rightly so, but I saw sweet gentleness in his eyes and wanted to bring that playful, curious spirit out in my painting.
Email address: email@example.com
As an artist I have evolved over the years (as we all have), now I am taking time to enjoy and ponder all the beauty around me.
Living in Colorado and traveling frequently to New Mexico has inspired me to paint ordinary vistas in a new bold, colorful impressionist style. Mother Nature may not be pleased when my color palette is not what was expected.
Many of my paintings have been commissioned and sold to interior designers and others. My solo show in Scottsdale, AZ was very successful and a great experience. Since then I was a member of the Boulder Street Gallery in Colorado Springs and now have the privilege to be accepted as a guest artist at the Commonwheel Co Op in Manitou Springs, Co.
Art fills my world!
I am a jewelry designer and maker based in Colorado Springs and I’ve been one of the jewelers at Commonwheel for the past 6 years. My jewelry is delicate and feminine designed with pretty gemstones and lots of wire, alternated with other jewelry techniques introduced through the years, such us crochet, macramé, and metal stamping. Some of these techniques came to fruition after exploring ideas for gallery shows, and such is the case for “Western exposure” where I am playing with painting jewelry. You can read more about myself and my jewelry here.
Inspiration for this show.
Each show brings the opportunity to explore new concepts, so for “Western exposure” I wanted to create a bold and modern line for Summer, that is all about a pop of color in fresh organic shapes.
I originally envisioned some turquoise and leather designs, but all changed after a short Summer hike and a delightful encounter with a blooming cactus. It was mid-July, a dried arid Colorado trail under the blue skies and out of nothing, bright fuchsia flowers on fields of native cactus. Wow! I immediately knew I had to do something about it! (I promise I will work on those turquoise and leather designs later on) so this is how my pieces for this show were born.
About the process.
To create the earrings and pendants I used brass and copper sheets cut out into free-form shapes, aiming for organic and soft curves. I then textured the surfaces with a hammer and filed the rough edges. I also fabricated the ear wires in 14K Gold fill and copper; this time I tried a new elongated shape that works great for this particular design and it’s easy to put on and off-- a new favorite!
The best part—and the most fun!--was painting the shapes. Since I tend to err on the “perfectionist” side with most of my traditional jewelry (aka: Dolce de Leti) I purposely took this as a challenge to let go (just a little!) so I let the paint mix, flow and do its magic. Once glazed, dried and assembled, this jewelry is vibrant, fun and lightweight!
My favorite piece is the long eye-catching cascade of blues with gradual oval shapes dangling down. It has a lot of movement, beautiful blues and an irresistible casual look. All the pieces are one-of-a-kind, small wearable art treasures, something totally different from me for those who know me and own some of my jewelry. I am very glad that I had the chance to play with a new technique and medium and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
You will find this limited collection at “Western Exposure” gallery show from August 7-31, 2020 at Commonwheel Artist co-op.
I have always been interested in Art. Both of my parents were interested, and did it in many forms. They also took my brother and me to see Art Shows. When my husband, children, and I moved to Colorado Springs, and eventually Manitou, I was juried into Commonwheel with carved leather boxes, clock faces and pictures. In continuing exploration, I did Scratch Board Drawings, Pen and Ink Drawings, Painting, Sculpture, Batik and finally Pottery. Pottery stuck. Currently I have been part of Commonwheel for over 40 years.
Art is a very important part of who I am. My father once said to me that I look at the world through the eyes of an Artist and a Social Worker. Art helps to maintain balance in my life.
Thinking about Southwestern Landscapes has been very exciting because of the shapes and vivid colors. My family (Husband and two children) loves to explore and camp in National and State Parks and Monuments, in the 4 Southwestern States.
In this particular challenge, depicting landscapes of the Natural World on my stoneware plates, using new glazes, a new color palate and glaze chalks has been difficult. Plus trying to depict dimensionality, perspective and shadows with limited colors has sometimes been mind boggling.
My canvas is a blank slab of light-colored clay. I stand with my fingers poised and draw with my finger nails. I have an image in my mind. I draw an outline using large strokes first; then I fill it with lines of texture, dots of knuckles, smoothing with my finger pads. Once the image is achieved, I cut out the plate and put it on a holder. The clay plate dries slowly. When the plate is dry I smooth the edges with damp fingers and put them in my kiln to Bisque-fire.
Once the piece is fired, I use glazes or glaze-chalks to color the image. When the color is on, and dried, I layer on 3 flowing coats of clear glaze to seal the colors. The piece is then fired to cone 5. Sometimes a piece is lighter, darker, or more vivid than I expect.
I hope to trigger memories of their own explorations or encourage them to go exploring themselves. I also hope to encourage feelings of joy.
My favorite piece is Grove of Aspen. It was my first successful glaze chalk piece. It was a joy to open the kiln and see it.
The only place my work can be found is in Commonwheel.
Lara Popowitch is a studio potter based outside of Chicago, IL. She has been a full-time studio potter for ten years. Before that she worked as a professional commercial artist, creating illustrations and branding for non-profit organizations, commercial companies, and international government projects. Growing tired of sitting at a desk making art for others, she began to explore new materials for her own personal growth. A local community college offered ceramic courses and that is where she became interested with clay.
The clay used is grolleg porcelain. The work is all fired in an electric kiln to cone six. The underglazes are a commercial brand and the studio-made clear glaze is occasionally colored with mason stains.
Her favorite piece would be the teacup and saucer, Beauty Metrics. Her inspiration for it was the scientific study of beauty. The lines are where scientists measure facial proportions. The squares, circles and rectangles reference the different face shapes used to help decide which hairstyles are flattering on an individual.
Besides previously being in the show, Colorado has a special place in her memories. The last family road trip was here, and it was the most memorable. The state’s spectacular beauty kept the entire family spellbound and speechless with wonder.
Lara can be found online by the name of Clayvein on both Etsy and Instagram. There you can find out more about her and her work.
I make things. I gauge my day by the process of having an idea, problem-solving how to construct the idea, and then making a new object. That process simply delights me, so even though my day at work revolves around clay, I also work with wood and metal. These days I always have an acoustic or electric guitar in process in my wood shop, and renovation projects underway on two different family properties. I also volunteer on the board of two of our local studio tours and lend a hand with other arts organizations when I can. My wife and two daughters are very supportive and understanding people, in part because they know they get to live with cool handmade stuff.
It took an internship building wooden boats on the coast of Maine for me to realize that I truly loved working in three dimensions more than two. When I returned to campus to finish my art degree, the ceramics class back at college fit into my schedule and I was hooked. I’ve always felt like pottery chose me at that point. Upon graduation, I went to work for a production potter and have been doing it professionally ever since.
Until recently, I have stuck to a pretty narrow range of processes. I worked in both cone 10 reduction and cone 6 oxidation before opening my own studio, but I chose cone 6 for the breadth of its color palette and easier fuel options for firing. I’ve always been drawn to dark colored clay bodies and have worked with the same clay for nearly 30 years for my regular production. When I decided to fire in a smaller electric kiln instead of my large gas kiln, to speed up my turnaround time, I found myself opening up to, well, everything. Opportunities present themselves. I now wood-fire with a Train kiln team, and am learning traditional ancestral Puebloan processes, too. I’ve even found a love for porcelain. There are lifetimes of possibilities with clay.
Right from the start I have made my own glazes. Because of the struggle I had in those early years for information on how to make glazes from a non-technical viewpoint, I now teach a beginner’s workshop on understanding glazes and making them yourself. To me, not making your own glazes would be like painting but refusing to blend colors. There is a world of expression to tap in to when you can experiment with glazes.
These are three of my current favorite pieces! My favoritism is an ever-evolving process when it comes to my work—which is good, I think. But the wood fired mug, to me, is a culmination of a lot of hard work that ended up successfully. It’s spare simplicity and subtleness are what I aim for from a wood firing. It is a wonderful mix of its form being accentuated by the touch of ash and flame. And it feels like it could be the start of a new direction in my work.
Mugs and cups are the potter’s calling card. They are the one piece that can bring the artistry of what they do into everyone’s home and actually change people’s daily routines because they are being affected by a piece of artwork. A mug and cup show sounds like a fun thing to be a part of, which it is, but it is nothing less than a movement to change our culture—who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
The best place to find my work is in my studio showroom in Niwot, CO. But my website www.markrossierpottery.com is a close second. La Veta Gallery on Main in southern Colorado carries my work, as does Radius Gallery in Missoula, MT. The best way to keep track of what I’m up to is @markmudman on Instagram or Mark Rossier Pottery on FaceBook.
I am an art educator and have been teaching Secondary art since 1996 and adult pottery classes since 1998. I was raised on Air Force bases around the world. My BA in Art is from UC Santa Cruz and I completed a MA in Ceramics and Art Education from Regis. I married my best friend Michael, who I met in college, 41 years ago. We have lived in Santa Cruz, England, San Jose, Fresno and El Paso before moving to Littleton CO in 1990. We have five adult children and four grandchildren. I focus mainly on ceramics but also draw, paint, print, photograph, and metalsmith. My work has been juried into shows in multiple mediums including Geaux Cups III in New Orleans. Plinth Gallery in RiNo Denver invited me to be their 1st pop-up artist in their gallery in December 2019 and is showing my cups. I like to travel and was fortunate to spend 3 weeks in China last summer.
In HS the only art class offered was pottery, so I signed up and learned to throw. At UCSC there was an open studio for ceramics where I would go for a break from my other studio classes. Later, I took classes at San Jose City College and Cabrillo College, bought a neighbor's wheel. When I started teaching realized I needed to know more and started taking classes at Arapahoe CC and found a mentor in Kathy Holt.
I tend to favor wheel throwing and look for forms that “sing” or say “ah”. I primarily use BMX white stoneware or Chestnut ∆ 6 clays from Rocky Mountain clay. I mostly fire in gas reduction usually at the Studio I work for or at my school, (but I get the opportunity to be part of a friend’s wood kiln firings) I use studio made glazes but Covid -19 has me exploring commercial glazes until studios reopen,
Controlled Ooze is my favorite piece - I love the richness of the Panama Red glaze and the contrast with the raw deep brown of the chestnut clay in reduction firing. I have been working on getting the Panama to drip and ooze in a controlled way and consider this cup to be successful.
Suzi Reaves at a recent Bill Van Gilder workshop at Plinth gallery was passing out postcards for the show and encouraging people to submit work.
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local galleries.
Facebook: Linda Schmale Studio
Plinth Gallery RiNo Denver, Mission Trace Framing and Gallery, Lakewood INTEA - Main St. Littleton,
I was born and raised in Hawaii, chased some residency and assistantship opportunities around the east coast for a few years, and then finished my MFA at the University of Florida last year. Currently I'm working as a technician and adjunct faculty at Jacksonville University, but so help me, I will make my way back out west someday or die trying.
Funny story. I was taking a ceramics class at the University of Hawaii as a prerequisite figure sculpting class while also taking a tea ceremony class as part of a credit requirement. The two fueled each other and things got pretty crazy from there on out. I feel like most people relate to getting obsessed over that one form early in their ceramics adventures, mine was a tea bowl I could use in class. I even built this tragically proportioned little train kiln to woodfire like, 3 bowls max in.
The first leg of my process happens on the wheel, I throw my forms in porcelain and then alter in texture or drips after I've cleaned up the surface. I love English porcelains like Colemans if you're more west coast, or standard 356 if you're out east. Sometimes I'll do some additional underglazing while the work is bone dry, but typically I do all my surfacing after the 05 bisque before glazing. When it comes to my illustrated surfaces, I always go commercial underglaze, but I tend to favor studio-made glazes for surface with more depth and control over color. I always fire to cone 5 or 6 in oxidation via an electric kiln, sometimes I add in a slow cool cycle if I'm feeling sassy.
I think I like this swig the best. I was experimenting with illustration composition on taller and slender forms, and I just got super stoked about the mountain/volcano situation taking advantage of that verticality.
Actually, a buddy of mine I've done a few collaborations with sent me the call link. He said, "this is an awesome gallery in a small town in Colarado" and I was like, "heck yeah I'll apply." In the end, I guess I was inspired by the power of friendship. I also love themed shows like this where potters can show off multiple solutions to the same basic premise... "What kind of drinking vessel is Potters McGee gonna submit, what about Slips McManister, I can't wait to see what everyone came up with!" I love that kinda thing.
My Instagram handle is @studio _schulz, my website is thestudioschulz.com, and I have work in the Charlie Cummings Gallery based out of Gainesville Florida.
I'm a 38-year-old currently living in Portland, Oregon. Similar to most people I'm sure, I feel like the world has been turned upside down in recent months, and I'm finding it difficult to know where to start to answer this question. Much of my quarantine time has been spent making cups and going through a process of self-discovery about how to move forward in the world with the newfound sense of "normalcy".
A number of years ago my spouse and I were driving from Seattle to Portland via the longer and more scenic route through Poulsbo, Washington where we stopped and spent some time looking through a couple of galleries of local artists. There were quite a few potters who had their work on display there, and I ended up purchasing a few mugs. For some reason at that point in my life those galleries ignited a spark and pottery became something that I wanted to try doing for myself. The next spring I signed up for an introductory wheel throwing course at a local studio with the goal of learning to make a mug for myself. I was hooked on clay from there, and a few months later I had my own backyard studio setup and running.
Most of my current work is inspired by the Japanese pottery style of kurinuki, meaning "carved out." The rocky texture that I carve on the outside of the pieces is meant to be a reminder of nature when held in your hands or viewed on display. At this point I find that I prefer working with a red clay with a bit of grog from a local supplier called Georgies. I start by wedging and portioning out clay into known quantities formed into rough cylinders. Then I will start forming the inside of the vessel through a combination of pinching and carving with various tools. Next, I use a wire tool to carve the texture on the outside of the piece. On some pieces I will also use a smaller tool to carve a grooved section which will remain unglazed. At that point I will let the clay dry overnight so that it is firm enough to shape the foot. Usually I will use the same wire tool to carve a pentagon or hexagon shaped column on the bottom of the piece, which then I hollow out with a loop tool and then I'll stamp the inside of the foot with my chop. I'll then let the piece dry again before refining the inside and the lip with a couple different tools. When the piece has dried thoroughly I'll fire it to cone 04 and then apply wax and a variety of commercial glazes before firing to cone 6. I've been experimenting with the Steven Hill slow cool firing cone 6 program lately and have found that I really like the effect that it has on the glazes that I use. The kiln I'm using is an L&L Easy Fire.
Out of the two pieces that were accepted, I really like the cup that has the mottled black and green glaze on the outside. Finding that combination was a bit of a happy accident and I'm really pleased with how it looks on finished work.
Since the show is all about drinkware it seemed to be a perfect match to apply since that is basically all I'm interested in making right now.
My etsy site can be found at danmakesmugs.com and my instagram account is @danmakesmugs. When the world gets back to normal, my work can also be seen in person at the studio space in Portland, OR that I share with Vavroch Glass & Art Studio.
Currently, I consider myself a full-time potter. Like many folks that earn a living through the arts, I continue to make this work by holding as many odd jobs that relate to my field as I can find. I am a studio technician and teacher for one pottery studio, a "clay date" instructor at another, and an on-call substitute teacher for pottery programs in public schools near me. In between these jobs is where I find time to craft my own work and then attempt to sell it. Formerly I was a social studies teacher, but when I did the math and figured out I could “make it” doing pottery, I decided to take the leap and give it a shot. I haven’t looked back since!
I first became interested in pottery during my undergraduate study at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. While pursuing a degree in history I needed to take an art elective. I just so happened to be friends with an art major and he suggested the Ceramics 101 professor was great, so I signed up and didn’t think much about it. After the first day, however, I was hooked. I never considered myself to have any sort of artistic talent prior to taking ceramics, and if anything, this class really proved that to be a fact. That being said, the more I learned about pottery the more I fell in love with this craft and knew that it was something I wanted to pursue. From this one class I accidentally discovered an entire subculture of pottery enthusiasts and artists living all around the Twin Cities and Minnesota in general and decided it was something I needed to be a part of.
Throughout my pottery career I have used a variety of clays, glazes, and firing techniques. Currently I am firing using an oxidation atmosphere in an electric kiln up to cone 6. I landed on this method because that is what is readily and economically available to me for the time being. While it was a learning process going from high-fire soda firing to midrange oxidation, it is something I have grown to really enjoy. The reliability of electric kilns to produce exact results was something that initially made me wary of any electric-fired work. I have always been drawn to the more rustic and seemingly random pottery that emerges from soda firing or wood firing. As a potter myself though, I have always been very particular and precise with my forms, textures, and glazing and I think what I produce at this point lends itself to controlled electric firings. I like to use clay that, in my mind, has some sort of inherent interest. Right now I am using a commercial stoneware clay from Minnesota Clay that fires to a nice red/orange color at cone 6 and has a lot of fine particles and grog that give the clay body itself some variation and depth. I use a variety of thin colored slips that I mix up in-house to give my pieces their different colors while still allowing the detail of the clay to show through in the final product. As for glazing, I mix just a couple, relatively simple clear glazes to finish out my pieces. One is very glossy, the other is more of a semi-matte.
My favorite piece accepted for this event is the lavender mug with black underglaze accents. I think that slip is my favorite color right now and I really like the combination of the lavender with the red clay. The handle also fits my hand like a dream, and it has a general shape and joinery that just look pleasing to my eyes. Handles are a love-hate relationship for me in that when I get a handle just right it is always my favorite part of a pot. That doesn’t happen that often though, unfortunately. It doesn’t help that I still don’t exactly know what “just right” means to me regarding a handle. What is the perfect combination of size, taper, shape, joints, width, etc. that make a handle truly great? I think this will be a lifelong struggle for me, but this lavender mug is at least on the right track. And at the end of the day, it will hold a beverage just fine.
I’ve been spreading my pottery around the upper Midwest for a while now and I figured it would be a good time to head west. Cups and mugs are also a couple of my favorite things to create, so the Cheers! Drink Up! show seemed like a good fit.
My up-to-date work can be seen through my website, www.vangstadpottery.com, and on my Instagram @vangstadpottery. I sell online through Etsy which can be navigated to from my website or just by searching for VangstadPottery through Etsy itself. As for a local presence, I sell at a number of different art and pottery sales throughout the Twin Cities every year.
My name is Tony Young and I'm a High School art teacher a little north of Columbus, Ohio. I live with my wife beautiful Sarah, crazy little girls Vivian (7), and Valerie (4), and our cat Marshmallow. I've just recently taken over the basement as my home studio. I eat, sleep, and breathe clay. And Donuts, I like donuts too.
I went to Bowling Green State University in Ohio and took an introductory ceramics course. My graduate assistant was this young surfer dude from California named Jon Ginnaty. He was positive, encouraging, and even though I was below average skill wise something clicked with clay. I loved it. We fired in Wood, Soda, Salt, Gas, and electric kilns. There was something magic about all the possibilities.
The majority of my work is wheel thrown. I do slip cast my tumblers I make, but other than that I wheel throw everything. I use Laguna's B-Mix clay body and fire to Cone 5 in an electric kiln. I do all my design work with underglaze using a variety of techniques. I stencil, sponge, brush, flick, and hand paint. I also use underglaze transfers, screen printing, and sometimes lusters. All my underglazes and liner glazes are commercial glazes made by Amaco.
I sent 4 fun pieces, but my personal favorite would be the Red, White, and Blue mug with the "Flip". I really like the subtle pops of color it reminds me of one of those Rocket Popsicles. The "Flip" or thumb rest, is one of my signatures, and makes the piece unique. I also love that this one is super busy. I like the ideas of someone being able to use my cup multiple times and discover something new about it on each occasion. Sometimes Less is More, sometimes... MORE IS MORE.
I applied for this show because last summer I came to Colorado from Ohio to visit some college friends. One of my followers on Instagram, who lived in Colorado all her life but recently moved, informed me this show was going on and I must go see it! Thanks Ashley! So we were site seeing all over and made the trip from Castle Rock to Manitou Springs one day so I could check out the show. I didn't buy a cup from the actual show but found one in the gallery I had to purchase for my collection. I took it up to the counter and Deborah Hager was working, and it just happened to be HER CUP I had chosen. One of those serendipitous moments. We chatted and stayed in touch. I had been waiting to enter since last summer and I'm honored to show in the gallery.
The best place to keep up with me is on Instagram @youngy_03
This Fall I will have a collection of work at Abel Contemporary Gallery in Wisconsion and another collection in Rapscallion Gallery in Montana.
I sell mainly through my online store: Graffiti Inspired RIOT! Skull Mugs, Cups, and Tumblers. by TYoungCeramics
We asked the artists who had work accepted into this show a series of questions. Here are their answers.
In spring of 2019, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a BFA in ceramics and drawing. After graduating, I promptly moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota to be a part of the thriving artist community of Minnesota and particularly the Twin Cities. Outside of ceramics I have a deep love for the outdoors and for music. I often go hiking and enjoy exploring new areas; one of my favorites in Kinnickinnic State Park in Wisconsin! One of my favorite things to in the cities is to go to concerts; a favorite concert of mine was seeing The Babe Rainbow opening for Allah-Las. Such a cohesive show!
I took my first ceramics class in 2012 when I was a freshman in high school. I have always been really into art, but taking this class was profound and since then, I went to school for ceramics and my live fully revolves around ceramics / pottery!
My work in primarily thrown and altered on the pottery wheel. My work is a direct conversation between form, firing, and self. I have been using a porcelaneous stoneware with a refractory flashing slip and blue celadon liner glaze; these are all things that I mix myself. My wares are fired in both wood kilns and soda kilns, but primarily soda kilns these days. I have been really interested in ceramic material research and down fire soda processes and recently received the Jerome Project Grant through the Jerome Foundation and Northern Clay Center to pursue this research.
My favorite piece is the footed pilsner. I have been really into making pieces with large extravagant feet. These emphasize and create drama within the form and for the fire.
Website: Casey Beck
Online Shop: Wood and Soda Fired Pottery by BeckPots
Instagram: @flacers casey beck (@beckpots) • Instagram photos and videos
Clay Akar in Iowa City, IA
Seasons on the St. Croix in Hudson, WI
Mainly Clay in Farmeville, VA
I have attached an image of my in the studio below and you should have an image of my footed tumbler. Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else that I can do!
Born Los Angeles, CA. 1958.
Early experiences with clay as a child apparently left a mark. After school, apprenticeships, and more school, making pots was, is, and will continue to be a way of life. I’ve been a studio potter for nearly 40 years now, living and working in Arizona for much of that time. My work as a professional has always been low fire earthenware for many years and my Raku pots were shown nationally. The influences are scattered from the Southwest, Africa, and Japan to the cultures of the Mediterranean. A museum full of 2000-year-old pots in Rhodes was an epiphany.
Simple forms with no contrivance or pretension filled room after room. I hope to make one like that before I’m done. Seeing those pots 20 years ago started this current evolution. It began with soft muted colors, classic shapes, amphora, ewers, and jugs with an ancient feel. Then, textured pots with extravagant handles, spouts, and flourishes using brushed color. Over the last 7 years the current body of work has evolved. Hot colors, simple closed forms with very controlled textures dominate. High fire porcelain has now been added to the mix with its many eccentricities.
The last piece finished today, good, bad or indifferent is the product of doing the work for many years. These pieces can’t be made without those experiences, successes and failures, lots of failures. Every day in the studio is an adventure; I’m looking forward to working tomorrow.
Form is everything; I stretch clay to make canvases for decoration. Texture, pattern, and color are successful additions when the shapes are impeccable. My inspirations are many, from the classic forms of antiquity to the simple, graceful pots made by indigenous peoples and the work of modern studio potters. Dramatic color, subtle texture and graphic pattern accentuate what I hope is a mastery
of the traditional vessel form.
Thrown earthenware, with layers of textured slip, colored slips, and oxides.
Multiple gas or electric firings in oxidation to cone 03 or approximately 2000F.
Thrown porcelain or white stoneware with multiple glazes, fired in reduction to 2350F or Cone 10
Nicholas Bernard, 6234 N Cattle Track Rd., Scottsdale, AZ. 85250
Alejandro Botelho Alvarez
My name is Alejandro Botelho, I go by Alex. I grew up in Juneau, Alaska in the middle of the Tongass National Forest. Currently, I live in Bozeman, Montana as I finish my third year of my MFA program at Montana State University. Growing up in Southeast Alaska has strongly influenced my perspective of the world and my appreciation for nature. I am an avid climber, fisher, snowboarder, and aspiring cold-climate surfer. These activities inform my work because I am deeply inspired by a particular softness in nature. Even geology seems malleable when you watch and live in the fjords that glaciers have curved. My work is directly inspired by that softness
My first ceramics class was in middle school. I vaguely remember it, but it was enough to inspire me to later take a class as an elective at the University of Alaska Southeast. After that class I was hooked. At the time I was finishing an Associate’s Degree in cold-climate construction and loved building and using my hands to create practical and beautiful things. Since then, ceramics fulfills that need to create.
I am almost exclusively a wheel thrower. For me, like M.C Richards pottery is “Centering”. So much of modern life is filled with things I would describe as distractions. One of my professors called it the “buzz”. Wheel throwing turns off that buzz and allows me to be totally focused in the present. My studio practice is very particular; I have a Type-A personality however, you’d never know it looking at me and in the moment my studio can seem very haphazard. I think the best clay is my reclaim. Something about the mix of different clay bodies makes for a stronger constitution and also seems a little less pretentious than a single clay body. I use two clay bodies, a Helmar white-stoneware and a normal stoneware. I fire atmospherically to cone 10 in a wood-salt kiln and a gas-fired soda kiln.
This coffee mug is my favorite piece in the show. I love it because I find that the proportions of the handle attachment to the lip and the progressive thinning of the handle both accentuate the fluid qualities of the glaze over the form. There is a wonderful balance between matte and gloss across the body of the piece and a harmony between the earthy browns and the black and blues that evoke a nostalgia for northern skies.
I think the title of the show really got me. So much of what potters make revolves around libations- I wanted to join in on the celebration.
My work can be found at: @iambotelho on Instagram
After a very interesting career in the theater business, I retired starting my own pottery business called “My’s Pots” in my home in New Jersey. Moving to Charleston, SC eight years ago, I became a member of Cone 10 Studios until it’s close in 2019. I recently opened my own studio, Terrace Clay Studio, in the Riverland Terrace section of James Island, SC. My work has been shown in juried shows in New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Tennessee and Charleston, SC. I am currently showing in the 2020 Small Favors exhibit, at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.
My first experience with clay was in a high school class, but I became hooked while taking a ceramics course in college, with a cute boyfriend I fell in love with both!
I am enamored with every type of ceramics, but my focus is on wheel thrown functional work. Over the years, I have worked in light and dark stoneware mid fire, low fire earthenware, raku, wood and soda firings, high fire reduction porcelain. At this time, I am focusing on cone 6 porcelain, in electric firings, using frit glazes, custom celadon glazes, and mixing with commercial glazes. Basically, I like trying all ceramic clays, glazes and firing processes.
These two cups are part of a series of cups in porcelain using a frit glaze and my favorites-
I applied to “Cheers!” because I’m a sucker for cup shows.
My work can be seen on FB at My’s Pots and on Instagram @myspots
I've been a part time potter for over 40 years. In my working career I had various positions in Information Technology for 31 years and made pottery as a hobby. It is still my part time hobby. I started with a Parks & Recreation course in 1975, then took courses at our local Arts Center, then eventually at CSU-Pueblo.
I always liked pottery but when I was young, I couldn't afford it, so I took my first class. I've learned a lot since then and continue to discover how much more there is to know. If I lived 300 years, I would still be discovering.
I use stoneware clay. In the past I worked primarily with iron-based clay, but now include white clay and sometimes porcelain. I fire to cone 10 in gas or wood with studio made glazes.
Mugs are my absolute favorite pot to make. They provide a lifelong connection between the artist and the person using the mug. Many times people have told me that they think of me when they use my mug for morning coffee. The specifics of the conversations vary, but the essence is that we maintain a personal connection long after I have given a mug as a gift. Mugs are personal, intimate, and utilitarian. We caress them, we sip liquids from them, we smell the aroma of the liquid they hold. Mugs are associated with activities that bring pleasure. I have given away hundreds to family, friends, neighbors, and random people like the mailman, landscaper, or electrician. In this show the beer mug (see photo below) is my favorite. I like the form, the surface texture, and the way the glaze feathered and interacted with the texture.
I am still a part time potter so quantity is not something I aspire to. The annual "Drinking Vessel" show is one of the few shows I entered. I use my pots as a way of giving back. Most of my work is given as personal gifts or to various local fund raisers.
I grew up in Kansas and now live in Alpine, Wyoming. I teach ceramics, drawing, and printmaking classes at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. Every day is different - I work as a studio potter and also as a sculptor and illustrator. Living near Jackson has brought interesting projects; one is making pottery for the restaurant at the White Buffalo Club. Working with a chef to design dishes is a dream come true.
My high school ceramics teacher was where it began, after a year of throwing on the wheel I was hooked. He recommended attending Kansas State University with Yoshi Ikeda, so that is what I did. However, I fell in love more with ceramic sculpture and that was the route I continued to pursue with an MFA at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Pottery has been a consistent in my life since high school; it is something that holds a lifetime of learning.
I prefer porcelain, although I work with stoneware when the need arises. A lot depends on the client and what finish they are looking for. When left to my own devices I prefer smooth porcelain. I use clay from the Archie Bray Foundation and decorate with commercial underglaze and cone 6 glazes that I make in my studio. In the past few years, I have been combining my love of drawing into the surface design of my pottery. The mugs in this show are the beginning of a new series; I drew on the bisque fired clay with an underglaze pencil.
My favorite piece from this grouping is “Measure twice, cut twice” It pretty much sums up my average day. Also, I really enjoy drawing random tools and objects; I love how awkward they look without context. When using an underglaze pencil, I have to just commit to the line, no erasing, and no going back over it – if the line is too thick it will run. Drawing these tools during the COVID-19 pandemic has made me laugh. I don’t know what tools we need to get through the day, but those awkward scissors have got to help.
A friend sent me the prospectus for this show; I thought it was interesting to have a show with vessels in categories specifically by drinks. I often imagine what my work would be used for, though I know that is rarely the case!
My blog entry on pieces from this series: https://www.dowdhousestudios.com/new-blog/2020/5/22/flat-foods-amp-helpful-objects
Facebook: @dowdhousestudios and @jennydowdartist
I am a full-time studio potter who loves travel, animals, theater, books, and food. In my spare time, I volunteer with a local animal rescue group, and I almost always have a foster animal or five running around the house, along with my resident menagerie. I grew up in Minnesota but have lived most of my adult life in Dallas, Texas... except for the two years that I spent living on an extremely rural island in Japan, where I spent my time eating things with tentacles, perfecting my Japanese language skills, and getting chased down by killer wild boars. I have spent ten years on cast at the local renaissance festival, and I was given free reign to accost people in the lanes with archaic English.
Almost all of my work is wheel-thrown and then altered. I use a porcelaneous stoneware because it offers the beautiful white canvas I need for my surfaces, but it still allows me to abuse the clay in ways that would make pure porcelain crack. These days, I almost always use Laguna's ^5 B-Mix without grog. I fire my work in an electric kiln because it's what's available to me now, and I usually use commercial glazes because I have neither the space for all the raw ingredients nor the will to spend time mixing them.
The photo below depicts my favorite. It's one of my newest pieces, and it shows my experiments with color. I previously added floral underglaze decals to my pots, but they were almost always just one color. Most recently, however, I have started painting translucent, colored glazes over the decals to add depth and more interest to the surface. This pot is one of the more successful experiments.
The juror, Justin Lambert, is a favorite artist of mine. It's an honor to have my pieces juried into the show by him. In addition, Commonwheel Artists Co-op has been extremely generous to me after there was a shipping error that was absolutely not their fault in any possible way. They did not have to treat me as well as they did, but the fact that they did has made me loyal to them forever!
I live on Instagram as @alleeceramics. In addition, I just opened an online shop on my website, www.alleeceramics.com. Finally, I will soon have some cups available at Charlie Cummings Gallery during their upcoming show, "Cup: The Intimate Object XVI."
Paige Furr is from Dallas, TX and has been working with ceramics for thirty years while teaching High School Ceramics, Sculpture, and 3D Studio Art. She followed her interest in clay to obtain her BFA in Ceramic Art at Alfred University in New York State. Following college, she returned to Texas and began her teaching career. Paige taught at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts for 20 years before moving to the Greenhill School. She creates her own work at her home studio using the potter’s wheel and hand building technique including slab and press molds.
I first became interested in ceramics while admiring a close friend’s Japanese Dragon roof tile his mother had acquired. When I began taking a ceramics class in High School and first touched clay, I knew this was my medium. I quickly took to the wheel and would dream of throwing techniques at night prior to actually performing the tasks. I attended college at the New York State College of Ceramics and have been actively working with clay ever since. I have worked sculpturally in clay, created architectural ceramic installations, and built plant inspired sculptures with thrown and altered forms. However, my main focus and draw is in the container form, taking visual and artistic ques from the idea of function while utilizing the wheel as a creation tool.
Throughout my teaching career I have always desired to have a studio at home where I can work uninterrupted from teaching. In December 2018, my husband and I moved our tools into the new studio and while carrying my first bag of clay into the studio, I tripped over the claw of a 14-foot scorpion sculpture. Upon landing, I broke my left hand leaving an imprint on the bag of clay I was carrying. Not to be discouraged, I was determined to create despite my new handicap. I found that I could hand build with the cast on my arm and a new direction in my work developed. I created press molds of interesting textures, hardware like nuts, bolts and screws, and design elements to imprint a mechanically inspired surrealism into my new work.
I prefer to work with mid-range stoneware and I currently fire my work in electric kilns. When I have the luxury of firing with gas, reduction is my preferred method. Currently, I am overlapping and spraying glazes to achieve a depth and richness of surface and color. All of my glazes, save the gold luster, are house-made composed of recipes collected and developed throughout my ceramics career.
I was inspired to apply to this exhibit after a trip to Colorado Springs three years ago with my husband, John whose Aunt (a professional jeweler) suggested that we take a day trip to Manitou Springs, especially Commonwheel Artists Co-Op. While there I admired the Cheers! Drink Up! Exhibit and thought, “Hey, I could have some fun with that!”. I am honored and delighted to be invited to this exhibit.
My favorite pieces for the exhibit are the Steampunk Trophy Shot Glasses. This pair was inadvertently inspired by cardboard pre-Columbian mask sculptures I assigned to my 6th graders to create in class. These pieces were intended to be awards (trophies) for a fund-raiser in Dallas; however, the COVID 19 pandemic erupted, and I had more time to complete the pieces, adding whimsical elements and personifying each piece.
My husband, John and I created our company, ”FurrRader Workshop”, over my spring break just prior to the COVID-19 shut-down of Spring 2020. Plans are for a website to be completed this summer and my work can currently be seen on Instagram @furrrader_workshop_ceramics.
Paige Furr at work in the FurrRader Workshop
John is a full time ceramic artist and ceramics instructor at The Arvada Center, residing in Arvada CO. His work is inspired by science fiction, pop culture, cartoons, and comic books. John was born and raised in the Widefield area in Colorado Springs. In high school he was moved to a rural town in Kansas and decided to stay after graduating to pursue a college career where he met his wife and graduated from Fort Hays State University with Bachelors in Fine Arts and a second degree in education. He and his wife Mary have two daughters, two dogs and a cat.
Initially, John discovered clay in high school. He took to the wheel and enjoyed it but found more interest at the time with sculpting. When he took an elective pottery class while attending Jr. College, he was inspired by his instructor, Jeannie Quinns way of working with clay and decided to pursue becoming a full-time artist.
John works in mid-range oxidation firing. His color pallet is simple using a mixture of studio made glaze and commercial underglazes. He prefers majorly wheel throwing for his functional work, but also uses the slip cast process for his Rocket ship Shot glasses and hand builds "non-conventional " handles using extruders, and sprig molds to create a mechanical aesthetic.
The mugs that are in the show have been Johns favorite pieces. These were a breakthrough, during the beginning of The COVID stay at home order, as This was the push he needed to move his entire body of work from the gas kilns where he works to his home studio. His cups were typically fired in cone 10 reduction, at the Arvada Center, and he has been trying to find a cup that caught his eye from the oxidation firing as the reduction atmosphere does.
John feels that this show provides great exposure and his work seems to be welcomed by the viewers. He was surprised that the pieces submitted for the 2019 show all sold and was happy to apply again.
John’s work is represented by Plinth Gallery in Denver, CO at 3520 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
instagram and facebook: @johnrhamilton3ceramics
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, went to high school in Denver, CO, finishing my senior year in Lancaster, PA. I have a BS from Penn State and an MBA from UCCS. After college I joined the Peace Corps and served in Morocco for two years where I met my husband. I spent 5 years in the corporate world and then worked for another 30 years in the Non-profit sector. We have lived in the Springs for 26 years, moving here as my husband was a civilian professor at the USAFA. We have one adult son. I retired ten years ago. We travel internationally when we can.
In elementary school we were given a very small chuck of clay to make a pinch pot which was fired and returned to us (see below). I clearly remember thinking that little piece of clay was not enough, I really wanted more and someday I was going to play with this stuff big time! I purchased lots of pottery in Morocco. After retiring I began taking classes here and there and finally bought my own wheel and kiln and took over our basement! So yes, arts in school, no matter how small can make a difference! Especially for a left brainer!
I am a hobby potter, working a few hours a day or a couple days a week. I also have taught throwing at the USAFA studio. I love throwing on a wheel, feeling the clay and forming it into a piece people will touch, use, and enjoy both visually and functionally. Thus, I mostly make pieces that can be used every day like mugs, juicers, tableware, serving pieces etc., although, I also enjoy making leaf bowls by hand, the bigger the leaf the better! I prefer porcelain for throwing and bmix for hand-building. I fire in oxidation in a Skutt kiln, generally to cone 6. I purchase my glazes from a variety of sources and almost always brush on my glazes on cone 04 bisque. I do not have a particular “style.” Rather, I like to constantly experiment with looks and techniques.
My favorite piece accepted into this event is my chocolate martini vessel. I had a lot of fun with those glazes.
I applied for “Cheers!” because I like challenges, and I had never made anything but mugs as a drinking vessel so I wanted to try something different!
Besides donating pieces to silent auctions, soup bowl events etc., I mostly sell to family and friends at an annual sale in my home. Making is more important than selling for me! When my Facebook page is cooperating (Created in Clay), I show photos there, as well as on my Instagram page, Claymadam.
My work is wood- or gas- fired high temperature stoneware and porcelain. My inspiration comes from the Colorado landscape and contemporary dance. The intention is not to imitate nature or movement, but to express the elemental power, the mystery or the delicacy of the landscape and dance through forms in clay. More of my work can be found on my website: vickyhansenwoodfirewoman.com. I am one of the founding potters who organized this annual exhibition and am honored to participate and continue to see the exhibition flourish at Commonwheel Gallery in Manitou Springs. My favorite piece is the wood fired mug with the green runny glaze.
I am a full-time educator of graphic design at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. I have a small studio in my back yard where I make ceramic art, screen print and print on a 100-year-old letterpress. I strive to integrate methods and processes in my practice.
My introduction to clay happened by accident! When I applied to Penland School of Crafts, they only had two open classes. One was temporary tattooing and the other was surreal slip casting taught by Laura Jean McLaughlin. I fell in love with clay there. She was a great influence on my thinking and process.
The “Monkey Shots” are part of a recent exploration in 3d modeling, mold making, and slip casting. The clay I used was Laguna porcelain slip. I use an electric kiln that is small enough to fit into my studio.
Any large pieces are assembled afterword. A commercial food safe clear glaze has been applied to the monkey shots.
The monkey shots needed a place to be seen with an appropriate theme. This was perfect place for their introduction to people.
My ceramic work is online at: http://www.pollyjohnson.studio. Process can be seen on https://www.instagram.com/pollyjohnson.studio/
My name is James Kelly and I live in Denver Colorado. I moved to Colorado in 2001 after graduating from college in Michigan. My interests outside of ceramics include typical things a Coloradan might enjoy like snowboarding, cross-country skiing, hiking, and camping. In 2011 I met my incredible wife Angie and we were married in 2013. We’ve since bought a home and I’ve converted the garage into my studio.
I first got interested in pottery in high school. We had a great fully functioning ceramics studio with a gas kiln, and I took as many classes as they would allow. I then received my BFA in ceramics from Northern Michigan University in 2001, studying under Sam Chung who is now an internationally-known ceramic artist and educator at Arizona State University. From there I attended University of Minnesota for one semester as an independent study working under Mark Pharis. Once leaving there I needed a change and moved to Denver on a whim with several friends from college. Ten years past and I found myself working and enjoying life in Colorado, but I was missing my connection with clay. In 2010 I was accepted into the Colorado Potters Guild where I’m able to glaze and fire my work.
My work is a combination of wheel thrown, hand built, press, and slump-molded parts. I primarily work with high fire porcelain although I’ve been playing around with a very iron rich stoneware as well. All work is fired to cone 10 in a soda kiln. I use glazes we make at the Potters Guild which consist of a variety of glazes and flashing slips that I apply by spraying over each other.
I really like this new handle design of this Mod Mug in combination with the new clay body a very iron rich gritty stoneware. This piece represents some new processes, materials, and ideas for me.
I was in the show last year and wanted to be a part of another Colorado show.
My work can be found at the Museum Store at The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, online at my etsy page www.etsy.com/shop/REDBEARDstudio, or my most current way is my Instagram account @redbeardceramics, I also participate in the Colorado Potters Guilds biannual sales (cancelled for 2020)
I received my BFA focused in ceramics from SIU at Carbondale in 2009. That was followed by a 2 year residency at Terra Incognito in the Chicago area and then a yearlong MA program from EIU. In 2015 I headed out west and was a studio tech and resident artist at the Mendocino Art Center which was where I really got into wood firing. Currently, I am in Missoula, Montana and in the beginning stages of opening a ceramic studio, Wildfire Ceramic Studio, with four others.
I always knew I wanted to do something with the arts. I was obtaining my Associates of Art from Illinois Central College and had one more art elective left. I knew nothing about ceramics but walked past the ceramic classroom every day. It was the first classroom in the art wing. I decided to take a ceramic class for my last elective and fell in love instantly. It was the best choice I ever made! I ended up taking a summer class and heard SIUC had a good ceramic program so decided to go there for my BFA.
My favorite piece for this show is probably the beer tumbler. It's a simple form, but one I hadn't made for a very long time due to the technique I use to create my surface. I often need to push out from the inside to open up the texture a bit and strayed away from straight edge forms. I was commissioned to make some tumblers so just went for it. I think it worked out still, so it has opened me up to more forms to choose from. I also feel the surface from the wood kiln we fired in came out really nice on this piece as well, there's a lot of variety all the way around.
Being a functional potter, the majority of my work is drinking vessels. They're the easiest thing for me to experiment with and, at this stage in my career, I have the best market for them. I'm always seeking out cup shows. I really liked how this show had separate categories. I had the show on my radar for a while and didn't even realize Justin Lambert was the juror until right when I started getting things ready to apply. Being a wood fire potter, I'm a big fan of his work.
Right now the best place to find me would be instagram for viewing work @brucekittsceramics. Etsy is the best place for online purchases, that's also at brucekittsceramics. I have work in the gallery at the Clay Studio of Missoula. You can also check out Wildfireceramicstudio.com to check out the new up and coming ceramic studio we are currently building.
I earned my BFA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2013 with a major in ceramics and a minor in painting. Two years ago, I relocated from Minnesota to Providence, RI to start my residency at The Steel Yard. This residency allowed me to develop techniques and skills to explore new ideas, colors, and patterns while also boosting my skills working with metals. My ceramic work has been in galleries and art shows across the nation and even made a couple of appearances in Ceramics Monthly. When not working in the studio, you can find me exploring the outdoors, hanging out with my circus cat, or crafting something handy for the home.
I loved painting and drawing as a kid, but I never took a pottery class until my last year in high school. It was my teacher that ignited my love for clay and throwing on the wheel. Probably only a few weeks into class was when I decided it was what I should go to college for and study.
I use a mid-range commercial porcelain and fire my work in an electric kiln to cone 6. While I use commercial clay, I do mix my own clear and liner glaze. I wedge mason stains into the porcelain for the colored handles and cup nubbins. For my decorations, I hand carve the pattern into clay using an Xacto knife and inlay underglaze into the design.
My favorite piece I submitted that was accepted is the mug with blue diagonal lines and a black handle. I just love how the blue underglaze blends together in this pattern! (And the handle is super comfy.)
I was inspired to apply for “Cheers! Drink Up!” because I participated in 2019 and it was such a wonderful show! I am very happy to have my work accepted again this year.
You can find my work online at www.BriLarson.com, on Instragam at @BriLarsonArt and Facebook at /BriLarsonArt. If you are ever in downtown Providence, RI you can also find my work at Craftland (Instagram @Craftland).
Hello everyone, my name is Brandon Lipe. I was born in North Dakota and primarily raised in Southern California. I received my BFA from Cal State Fullerton, and then went on to get my MFA in ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am currently the resident artist and instructor at the Art Center West in Roswell, Ga.
I started out going to college for graphic design, but after blending in and not really enjoying it, I started thinking about changing majors. I took a ceramics class as an elective and was instantly hooked. Once I started skipping graphic design classes to go to open studio hours in ceramics, I knew I had to change majors.
All of my work is made on the wheel at the moment. I tend to make simple forms that I later alter to give them movement and asymmetry. I use Standards 182 clay and predominantly soda fire, with the occasional wood fire a couple times a year. I make all my glazes so I can achieve specific effects in the soda kiln. The glazes are usually satin matte, so they feel nice to the touch and when hit with soda turn glossy. This asymmetry in glaze emphasizes the form and movement.
My favorite piece in the show is the gray mug. I really like how the glaze reacted to the soda and complimented the form.
I make work that is intended to be used on a daily basis, so a show based on drinking vessels was right up my ally.
You can find my work on my website brandonlipeceramics.com and my instagram @b.lipe_ceramics
My name is Jennifer Lowell. I live west outside of Denver and I teach K-6 Art at a Montessori School within Denver Public Schools.
I learned to throw on the wheel from a master potter in Algeciras, Spain where my husband is from. I was enchanted from the first second I felt the Clay spinning in my hands. I like to throw a variety of sizes and particularly love to throw miniature tea-sets off the hump. I work full time as a teacher so I have had the privilege to explore Clay without having to sell my ceramics, which means I can donate, gift, and apply to shows which can stretch my imagination according to their themes. My work is inspired by nature about 99% of the time. The installations I have created have also been within an environmental framework. Clouds, swallows, flora, and a menagerie of animals can be found in my work. I am delighted with just about every Clay body out there! I enjoy wood and soda firings. When not embellishing my work with drawings or carvings I love a Shino or Tenmoku glazing.
This little Fox Mug is a stoneware Clay body with some stains and a blue rutile liner glaze. I was inspired to enter the show as it was in a lovely nearby setting and I do create a lot of drinking Vessels.
I am currently working on a website. Up until March 2020, I was showing my work at the Copper Moon Gallery in Taos.
I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. I received my B.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in Ceramics from the University of Kentucky in 2010. I received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi in May 2020. Inspired by my upbringing surrounded by art that blurred the lines between utility and personal expression, I am committed to the utilitarian ceramic vessel. My pots explore the visual intersection of human intention and serendipitous beauty. I hope that my work offers users a point of connection: to food and to object, to self and to others.
Pottery was always around and part of my consciousness as a kid. A good family friend owned and operated a pottery business in Florida. Another family friend taught ceramics in a rural Kentucky high school. My dad is also a craftsperson--a woodworker. So, it was just always around, and this notion of making useful things with your hands was just a part of my value structure. When I took my first ceramics course in undergrad it just clicked instantly. I thought to myself “Oh, this is it. This is what I’m going to do.”
I fire all my work to cone 10 in a gas-reduction kiln. Being at a research 1 institution, I am fortunate to be able to formulate and mix all my glazes and claybodies from raw materials. I prefer to use a dark stoneware clay because of its exceptional workability and its pleasantly toothy appearance.
I’m fond of all the mugs I submitted to this show, as they were all in my MFA thesis exhibition, but I guess I am most proud of this mug:
Formally, it has everything I want my pots to have--gesture, movement, structure, and volume.
The Juror for this year’s show, Justin Lambert, is my friend and mentor. I’ve never had the opportunity to submit my work to him for a juried exhibition. It was exciting, but also a bit nerve-wracking!
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local galleries.
My name is Esther Mech, and I am a half-Korean potter living and working in Watkinsville, Georgia. Originally from Maryland, I received my BA from Wesleyan College in 2016, and my MFA from the University of Georgia in 2019. My days are spent making pots, teaching people how to make pots, and keeping my cats off of my wheel and out of the reclaim buckets.
Initially in college I was a pre-dental student, and my advisor recommended that I take a sculpture class. The unit on clay caught my attention, so I signed up for a ceramics class that summer and rarely left the studio after that point.
Generally I prefer a warm stoneware body with some tooth, but I also enjoy using porcelain since it takes the water-etching process so well.
While most of my work is wheel-thrown, I have been making pinch pots more regularly in the past year. I use a mason stain-based drawing medium for the illustrations on my work, most of which are drawn from historic Korean paintings and ceramics. The glazes I use are made in the studio, primarily celadons and shino-type glazes.
The local wood-firing crew I work with here in Georgia makes it possible for me to fire regularly in an anagama, a wood-salt kiln, and a wood-soda kiln. In addition to the distinctive surfaces that can be obtained through atmospheric kilns, I love the process of labor inherent to these firings and the community bonds that are formed.
My favorite piece accepted for this show is the pinched mug with tenmoku glaze, simply because it is the mug that is most comfortable for me personally to use.
Justin Lambert posted about the call for entry on Instagram, and as a potter who has been fixated on mugs, applying to “Cheers!” felt like a good fit.
My website is esthermech.com, and my Instagram page can be found @elmclay
Making and teaching in the mountains of Southern New Mexico, Courtney is currently the Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Western New Mexico University. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the NYSCC at Alfred University.
I've always been drawn to art making since I was a child. I grew up with parents that fostered creativity and a sister who is an artist also. Coming from a farming community in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, I've always been drawn to work that is physical and connected to nature. Pottery has an incredible ability to impact people visually and tactically, entering people's homes and becoming part of their world. Creating these objects is constantly challenging and rewarding.
I have a passion for ceramic chemistry and need control over my clay and glazes to create a wider color palette at a high temperature. I make my own materials and work in high fire porcelain firing in oxidation and reduction.
Blue Mug is my favorite piece for this show. It has a soft exterior glaze accentuates the minimal lines incised on the exterior of the mug. It's a perfect size to keep your coffee warm all morning inviting refills.
The art culture in Colorado is well supported and has a long history of cultivating spaces for people to make and enjoy the arts. Participating in this show is an honor.
I'm a retired art teacher with 34 years of experience. I've taught all grade levels in public school as well as some college level classes. I hold a master's degree in Art and a bachelor's degree in Art Education.
My senior year in undergraduate school I took my first ceramic course. The minute I saw my teacher "throw a pot" I was hooked. I knew from that moment on my hands would touch clay as long as I lived!
I like to make functional yet decorative pieces. I use a buff clay, fire to cone 6 in an electric kiln. I've always been a cone 6 guy! Since I think of my pieces as a 3D canvas, I try to apply lots of stains via an airbrush. I multiple fire some pieces to achieve certain effects. I've mixed all my glazes from day one.
"Dang Pigeon" is my favorite accepted piece. I like the way the various application techniques work together. I really like the way the quickly applied white stain interacts with the background colors as it moves your eye!
I like " MUG" competitions! Your upfront info on this event was very easy to follow. I was also reaching out geographically as far as I could to see if I could compete!
My work can be seen/found on my website ( jimmitchell.wixsite.com/makepots), Pinterest; Plough Gallery, Tifton,Ga.; Adams Drug Store, Cordele,Ga.; and in various art fairs in a 100 mile radius of my home.
I started working with clay in high-school and college but took a long hiatus from it to explore other opportunities. I think I just wasn’t a part of the right artistic community at the time to go all-in. In 2017, the right combination of factors made me really want to fully give myself to the technical and creative process and get my hands back into clay, the most important factor being my exposure to wood firing. It hooked me pretty good and is essential to my process and makes working with clay that much more rewarding. I love the community aspect of wood firing, the aesthetic, working outdoors with my hands, wood processing, the intense and emotional journey during a firing, and the serendipity and at times randomness of the results. I’m interested in using a number of different and sometimes untested clay bodies and shino glazes to get a spectrum of contrasting results in a single firing.
My guinomi that was accepted into this show was fired for seven days in the Flynn Creek Anagama at Nick Schwartz’s studio in Comptche, California. I really like the way this clay body fired in Nick’s kiln. It is a stoneware made by Laguna Clay called Sonoran White, hence the name of the piece “Sono Ran Guinomi”.
I was mainly interested in this show because it was being juried by Justin Lambert. I was a little familiar with his work and knew he was a woodfire guy, so the fact that he was involved was an attraction. I also think cup shows are really cool!
You can follow me on Instagram: @head.road.puddles
Fox Nicely is a potter native to Northeast Ohio. He has spent the past six years pursuing his love of functional pottery and honing his skills with the traditional processes used to make it. During his time at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Fox developed an interest in the process of wood-firing pottery and has since become an active member in Cleveland’s wood-fire community. After graduating with a BFA in ceramics in 2018, Fox has worked on the staff as Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, and he currently lives in Painesville, OH while making work at BRICK Ceramic +Design Studio.
I took my first ceramics class during my senior year of high school. I found the challenge of developing technical skill with such a dynamic material to be very rewarding. Ultimately, when I got a work study job at the Cleveland Institute of Art, I realized how much there was to learn in the field of ceramics and I never looked back.
I work almost exclusively with atmospheric kilns (wood, soda, salt). I find that I am so drawn to the innate and dynamic surfaces that develop in those firings; the constant challenge of nailing down a specific surface and the constant discovery of new ones. To best capture that surface, I tend to work with white or light firing clay bodies and for the same reasons that I enjoy the challenges of atmospheric firings, I love to experiment with my own clay and glaze recipes.
My favorite piece in this exhibition is probably the Rocks Cup. I say that because it was so intentionally atmospheric in how it was finished. Wadding the cup on its side is a great way of taking what can often be one of the most boring and tedious parts of loading atmospheric firings, and turning it into an intentional aesthetic decision that allows for the dynamic nature of the firing to be shown full-force on a more visible part of the cup. Additionally, the black-blue slip on the outside of the cup is formulated specifically for atmospheric firings. The colorants in the slip are concentrated enough that in a ‘dry’ firing the slip would turn a semi-matte black. However, when the added flux is introduced to the surface in a soda firing, the colorants are diluted in the resulting glaze to produce the blue-to-black variation.
As a functional maker, I find that cups are some of the most rewarding objects to make, because of that; I’m always on the lookout for shows to exhibit some of my favorite forms. Additionally, for a young maker the thought of showing my work halfway across the country is pretty exciting!
My work can be found on my Instagram: @foxnicely, on my Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FoxNicely, as well as a local gallery, River Gallery in Rocky River, Ohio
My name is Carter Pasma I'm 24 years old. I received my BFA with a concentration in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2019. I'm currently a post back at Montana State University in their ceramics program studying under Josh DeWeese and Jeremy Hatch. I make wheel thrown functional pottery that is influenced by the natural occurrences around me such as snowdrifts, waves and the hard ledges and edges of mountainous terrain, translated through the porcelain slip and rib lines I use on my pots. My pots are primarily atmospherically fired in either wood, soda, or a combination of the two to cone 10. I enjoy the "magic" that can happen in the different atmospheres of these kilns causing the pots to have more variation and surface complexity. I usually work in porcelain or stoneware and have been experimenting with different kaolin slips for flashing. All of my glazes are studio made glazes that I have formulated and are primarily wood ash glazes. I enjoy the life cycle that these glazes go through to actually become a glaze, it's a lot like the cycle of clay becoming a pot. First Starting as a tree, then being chopped down and burned to make the ash itself. Then processing that ash into a workable material and finally firing it to nearly 2300 degrees to create the glaze. When I'm not making pots I'm usually outside hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing or snowboarding depending on the season.
I got into pottery my junior year of high school. I heard the teacher Mr. Lou, was a really cool guy so I decided I would take his class. He was a really awesome guy, but he also had an assignment that if you threw a seven-inch cylinder at any time throughout the class you would get an A in the class. So, I decided I was going to go on the wheel every day until I threw that cylinder. In the first week of school on Friday I threw the seven-inch cylinder and I was in love. I started skipping other classes, lunch and staying after school to make pots and hangout in the ceramics room. I knew from that moment that making pottery is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
My favorite piece that got into the show is a porcelain tumbler that was woodfired and reduction cooled. It has some great flashing from being side wadded and has a very complex ashy surface with oranges, blues, grays, and blacks.
I applied for this show because I am trying to diversify my resume as well as get my work out into the world to be experienced by others.
My Instagram is @cartersclay
I began working with clay in high school and the studio became my hideaway haven. I never imagined it would become my life’s work and passion, but little by little, ceramics became a bigger piece of my life. After all these years, I continue to find great joy, peace, excitement, and challenge in the studio. I am always learning, always growing with my work.
I have lived in Somerville MA, just outside Boston, since earning my MFA from U-Mass-Dartmouth’s Program in Artisanry. My studio is in my home, so I can spend a significant amount time to do my work. I like to rotate my focus and will create a series of small cups and bowls, and then move to working on tiles or large wall pieces. All my work is made with thick slabs and coils and then carved. The carving incorporates the design of the piece into the shape, or form of the piece. The decoration is not just sitting on top of the surface, it is integral. By building in different sizes and going from tabletop pieces to wall work, I see them from many vantage points. Each series sparks new ideas, influencing the next.
The balance of my time is devoted to teaching. I teach adult classes at Mudflat Pottery School, which is the home of my clay community. I have also worked as an artist-in-residence at several local high schools. These residencies are funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Each year I design new projects and work with the students to create large scale murals for their school. I love teaching. I get to share my passion, while also learning from the experience and my students!
I build my work with soft, wet clay, in sets of 4 to 6 pieces at a time. I do this so the pieces can dry, as I move from one to the next. I begin with very wet clay, so I can stretch it, as I carve. As the clay dries and stiffens, the carving becomes more refined and I can get greater detail. My clay recipe is a dark brown earthenware. It is designed to be strong and plastic/flexible, to accommodate my carving. I order it by the ton!
Once the work is bisque fired, I paint on the glazes. I mix most of my glazes and am regularly trying out new recipes, looking for new textures and colors. I use a few commercial glazes on the inside of my functional work. The work is fired in electric kilns, powered by solar panels, to cone 02.
I am very fond of the whiskey and martini cups included in the CHEERS show. They are tiny sculptures designed to fit comfortably in your hand. The feel of a cup is as important to me, as its look. These cups can make a cocktail a bit more fun. I am very pleased to be able to share them with the Manitou Springs community! Covid-19 has closed all of my local sales outlets and given me the time to look for new opportunities for my work. During “normal” times, I sell and show my work at local craft galleries and during Open Studio events in my home.
You can find it at Mudflat Gallery, Cambridge, MA, Cambridge Artist Coop, Cambridge, MA and Local Pottery, Norwell, MA. My website is juliepeckceramics.com. I am very happy to do direct sales and commissions.
Julie Peck, Somerville, MA 02144
I moved to Tenino, WA about a year ago to begin establishing my pottery business. I have had some formal training as an intern and apprentice at wood firing potteries in Wisconsin and North Carolina. My aspiration is to create a unique pottery which combines the approaches I have learned in different parts of the country. When I am not working with clay I enjoy tending to my garden and cooking up tasty food!
I have always enjoying making things from clay, but I developed a passion for throwing pottery in high school. Later, I visited professional potters and ceramic artists to see their different methods of production and approaches to making a career as an artist.
I am currently making glazed and slip decorated work which is fired in an electric kiln to cone 6. I like all types of clay but have been working mostly with dark stoneware clay. I mix all the glazes and slips used in my studio.
My favorite piece accepted for this event is the yunomi (tea category). It features a combination of dark slip and matte white glaze. I like how the white glaze has a lovely satin finish but still allows the slip decoration, and clay textures underneath to show.
I was inspired to apply for this show because I enjoy tailoring vessels to a specific purpose. I welcome the challenge of considering how form, function, and aesthetics interact to create a piece which is suited for regular use, provides tactile comfort, and elicits visual intrigue.
You can see my work on Facebook and Instagram @alanperillopottery, and find it for sale at www.perillopottery.com. I have tableware available for sale at KOBOSeattle
By Julia L. Wright
Manitou Springs Art Council and Commonwheel Artists Co-op Present
Responding to Climate Change through Art
Opening Reception Friday, March 6, 5—8 pm
March 6—30, 2020
A gallery show to encourage people to rethink their relationship with the environment using beautiful or controversial imagery.
Manitou Springs Art Council (MSAC) will curate a gallery exhibition in March of 2020 to be held at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op Gallery in Manitou Springs.
Climate change is one of the topics that makes people want to turn off and disengage. It shouldn’t be that way. So, what can ART do?
Sometimes, you need more than just the facts and data to really bring home the reality of the impeding climate crisis. You need to make an emotional connection – and what better way to do it than through the power of ART?
With that thought in mind, the Manitou Springs Arts Council (MSAC) has invited artists to use their talents to create art around the theme of the climate crisis and frame it in ways that result in emotional, beautiful, and stirring images. This gallery show offers a chance to use art to create an emotional story that can inspire people to promote environmental awareness. During the month of March artists will be able to share this message and ignite a passion to help prevent further environmental damage.
Climate change is happening, and we know it. Now is the time to address the urgent need to live sustainably within the Earth’s finite resources.
Many people have recommended immediate and far-reaching social, economic and technological responses and yet this isn’t happening. Campaigns for change have had marginal effect on our political leaders. So, what, if anything, can the arts do?
Environmental art has the power to change the way we view our world, where we are in life and what our responsibilities are. Artists will use their creativity to explore the ubiquitous and unnerving imagery of climate change and have the freedom to delve into causes, importance, hoax or not, impact on civilization, other culprits, various types of pollution, or how the humankind has historically created changes to make the environment less important than money or pleasures. The artwork in this show is meant to create images that will encourage people to rethink their relationship with the Earth and its creatures.
If a room in your house is on fire, you don’t just see that room in danger, but your whole house needs immediate action to protect it from being destroyed. It's all connected. How we live our lives is closely related to the state of our entire planet.
Nature strives for balance. Sadly, the rate at which humans are moving carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and destroying forests by clear-cutting or fires, has surpassed Earth’s ability to maintain balance. It’s easier to think about nature as something that is always there for us rather than something we need to tend to. In this exhibition artists will tell stories with images to inspire new visions and new choices for creating a balanced Earth.
This does not have to be just a dark and sad story. Artists have been invited to share and envision concepts of positive actions and initiatives that can be created around the world. The exhibition will offer viewers a chance to not to only ponder climate change, but inspire the visitor, as a consumer and citizen, with the idea that they can make a difference and contribute to change through the choices they make. It will offer new ways to think about our environment and climate change and our own place in all of that.
These are just a few of the images that will be shown in the “Responding to Climate Change Through Art” gallery show.
Audrey Gray using elements of the earth to depict the beauty of the world around us. That beauty is sometimes obscured by dark clouds or fires that have ravaged the hillsides. Her art is totally environmentally friendly. She uses all sorts of natural materials in her work including dirt and sand, clay, seeds, sticks, shells, grass, and more that she gathers from near her home and wherever she travels.
Artist Kelly Green will be sharing paintings and other art inspired by photos and videos that she has been taking almost daily in Colorado for the past 2 and a half years documenting ongoing Climate Engineering/Weather Engineering in the skies above. Kelly became an accidental Climate Engineering awareness activist when she decided to share images on Instagram that she had of the sky going back to 2009. Instead, the account became a daily record of visible weather engineering. She will also be sharing some of photos and videos from the @Bringbackblueskies Instagram that inspires them. She hopes to raise awareness about Solar Geoengineering/Solar Radiation Management, (SRM) programs so that the public can have a better understanding and a say about whether or not they consent. Solar Geoengineering programs are currently still being denied but also promoted heavily as a Plan B for climate to "buy some time".
Solar Geoengineering attempts to create a temporary cool down by blocking the sun with stratospheric aerosol injections, (SAI), but is escalating the damage to the environment at an alarming rate by trapping heat, escalating overall warming, disrupting the hydrological cycle and destroying the ozone layer.
"The Scream of Nature 1/Flammagenitus & SAI " and "The Scream of Nature 2/SAI" were inspired by Edvard Munch's "The Scream of Nature".
Munch created different versions of this image, of which seven are remaining; two paintings, two pastels and 3 lithograph prints.
Kelly plans on creating 7 versions overall as a tribute to Munch and in protest of Geoengineering.
There are different interpretations of Munch's inspiration for the red sky in the scream. Munch himself recalled that he had been out for a walk at sunset when suddenly the setting sunlight turned the clouds "a blood red". He sensed an ‘infinite scream passing through nature'.
Scholars have suggested that the sky in The Scream could have been inspired by the ash in the stratosphere from the Krakatau 1883 volcanic eruption because fine ash tends to scatter shorter blue-violet wavelengths of light, and the remaining spectrum getting through is dominated by longer wavelength red to orange portions of the spectrum. There are also paintings by William Ashcroft in England during the Fall of 1883 after the August 26-27th eruption of Krakatau that show vivid red sunsets as a result of ash injection to the stratosphere. The 1883 eruption and eyewitness accounts of atmospheric phenomena following that eruption actually taught us quite a bit about stratospheric wind circulation patterns. The ash from Kraktau circled the globe in about two weeks following the event, then spread both north and south into both hemispheres.
In connection to Climate Engineering, Solar Geoengineering Climate Scientists have been inspired by the ash from Volcanic eruptions and hope to replicate the cooling through the use of Stratospheric Aerosol Injections which seek to replicate very large eruptions because, "they blast millions of tonnes of reflective sulphate particles into the stratosphere. These particles circulate the planet on the powerful stratospheric winds, reflecting away a small amount of inbound sunlight and cooling the planet for a year or two."
Polar Bears are desperately hanging onto a tiny floating piece of ice as oil rigs send poisonous gases into the air and oil floating on the ocean burns behind them. “Raft of the Doomed Ursine” by Ed McKay is a powerful image that will make anyone viewing it think hard about ways we could change our habits to save their habitat.
At least three images will share the concept of wildfires raging around the world that are threatening the habitat of many creatures and contributing to the heating of the earth and adding massive amounts of carbon monoxide to the atmosphere. The forests are the lungs of the earth, and we are allowing them to disappear by fire and deforestation in many areas around the world.
“Starry, Starry Night” by Ed McKay is frighteningly beautiful example of a creature trapped in a forest with fires raging all around it. Even if this moose was to survive, his habitat would be totally destroyed, and he would have little chance of survival for much longer. It is hard to imagine how many creatures are now extinct because of the fires in Australia, Africa and the Amazon. How many more will we lose if we don’t start taking action to save their home environment?
“My Home Is on Fire, Please Take Action to Avoid a Climate Crisis” by Julia L. Wright depicts a squirrel as Nature’s representative who is begging for help from the Ogre in charge. People need to speak up for Nature to get our government back on track to respect the need for clean air, water and soil. Our representatives need to start putting those concerns before the requests of greedy corporations focused on profits now, with no respect for the way it will affect future generations.
All three images share the concept of fires burning up our earth and contributing to a not too distant Climate Crisis.
Kelly Green is the coordinator for the “Love Thy Neighbor” gallery show
I have been creating art and drawing for as long as I can remember. I have been a self-representing artist since 2001 and a proud Colorado resident and Commonwheel Co-op member for the past 5+ years.
I would see Rockey around town when I first moved to Colorado over 5 years ago and became a member at Commonwheel Co-op, but I didn't know who he was. I knew he was local because I would see him often when I was working shifts in the Co-op.
Then one morning at Commonwheel I read an article about Rockey in the Independent and a few minutes later he walked by the front window. The next time I came to Manitou Springs Rockey was sitting outside his house next door and I realized that he lived right there. I said "Hello" to him and we had a short casual morning chat.
Later on, I had the opportunity to sit with Rockey a few times and randomly talk about art and life when he was outside his house next door to Commonwheel on sunny days when I would be on my way into the Co-op. One afternoon I was bringing in some really detailed large canvas prints to hang at Commonwheel and Rockey was outside on his bench next door enjoying the morning sun and watching people. I said hello to him, and he asked to see my art, so I went over and sat next to him and showed him the two prints. He was so enthusiastic, so curious and so sweet about my work that I immediately wished I could sit and talk with him more that day and often, but I only had a few minutes before my shift started next door. I live quite a distance away in the plains and am often pressed for time to get to work or home.
We parted ways and I went next door to work. About an hour after my shift started I went into the backroom at Commonwheel to write a request on our list of supply items that need to be purchased and right next to the list was a handwritten note with a call for part time help to frame some of Rockey's work. I wrote down the number for David Ball at the bottom of the page and when I got home that evening I contacted David. David replied quite quickly, and I went to work framing with David a few weeks later in the basement of Rockey's house.
I found this to be an incredible synchronicity to find the call for help right after I'd wished to be able to get to know Rockey more. I have extensive framing experience and the opportunity to see, handle and frame an enormous treasure-trove of work Rockey did over decades was really beyond anything I could have imagined. The earliest piece I remember framing was a lovely portrait of his mother that he created using pastels in the 1950's.
I framed some of his college work, marbled paper he created for his students when he was a professor, portraits, concert posters, landscapes and so much more. Rockey put himself into his art more than most artists do and so I felt that I came to know him really well, and with each piece I had the rare opportunity to examine I came to know and love the art and the artist even more, but not in the way I had imagined on the bench that afternoon talking about my art. Rockey's health declined over this period of time when I was framing, and I didn't have many opportunities to catch with him after that, but while I was in the basement framing, I often thought about how huge Rockey's impact must have been in so many ways and on so many people since he taught, produced art, and lived in Manitou so long. When I first conceived of this show inspired by Rockey he was still with us and I had hoped he would see all of the work that he had inspired. I had the show proposal written up but not submitted when I left for Montana to see my mom. Rockey passed away while I was in Montana and so the proposal was submitted once I returned from my trip.
My daughter, Hali Honigbaum, and I tried our hands at marbled paper for this show and that process was definitely inspired by me having seen some of the paper that Rockey marbled for his classes to use, and also I got to frame some of the marbled paper pieces he finished or partially finished. I found it really interesting that he worked often in mixed medias like I do often, searching out images within water-colored paper. Rockey did that with his marbled papers and encouraged his students to do this as well. I really loved marbled balloons as a kid, and seeing these works made me actually feel a somewhat desperate need to know how to marble paper myself. In one of many synchronicities that I experienced with Rockey's work I stopped at Ross that evening to buy some craft kits and art supplies as a birthday present for a party my daughter was invited to the next day. There in the small craft section was one marbled paper kit for $5.00. I scooped it up, and a few months later Hali and I marbled enough paper to cover the dining room table and the entire floor. It was so much fun! Hali is showing a piece she marbled and I am showing a piece I marbled and then detailed with pen and ink pointillism.
I really like the way that "The Path to Pike's Peak" turned out. I don't often do landscapes, but when I do, they usually end up with a checkerboard ground. I framed a really early series of 4 pieces that Rockey did where he was exploring perspective and horizon and one of them had a checkerboard that instantly reminded me of a couple of pieces I did a decade ago, though Rockey's were actually created two decades before mine. I knew I wanted to do a local scene using the checkerboard then.
The Octomaiden/Mermapus/ sculpture "Iscariot" by Trace O-Connor marks the spot along my path from the plains in Eastern Colorado where I live to Manitous Springs where it seems that the vibe changes and things get a little weird in a really good way. The Octopus is also a recurring theme in my art so when this sculpture popped up there on top of that rooftop I was pretty excited and curious about her from the start. I did some research and found that another town disowned her before Colorado Springs took her in. That seems appropriate.
My artwork can always be found locally in Commonwheel Artist Co-op in Manitou Springs and Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City. I also currently have a few original pieces at The Perk downtown Colorado Springs through the end of February and I have a new pen and ink piece showing in Kreuser Gallery's 'Gratitude' group show opening February 7th.
Online you can find my etsy shop at
and I am doing the social media thing on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kellygreenhbaum/
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired until I had time to pursue art. I have experimented with many media, some of which I still enjoy, but glass is the medium that stole my heart and soul. I have been working in kiln formed (fused) glass for about 15 years.
I first saw Rockey's paintings at Adams Mountain Cafe, and then began to learn more about his generous spirit and his love of Manitou.
My pieces in this exhibit were inspired by my love for Manitou and the surrounding area, so I thought they would be a fitting tribute to Rockey.
The piece above, "Garden of the Gods" is my favorite because it captures the essence of Pike Peak and Garden of the Gods, some of my favorite scenery on the planet!
My work can be seen on Facebook at LoLo's Paloozas.
I classify my work as folk art. Folk Art comes out of one's culture. My mother and father were depression/ WWII parents. Times were lean and you learned to make do but our home was rich in folk art. We had beautiful quilts, rugs, pictures, table clothes, and dolls made from leftover or reused yarns and fabrics.
I am self-taught in making and designing my fabric pottery after seeing a piece in a heritage art center in Berea, Kentucky. I have always loved the way different fabrics, threads, and notions can come together to make something beautiful. It is much like a potter with their clay, paints, and glazes making a beautiful piece of pottery
I first came to know about C. H. Rockey when my daughter excitedly showed me a painting over her mantel. It was by Rockey and I loved it. Soon we had a Rockey painting over our mantel. Then it was exciting to learn about him and his work, see his studio, or catch sight of him about Manitou Springs. Now it is exciting to be associate with him through this show.
My small piece of Fabric Pottery was made especially for the show. Inspired by Rockey, I wanted it to be unique, earthy, soft in color, whimsical, and express love. The piece was made entirely from materials I had on hand. I have never used wool in my work before. I decided to give it a try for I thought it would give that earthly, whimsical look I wanted. I liked that the unspun wool came from Colorado sheep. I found gold silk thread that had been my fathers, who was a tailor. The thread was on a wood spool and wood spools have not been used since the 1970s. To express love, I make every heart unique using pieces of ribbon, trim, and beads that have been saved over time.
<<image of Mary’s piece>>
My Art is inspired by wanderlust and a deep respect for the natural world and the diverse people in it. I am fascinated with the mystical and the unexpected.
One never knows which way a painting is going to lead you. A painting has its own way of evolving; sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let the process happen. There is magic in every moment, if I can catch that moment in my art and share it with you, then I am successful.
When we first moved to Colorado, 24 years ago, the first place we visited was Manitou. Although we had to live within 15 min of the AF Academy, my ideal place was Manitou. Almost every weekend we would come for breakfast at Adams, kids would explore the town, and I would dream that this is little art town was the perfect place to live. This led me to the beautiful blue Mansard studio and Rockey's home on the corner of Canyon Ave. Rocky was sitting in his studio painting when I walked in.
He invited me to come in, sit down, and we talked. I discovered that he had been a middle school art teacher, as I was at the time. He told me not to worry, there was an art life after teaching. He shared his teaching experiences with me and gave me ideas on how to trigger the unexpected in art.
Rockey gave me an incentive to continue teaching but also to know that art would always be my love and vocation. After retiring from teaching and moving to Manitou, I could stop in to say hello more often. Rockey has the most open and beautiful heart of anyone I have known.
I had been working on my portrait of Rockey before this show. When he passed away, I wanted to paint him. I had photographs of him through the years and always was inspired by his Gandalf qualities. My children call Manitou Rivendale and Rockey is definitely an evolved being. His dedication to his art, his community, and his faith is inspirational. The portrait of Hannah Rockey and her parrot, Sebastian was from my photograph of the two of them. This painting was given to Hannah and is available in Giclee print form.
“Ruxton Creek Swing” is a painting from a photograph that I took last Fall in front of what was once Victoria’s Keep B&B. I loved how the brilliant Indian Summer light filtered through the leaves and the water. Magical!
The portrait of Rockey in this exhibit is my favorite painting. It was inspired from my last visit with Rockey. The late morning light filtering into his studio, Hannah with her parrot, Sebastian, on her shoulder and Rockey looking so peaceful and wise is how I will always remember him with deep gratitude for his kindness and his open heart.
My work can be found at:
Gallery 113, 125 1/2 N Tejon, Colorado Springs
Web page: deniseduker.com
Pat Eastlake went to an art/design school in 1970-76 in Columbus, Ohio where he was a painter, printmaker and sculpture. He worked as a woodworker and designer and earned a Master of Design degree from an art/ design school in Cincinnati. He has worked full time as an architectural woodwork designer, but now is mostly retired.
I went to drawing classes in the early 1990s at BAC (now MAC) and smilingly sat next to Rockey several times. It was always a pleasure to see him around town, and in Adams Mountain Cafe. I have been influenced by the spirit of his landscape oil paintings.
My two accepted paintings exemplify the variation in my oil paintings, sometimes graphic and symbolic, and sometimes naturalistic. During the last four years I have been working to pull those two aspects together, trying to develop my visual language.
I like my painting “Island in the Sea” because it is clean and fresh.
I have lived in Manitou Springs for 24 years. As a child I grew up in a home that had original artwork and was encouraged to draw as a young person. Later, after college I became interested in painting. I have been an art educator and administrator for many years and am enjoying painting again.
After we moved here, I purchased a print of Rockey’s work. My husband displayed it in his office in Colorado Springs. It’s a wonderful image full of beauty and intriguing details of Manitou Springs. I was able to study his original work in businesses throughout the town. Tina and Ken Riesterer kindly introduced me to Rockey. I was impressed by the quickness of his mind and his strong opinions about painting.
Rockey had a profound connection to the built and natural environments of Manitou Springs. Although my approach to painting is different from his, each piece of mine in this exhibit represents the same passion for place. These works were painted on-site in Red Rock Canyon.
Since I have not been selling my work, it can be found in my studio and in the homes of friends and family!
I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Art was and continues to be a safe haven for me. As an elementary school student, the once-weekly art class at my school was the one hour a week where I felt I could enter a state of meditation, freedom, and giddy creative joy. I chased that feeling and leaned heavily on art throughout my adolescence. In high school I began branching out more, painting murals, completing commissioned work, entering art competitions, and exploring my sense of purpose and empowerment through artistic expression. Now, in my young adulthood, I'm exploring how my artistic practice and research can merge to communicate the key ideas I believe we all need to focus on to survive as a species. Art continues to be a supportive place for me, just as much as it's a vehicle for change.
About seven years ago, I was sitting on the bench across from Rockey's studio watching the birds nesting in the bushes. Even though I was dreadfully shy, when I saw his door was open - I heard a voice inside myself that told me to go in. I'm grateful that I did and consider it to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. Rockey and I quickly became friends - sharing meals, sketchbook entries, and long conversations about love, loss, clouds, uncertainty, hope, faeries, and all things nature. During the summers I'd help Rockey with projects around the house and chores as much as he'd allow - then during the winter and spring of 2019 I joined the team of folks supporting him in his end of life transition. Our moments together during that time are ones I hold most sacred.
I've painted Rockey several times throughout my time knowing him - inspired by his personality and deeper layers of being. My piece "Rockey's New Canvas" was created a few days after his passing, as a way to honor him and process my grief and immense gratitude
You can find my work at katia-rhapsody.com as well as contact information. I'm currently residing in the Pacific Northwest and sell my art locally in this area, but can ship to/work in Colorado as opportunities arise.
I am an amateur photographer and eccentric editor thereof. I've been keen on arts since early childhood (still have a magnet on the fridge of a dragon I drew in first or second grade). I started getting into taking pictures when in middle school and by the time I got my first smart phone, I had begun editing pictures in a unique fashion.
I met the late artist once prior to his passing at the church next to the Manitou library and I believe I attended an event celebrating him and an apprentice of his at the MAC. I recall the prior more vividly as I sat in a peculiar position above most and I had noticed a kindly old man sitting off to one side, doodling away on the program (of which I might still have somewhere, maybe). Everyone was so kind, loving and respectful of the man whom I was soon introduced to. I mean, to be so frail yet big of heart and kind in spirit, what's not to be inspired by?
I am ever challenging myself with different techniques and styles for my artwork. Honestly, I did not create something new for this show, I looked through my collection of favorites, whilst going through the pamphlet I got from his gallery, trying to decide which one would best fit the motif. I hope I chose wisely.
I suppose the best place to find my work is on Instagram (The_Acidic_Æsthetics) though I've frequently had my work put up in the MAC.
I paint a variety of subjects, but light is the true focus of my work. I’m attracted to the strong contrasts that light and shadow create as well as the drama it adds to a painting. Besides having an instant impact on viewers, the light, or lack of it, seems essential in telling a story with otherwise seemingly ordinary subjects. My work appears in private and corporate collections around the country and abroad and has appeared on the cover of several magazines.
Two years ago, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Rockey. I was painting the back of his head to include in my “About Face” series. As we visited, he shared with me the story of what he described as the most romantic date of his entire life, which had happened just the previous evening at The Cliff House. It was a sweet and touching story that lit his face from within.
“Love Thy Neighbor” presented me the excuse to paint one of the pictures that I shot of Rockey that afternoon. I kept the portrait loose to convey the character in his face. While I often paint a solid background with portraits, it seemed fitting in this case to surround him with a Manitou landscape inspired by one of his own paintings.
My work is represented locally by The Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Old Colorado City and can be seen at www.juliekirkland.com and on my Facebook page, Julie Kirkland Fine Art.
Art has always been an integral part of my life. I remember standing near a chalkboard and drawing before I even attended kindergarten. Throughout my college science career, I always managed to fit in art classes.
I was very fortunate to be able to use my art while raising my son. Working with local builders I created various murals and faux [finish] projects.
In the mid 2000 I had a studio at the BAC and it was then that I was fortunate to become friends with Rockey. I spent time with him while he was working on his book with graphic designer David Ball. He was always so appreciative when I brought over home cooked meals.
My piece "Tree Whispers" is a work that I especially created for this tribute show. Rockey would give a piece of paper that had abstract flowing forms on it and ask his students to see what they could see as a starting point for their drawing. Thus, I took two wooden panels and saw trees whispering to me. As a nature aficionado I'm sure Rockey was whispering to me when I decided to create this diptych.
My art is represented in various galleries in Colorado, among them Kreuser Gallery, Bella Art, Side Door, Naked Aspen Designs. In SD Morris Grand Gallery represents my work. Recently my work was juried into Modbo/SPQR small works exhibit.
I am a self-taught artist and have been painting since I was young. Upon retiring from an interior design career my paintings have been purchased and commissioned by many designers. Art has always been a passion for me.
I did not know C. H. Rockey. however, I would have loved to.
Recently, I have developed a new impressionist style with bold vibrant and exciting colors...one of my customers loved my Desert painting and stated “ it just makes me so happy". That's why I love to paint!
My painting of " By The Fire" gives me a feeling of camaraderie and warmth.
At presently I am working on developing a website for my art. [Editor’s Note, Linda will be showing her work again in our gallery again in May 2020.]
I have been fascinated with photography since I was a little girl. I carried around an off-cast camera of my father’s, taking photos of everything and anything. Many years later I studied photography and digital art, garnering awards and being offered a directorship to develop a gallery. Currently, I just enjoy being an artist, and I still tend to carry my camera when going on adventures.
About the art:
I’m not sure my artwork fits neatly into a little box. The colors I use these days tend towards the vivid and bold. The landscapes I create are fantasy driven and surreal, as are my figurative pieces. But, I do have softer, quieter pieces that are usually nature-centric. I also have a good deal of abstract and architectural images, as well as straight landscape photography and photo journalistic images of my travels.
About the creative process
The creative process starts when something nudges my soul, whether it is a beautifully written line of poetry that moves me or the aftermath of a devastating forest fire. I then begin by trying to capture images that express what inspired me. The next step is importing the shots into Photoshop and layering them. A lot of trial and error takes place during creation. I may stop when I hit a wall, and work on another image for a while. I usually know when I’ve got it right. I then print a small test image to see if I’ve got the colors and levels right for output. I print my own giclee’ prints with a large format Canon Pro 9000 Mark II printer. I print on Epson Metallic Glossy photo paper and Ilford Galerie Metallic and Smooth Gloss photo paper. They cost twice as much as the traditional papers, but the results are so worth it. The metal prints that are so popular are made by Bay Photo.
How am I acquainted with Rockey?
I became aware of Rockey’s artwork, long before the man. His beautiful creations grace the walls of Adam’s Mountain Café and The Cliff House, and I’m sure numerous other venues. I always admired the way he depicted Manitou Springs; the magical small town nestled in the bosom of Pike’s Peak. Later on, as a member of Commonwheel, I got used to seeing his slow coming and goings back and forth to his studio/home. Surprisingly, Rockey’s reputation as a human being was equal to his level of artistry.
His love of fantasy, his warm heart, and his medium influenced my work. I had already begun both projects, but I did away with my sky in, “Lavender Dawn”, creating something softer and more painterly. I also made the color palate much warmer, where it started very pastel. I added a wee hobbit house that I thought Rockey would enjoy visiting. I imagined him looking out of the open window at the fields of flowers and enjoying the lavender scent. I continue to be inspired by his love of fantasy. After the deadline for submission passed I was still making… I have just completed a portrait of a woman enchanted by the Faery! I think Rockey would approve. She won’t be in the show, but check out my artist space at Commonwheel to get a look at, “Enchanted”.
My own favorite piece is the aforementioned, “Lavender Dawn”.
My social media contacts are:
Follow me on FB - Neonmermaid9
Follow me on Instagram – Neonmermaid9
Follow me on Etsy – NeonMermaidPrintShop
Shop with me @ Commonwheel.com
Questions? E-mail me! Neonmermaid9@yahoo.com
I have been a lover or art for many years. Growing up in the Springs area where there are so many talented artists has been an inspiration. Always having an interest in art, I took a drawing class in 2014 and have been taking classes and at local studios and art schools. I paint in oils now, mostly landscapes, and find it an intensely compelling and rewarding practice.
I met Rockey in the 70’s when I first moved to Manitou. His paintings amazed me, and he was always so friendly and kind, taking time out from his schedule to visit whenever a visitor called. I remember talking with Rockey one day in a park when he was painting en plein air in the 80’s. He asked what I’d been up to. I told him I had been working 12 hours shifts at the hospital ER and he said, “With my job, I get up in the morning, have breakfast and pack a lunch, grab my paints and easel, and go paint all day, whatever moves me”.
I thought to myself, what an incredible job! Of course, now that I’ve actually done some plein air painting, I realize how naive I was to think that, and how challenging it really is!
I never had the resources to own a Rockey, but picked up prints along the way, and he even loaned me a wonderful piece with my house in the background. It was pure heaven having that original in our home: food and drink tasted better, the air smelled sweeter, love was more present. It was like having a little bit of Rockey right there.
I returned that painting to Rockey immediately when Hannah was calling for the return of his loaned art. He insisted that he give me a written receipt of its return, and thanked me profoundly for returning it. I remember walking home from his studio that evening, unabashedly crying the whole way.
I didn’t paint any new material for this show but pulled out some pieces that came out OK from some of my travels and classes the last couple years. I loved Rockey’s impressionistic style and my work tends to have that kind of feel. Also, I lack the aptitude, training, and skill to paint classic realism.
Here is my favorite piece for the exhibit. It is a print of our chimney garden on Osage Avenue (before the deer and hail got the best of it). I love it because it captures some of the beauty and magic I experience living here in Manitou; a place where I was lucky enough to overcome some big challenges, fall in love, get married, raise 2 wonderful children, and live in such an cool, eclectic community. How lucky we are to live here!
I have an Instagram site that I post photos of paintings that I think came out OK, and other items of interest: @williambweiss. I do not regularly show or have studio space…but once or twice a year I do put some pieces in local shows. I’m delighted and humbled some of my work has been accepted for the "Love Thy Neighbor” exhibit. When I took that drawing class 5 years ago, I never dreamed it would lead me to this place. Thank you Rockey!
Julia L. Wright
My artistic career started with directing plays and creating sets for theatrical productions in high school and a bit past my University days in Greeley. I traveled to art festivals in 1973 selling my fiber creations that incorporated jute, wool, found objects and feathers. My work was also in as many as 6 galleries for about 15 years. After having my car t-boned, had to shift the focus of my art to basically working just with feathers. I created wall pieces and masks backed on suede. Next added feather earrings, hair pieces and pendants to be sold at Commonwheel and in my Etsy store.
I have always taken photos of beautiful places I have traveled to or hiked. About 6 years ago incorporated some into books I have on Amazon. Then began to play with the images to create more mandala or abstract art images. These have been displayed in various gallery shows and at Art Festivals the last 4 years.
I have used many of my digital art images to place in more books, on mugs, t-shirts and reusable bags. These are sold online in my Shopify Store, on Etsy and the Fine Art America web site.
I came to Manitou Springs in 1976 and I have known Rockey for a very long time. Often would stop for a few moments to chat when he was sitting on his bench in front of his building on my way to or from Commonwheel. He always had something positive to say about the day or asked about what I was doing, and as I was often on the way to a meeting, only had a few moments to talk.
During the time of the 2013 flood that filled his basement with muddy water where so much of his art and frames were stored, watched him work with dozens of friends who came to help to determine what to save, give away or throw away. He was sad but seeing all the people who came to help him, I often saw him smile and profusely thank people moving his art from one place to another. Very inspiring to always find a positive side in any situation and express gratitude for people in my life.
I am very lucky to have a few of the large prints that he on very rare occasions sold. They are framed and hanging around my home. And his reversible sketches fascinated me as to how he could make the work so seamlessly. And I have one hidden away somewhere in a safe place that am inspired to search out . . .
When the town started the Halloween tradition of having merchants hand out candy to school kids, he sat in his doorway with some costume or wearing a wizard hat or just as himself to greet the kids. Watching the joy on his face as he interacted with folks in every type of costume inspired me to try to capture him I photos at that time. The shadows and his sitting sometimes inside the door made it difficult to get perfect photographic images, but some did turn out very well and I entered them in this gallery show. The Halloween images in the show are all from 2014 when he was in his wheelchair sitting in his doorway in the sunshine.
I also experimented with working up some photos of Manitou Springs to look more like paintings. That was a fun challenge, and some came out better than others. Once I got started, it was hard to stop and then choose just a few to submit. I never could make the sky look as whimsical as his, but happy with the photos I did submit using some new digital art enhancing techniques for this show.
The long view of lilacs at the town clock with Rockey’s home building and the Commonwheel in the background is my favorite image I’ll have in the show. Rockey was often seen painting the town clock park or standing there painting some distant view of the homes and hills that could be viewed from there. I still can almost feel his presence when looking at this image.
My work can be found
In Manitou Springs:
Feather Art & some Books/Journals at Commonwheel Artists Co-op
Some Reusable bags & mugs at the Poppy Seed
More Books & Journals:
Search HieroGraphicsBooks on Amazon, mugs will show up also
Shopify Store: https://www.hempearthart.com/ - FaceBook page of the same name.
https://julial-wright.pixels.com/ Also known as FineArtAmerica
Read on to meet our up-cycling artists for this show.
Sam Church and Kevin Bobbe
My husband and I love doing projects together. We renovated four rooms in our house in 3 months and fell in love with creating. We are frugal, and I have always felt passionately about recycling, so we started getting resourceful with materials. Soon friends and family admired the things we created for our home and suggested we continue our up-cycling more publicly. Rustic is our theme at home, and I had to make many of the decor items for our wedding, which introduced us to barrels and suitcases as we had them for the reception.
We applied for this show because we are just as excited to see what it brings to share with the community as we are to be contributors.
For the barrel pieces we meet with brewers and see who can get us a deal for the barrels they can’t use anymore. Then we design what we want to do with the barrel, in this case, using only half of it in order to hang on a wall. I do the cleaning and restoration of the barrel. My husband does the cutting and logistics of making it hangable. We come together in the finishing of the product in order to make sure the piece looks the way we envisioned.
The dartboard is our favorite piece. It brought up multiple challenges and took a lot of problem solving to get the finished piece the way we wanted. It improved our own communication in our relationship and was better than our original vision once complete.
We can be found on Instagram- ForgeATrail, and Etsy- Que the Prime
“I have been a woodworker all of my life, even during my active 35-year business manager and consultant phase. I discovered live edge or natural edge woods about five years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. This style incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design of the piece making each one unique. All of the woods have been responsibly harvested along the Colorado Front Range from dead or dying old growth. All of my mesquite comes from another responsible sawmill in Tucson, AZ. Some pieces incorporate gemstone inlay to repair damaged knots or to fill cracks, while others display these imperfections in a “distressed” look and feel. Each piece undergoes ten to fifteen crafting steps to complete the unique look and feel of natural edge tables and other furnishings.
My creations have been represented at 45 Degree Gallery in Old Colorado City for four years and in shows in Lakewood, CO at the 40 West Arts District .”
I have been working in kiln-formed (fused) glass for 15 years, and I immediately became interested in how to utilize scrap glass and bottle glass. I've tried many media over time, but glass is the medium that stole my heart and soul!
I love rescuing bottles from the recycle bin! I feel it is doing a small but important thing that's within my control to help the environment. Many bottles are made with beautiful glass, and this is a way to enjoy their beauty without need to toss them away. It's also important to reuse art glass scrap. So much is created in the process of making kiln-formed glass, and it is hard to store. Being able to use it to create other pieces helps alleviate that problem, and also helps me resist the temptation to just throw it away! I've also created new pieces from those that have broken, which happens occasionally when you're dealing with glass. This way the glass can be used to create a new piece instead of winding up in a scrap bucket or the trash. My piece Shattered in this exhibit is an example of that process.
Scrap Luminary is perhaps my favorite piece, not only because of the beauty of the glass, but because it easily demonstrates the use of scrap glass to create a piece. Also, this glass is no longer being manufactured since the company that made it has gone out of business.
In addition to Commonwheel's open calls, my work can be seen at the Manitou Art Center, and I occasionally exhibit at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts, The Modbo, The Bridge Gallery, as well as on Facebook (LoLo's Paloozas) and Instagram (@lolospaloozas).
My professional art path began in 2007 when I started making how-to jewelry designs for magazines. My educational background is in English literature and library science, not art, so I learned jewelry fundamentals through books and short workshops. My current jewelry currently focuses on simple metalwork. For my mixed media works, I love using contrasting layers like soft fabrics and ribbon with harder elements like metal and wood. I also use books, maps, and words in my work as a nod to my education. With all my work I especially enjoy creating pieces that are funny or that have some kind of secret or story behind them.
With jewelry, I work on an extremely small scale and have to worry about things like weight, ease of use, and durability. It's fun to explore larger canvases like those I used for this exhibit and not worry about the normal restrictions of jewelry design. (It's much less likely that someone will submerge one of my framed works in a chlorinated pool for 30 minutes!) Plus, I've been volunteering at Who Gives a SCRAP in Fort Collins for about a year and that's renewed my interest in using items destined for the landfill.
Sometimes I'll begin with a particular material, such as a book I've found at a library book sale or wine corks from the Who Gives a SCRAP shop. I keep a small box of discarded materials such as mint tins, wood chopsticks, metal washers, watch parts, game pieces, and old house keys that I can rummage through when the mood strikes. Other times I might start with a quote or a certain theme. (All my works for this show incorporate a flower motif.)
I usually do some sketching before beginning work, but mainly to capture my ideas rather than as a detailed step-by-step blueprint. I plan ahead if a piece will be framed, so I can work to the correct size. (Thrift stores are a great place to find inexpensive frames.)
I work from back to front, creating the backgrounds first before layering the top pieces. Backgrounds include painted wood, paper, hardback book covers, or metal. For metal, I typically emboss, stamp, or hammer to add texture. I may also darken or paint the metal.
Next comes the detail work such as stitching together the flower petals shown in “Never Too Late”. The petals are created with ribbons of sari silk, which is made from the scraps of saris made in India. If needed, I seal any paint or paper to protect the piece from dust.
I like to leave larger pieces on my worktable for at least a few days so that I can audition various scraps and see how they look together. For example, I looked at using leather watchband pieces or old heart charms as flower petals, but ultimately decided to use the ribbon. The final step is to glue, rivet, sew, wire, or otherwise attach all the layers together and insert the finished piece in the frame.
My favorite piece for “Waste Not, Want Not” is “Never Too Late.” The pink flower seems very sweet, but the distressed copper and steel spring gives it a slightly rougher edge. I find this quote intriguing. I like to think that seeing these positive words every day could empower the right person. It also makes a great motto for the upcycled materials used in this show: there's so much potential that is going unused.
My work can be found at:
fabric collage art
Over 20 years ago I helped my sister K.C. Willis work on her fabric collage art. She had a huge following and was very successful with this medium. She shifted her attention from art to a very successful dog rescue called “Lightshine Canine”. The fabric collage art fell by the wayside for a very long time. About two years ago I decided, along with her consent to resurrect this particular art form and am now very busy making my own fabric collages using the techniques and tips I learned from her. This art form breathes life into recycled materials and celebrates the strong men and women who have made dynamic contributions to their cultures. Multiple layers of treated and aged fabrics combined with recycled embellishments and skilled composition along with great attention to detail, texture and color are the basics of each piece.
I have always been a huge fan of Commonwheel and when I saw the word “up-cycled art” show, I knew this was my chance to show some of my work. I was so delighted and thrilled when I was chosen as one of the artists for this show.
One of the things I enjoy the most with my art is that my 85-year-old mother and I collaborate on the pieces. She does all of the sewing. We begin by buying plain muslin fabric and tear the material to whatever size we need. It is then laundered and ironed. The next process is submerging the material in coffee to get a “antique” effect. We scour thrift stores, yard sales and antique shops to find the perfect embellishments and unique fabrics that make up the front and the back of the piece. I then print out the desired photo on photo transfer paper and iron it onto a piece of the coffee stained muslin. The photo is then glued onto the front of the piece and then are embellished with antique buttons, vintage drapes, old wedding dresses, clothing, belts, jewelry, you name it are added onto the front. I then will add verbiage or a quote that the subject actually said.
I have to say that my favorite piece in the show is the one with Frida Kahlo on it. She has been my muse for many, many years.
My website is rhondanicholscollageart.com.
I am a featured artist in one of the largest art galleries in South Dakota called “Prairies Edge”.
Some of my Frida pieces are hanging in Cucuru gallery in Old Colorado City.
I showed over 20 Frida pieces in the “Frida, A Celebration of Her Life” at the Westwood Center for the Arts in Denver, Colorado
Linda Sampson is a mixed media artist in Colorado. Her blog and YouTube are under the “Take Time to Create.” Her philosophy is that we all should take time out of our everyday lives to create new and wonderful things. Because we all tend to get too busy in our day to day lives it is so important to take the time to create. She teaches classes at her local creative reuse center and does video tutorials on YouTube and sells some of her items on Etsy.
I saw an ad for the show, and I was inspired to be a part of a show that is all about up-cycling, reusing, and recycling. I have always been a believer in using what we have, and a lot of my art comes from reusing items I have on hand, or items that I purchased from a creative reuse center.
I usually start with a photograph and use that as my inspiration. I then find fabrics that will help me create what I am envisioning. I like to use re-purposed fabrics, or fabrics from a creative reuse center. Then I put a layer of heavy gel on the canvas and soak the fabric in gel medium and adhere it to the canvas. I add other elements as needed and once it is dry, I will add paint to add interest and detail. Once it has dried for a few days I will spray the canvas with a UV protection spray.
My favorite piece is the Hawaiian Sunset. The fabric was my inspiration for this canvas and this piece started me on my fabric art journey.
My work can be found at:
I have been doing mosaics for the last 4 years. It was only after moving to Colorado Springs from Chicago that my passion for mosaics started. It began with an old window that I brought with me with the move. As I unpacked that window the wheels started spinning on how I could bring that old window back to life. I purchased some scrap glass from a local glass store and made my first mosaic using all up-cycled materials. From there I started purchasing old glass blocks and made them into mosaic lights. My chosen materials are anything that can be used in mosaics, scrap stained glass, beads, tempered glass (crash glass), and china. I always try to incorporate some type of up-cycling in all my pieces. I also spread the love of mosaics by teaching classes. I currently teach classes at Who Gives a SCRAP, Kismet Mosaics, Full Spectrum Art Glass Supply Store and in November I will also be teaching in Denver.
I was inspired to apply for this show for several reasons. First and foremost is to keep things out of the landfill.
I love the creative process of making a mosaic as my workspace is overflowing of things that I have collected from people throwing things away, multiple trips to the thrift stores and Who Gives a SCRAP so once I have a piece to create I have a lot of tesserae to choose from.
I don’t think I have a favorite in this show as I like them all for different reasons. However, if I had to choose, I would say one of the birds. My love of birds comes from my Midwest roots sitting on the patio with my parents and watching all the birds that would come to my Mom’s bird feeders.
My work and classes can be found at:
Facebook: Shattered Glass Restored - Upcycled Mosaics
Instagram: Shattered Glass Restored
My family has always welcomed and encouraged creativity, and I grew up surrounded by art in one form or another. My mainstay in art media for many years has been drawing and printmaking, primarily reduction prints and landscapes. Then several years ago I took some jewelry-making classes and enjoyed working with silver for a while. The recent shift to working with upcycling is purely a fun direction. Not only does the upcycled object find a new functionality, but its surface also becomes a new canvas to play with color and form in the final design.
The idea of upcycling is a fun and creative process, and to be able to share these pieces in the Commonwheel’s show seemed like a perfect fit.
In making the tables and shelves, I prefer to work with old wooden drawers (dovetail joints are a plus) and stair balusters for the legs. My source for these has been the Habitat for Humanity ReStore here in Colorado Springs. A real treasure trove! Once the drawers are cleaned up, I assemble the piece with its legs, and use wood stain and acrylic paint to complete the design with a clear coat finish for protection. I like to put drawer handles in place to show the original purpose of the drawer. The overall design is something that I play with from piece to piece. It might come to me from the shape and size of the drawer, or the turning of the balusters, or a pattern that intrigues me.
For this show, my favorite piece is the Wheat Stalks standing shelf because of the Arts and Crafts movement feel in the motif. It’s also a good-size drawer that made for an interesting shelf design.
My artwork can be seen at my home studio by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m an ex-administrative assistant/secretary with a crafty soul and passion for decoupage (the technique of decoration on a surface with cutouts of paper with glue). When working full-time, I was crafting and creating during my spare time. I’ve always been fascinated by decorating things.
As a volunteer at Who Gives A Scrap; I adore all the vintage and craft items for sale to upcycle and heard about this show. My inspiration comes from memories of my great-grandmother’s Victorian house and her simple way of life.
The act of upcycling something unused into something new is so fun and spontaneous . . .watching your creation develop like a flower and seeing it bloom before your eyes!
My process is connecting images with sentiments/quotes as a main theme and then decorating with rubberstamping, embossing, and embellishments.
I source materials to upcycle and decorate (cigar box, Altoid® tin, fan blade, glue, Modge-Podge®, rubber stamps, postage stamps, embellishments, etc.) from Who Gives A Scrap.
Find an item to upcycle and decoupage. Find a vintage copyright free image and think of a sentiment or quote to compliment the image. On the computer, create a design to size and add a sentiment using a typeface font. Print it, add rubber stamping, embossing techniques, and glitter. Cut print and decoupage on item. Seal with varnish. Adhere embellishments.
My favorite piece is the Decoupage “Something to Smile About Fan Blade”. I love the vintage Victorian girl image and it has a wonderful sentiment. It is such a beautiful wooden vintage fan blade that it speaks for itself. The very act of creating the piece puts something of yourself into the work which is magical!
My work can be found at:
Our September show joins the talents of 2 artists who submitted their work to us separately. We're very pleased to present their work with us for the very first time.
Crystal Vision Designs
I've always enjoyed working with my hands, which began when I was about 6 or 7, and my aunt taught me how to sew. I made some clothing and did quite a bit of embroidery. My first venture into jewelry, started off as a job here in Colorado back in the early 70's, where I drilled holes in turquoise in a factory type setting. The supervisor taught me to make a clasp out of silver wire during break time, and I was hooked! Life happened, and I didn't start getting involved in jewelry making again until I was nearing retirement. I began buying beads and making beaded items, taught myself to do wire wrapping, and then took classes at a junior college, where I learned to saw metal, solder, and a whole lot of other skills I didn't know I needed! I've now been fabricating pieces completely by hand for about 5 years.
I'm also a photographer, and love taking shots of beautiful Colorado! I'm also inspired by places I have visited, and many of those fond memories are reflected in my pieces. Sometimes, I look at a cabochon stone, and I get immediate ideas on how to showcase it in a wearable art piece.
I have several sketch books, and whenever an idea hits, I record it as best I can. When the urge to create strikes, I might already have a specific design in mind, or at times I look through my sketches and something will just jump out at me. Sometimes they end up identical to the sketch/idea, other times there are variations.
Art is not really a choice for me, it truly makes my heart sing! I just want my creations to bring joy. They're coming from some magical place beyond me and need to be shared.
My favorite piece is my latest. I love mid-century modern design items and was trying to achieve kind of a mixture of mid-century modern and space age.
My work can be seen on my Facebook page, twokaren2. I am participating at the Farmer's Market at Margarita at Pine Creek on a limited basis. I can be contacted at email@example.com
My journey into the visual arts started when my husband bought me a camera for my 24th birthday. That camera became an extra appendage to me immediately. I took photos of everything for about five years straight, and it was during that time that my eyes started to "see like an artist". Soon I had the courage to delve into drawing, painting, collage, etching, whatever! I love it all. Now I have had my work shown in some neat venues like the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and I have been privileged to teach art classes for both kids and adults for the last couple years.
Art making is one of the most human things we can do; wonky lines, uneven faces, errant fingerprints in the clay. In a world that aggressively promotes flawless digital avatars, art making remains defiantly human and beautifully imperfect. It is no luxury; rather, it is imperative to our experience on planet earth.
The collection itself is entirely based on this list of native Colorado species that Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages children to be on the lookout for when they go on road trips around the state. I thought it would be fun to do the animals' portraits in the style of a naturalist's field journal, using the types of tools that a naturalist could carry with him/her: calligraphy pen, India ink, watercolor. And the backgrounds are brightly colored, which may just be a reflection of how enthusiastic I was when making them!
Each of these pieces started with meticulous ink-work to draw the animal, then watercolor was added to make it come alive.
Folks will hopefully grow in their appreciation for our native animals here in Colorado, and perhaps be introduced to a couple species they have not seen before. Maybe it encourages them to learn more about our wonderful wild neighbors and to participate in the conservation efforts necessary to keep them around!
I really like the Sage Grouse. Such a manly display of feathered pomp, but so vulnerable to a dwindling habitat.
My work can be fold at: www.andreastolarczyk.com
Creativity has been the lifelong gambit for each of us. Kay decided to learn a different art media for each decade of her life, Jennifer has established her thriving ceramic business, and Liz has dedicated her energies to teaching and sharing here love of textile art. Our interest in clay, wood, and fiber are the current reflections of our artistic explorations.
Making art is like breathing for us. Sometimes it is slow and steady, like a meditation. Other times it’s like a catch in your throat, when you have a new idea. This show is mostly the latter, because there have been so many startling ideas and possibilities. We want you to experience the breathlessness of art like we have.
The Creative Gambit expresses both some risk and our confidence that we could do interesting work together, producing one of a kind multimedia pieces that we never would have created on our own.
Creative processes are always a challenge. Merging the disparate medias of clay, fiber, and wood was also a challenge. We decided to make three collaborative pieces that were outside of our comfort zones. Jennifer, the ceramic artist, would design the wall piece; Kay, the wood turner, a 3-D still life; and Liz a floor sculpture. Then we decided on a color scheme, a motif, and discussed hot to bring them all together. We each make parts for the others and left it up to them on how to combine and present the finished work. We discovered that communication was extremely important. As visual artists, we all grew in our ability to verbally convey our ideas, which resulted in some very complex art pieces.
If you are wonderfully delighted when you visit this show, then we have succeeded in our creative gambit.
If you are interested in our work in the future, please contact us at:
Jennifer Hanson: spinningstarstudios.com or Spinning Star Studio on Instagram
Kay Liggett: ridgewaystudios.org
Liz Kettle: lizkettle on Instagram or Liz Kettle on Facebook.