This is a truly beautiful show that has been assembled. We have work by 24 Front Range artists in this juried show and wow, what a mix of work. The members who hang our gallery shows were very excited to see all of this art.
We asked these artists four questions:
1) In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself.
2) What does making art mean to you?
3) What has inspired you for this show?
4) Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
Below are their responses.
I have always been told that I have an "eye for photography". I purchased my first Canon DSLR in 2010 and have been studying digital photography on my own ever since, with the help of a few inspiring hands-on workshops. My other passion is studying wildlife behavior. So naturally my "focus" is wildlife and nature photography. A year ago, I moved to Colorado where I have begun to expand my focus to the majestic Rocky Mountains, fascinating wildlife and beautiful flora of this area.
I love being in Nature and capturing it's beauty so I can share my visual images with others.
Flowing water in the high desert is not as plentiful as in other part of the country that I have lived in. Any chance I get, I capture its smoothing flow and am excited to shear my images in this show.
Here is where you can find my images:
Facebook: Alan Boucher Photography
Local Store: Bella Art & Frame
My grandmother was an artist with an appreciation for the environment. Growing up around her creative influences pushed me to pursue art at a young age. It started with just a pencil, then I continued with color throughout high school and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a BFA. I have been painting for about 10 years, focusing on landscapes and environmental awareness.
I like telling stories with a visual platform for the viewer to understand my interpretation of environmental issues. These statements will hopefully plant a seed to make people think more about their impact.
My love for the ocean. These two paintings are directed towards our acidic oceans bleaching coral reefs, our plastic problem and overall pollution to our lakes and rivers, which eventually lead to the ocean. We all live downstream!
"Sometimes I spend hours applying paint on a canvas before I feel Like I'm painting". Hedy DuCharme
Painting for me pure is relaxation and a challenge mentally and spiritually. My soul needs to create and express itself to be content and alive. It's a wonderful feeling to be totally absorbed in creating something from the mind and heart, even if it doesn't become a "best ever" creation.
My interest in art began in High School back in the 60's. It was the first time I was exposed to art: drawing, color, paints, clay, ink drawing, and learning to see.
I went on to study art and art history at Michigan State University and graduated with a BFA. I went on to teach art for 5 years. In high school and college I learned that I was most interested in painting. I love working and creating with color.
My favorite period of art is the Impressionists with their loose brushwork, textured paint, nature themes, natural light, and creating their own interpretation of a theme or scene.
For the past 10 years I have had much time to devote to painting more confidently, regularly, and with a more sincere passion then I previously had.
I was a docent at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center for 13 years. I had the opportunity to be immersed in great art not just locally but in museums around the country on docent organized trips. The ongoing training in the docent program kept me engaged with art principles and theory on a regular basis, which kept me learning, and discussing art on a regular basis.
During this time I became more inspired to create my own work and appreciate the art of many local artists. I had to challenge myself to enter juried and non-juried shows to expand my abilities, to be challenged by new themes, and to become part of the local artists community. Traveling to the great museums in Europe has been a huge inspiration to see some of the greatest art, architecture and artists from all over the world.
Many of my paintings are created from photos I have taken around Colorado, New Mexico, Europe, from my garden and gardens I have visited.
Submitting paintings for this "Water" themed show was a good challenge because water is such an important part of our everyday life, we can't live without it. And we enjoy water visually in the mountains—lakes, streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rain. We enjoy swimming in water, fishing, snorkeling in oceans, and walking a beach. There is life in water. We see reflections in water.
Water is many colors and no color making it a challenge to create on a 2-dimensional surface. I wanted to expand my use of using a sponge instead of a brush to create softer lines, layers of colors, and smooth edges, and more use of my hands than a paintbrush allows.
To see some of my paintings and current shows I'm exhibiting in I post them on my Facebook Page under Hedy DuCharme.
Locally I have exhibited at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, The former Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (docent show), Chapel of our Savior, Academy Art and Frame,, First Presbyterian Church, Discovery Church, The Bridge Gallery, and currently The Little Wine Barrel.
I’ve had a love for photographing nature since childhood. While attending church camp in the summer, instead of coming home with pictures of new friends and fun times, the whole role of film would be filled with chipmunks and forested area. The passion has always been there, but it wasn’t until around 2005 that I decided to start sharing my work. There is beauty all around us, and I want to share God’s masterpieces with others.
To me, making art means being able to share something unique with others. I want the viewer to feel that they are in the photograph ~ that they can feel the cold, or smell the flower, or touch the tree.
Water is a powerful force on different levels. Whether it's the vastness of an ocean, or the intense momentum of a waterfall, they can equally make one feel like they're a minute part of our universe.
You can find my work at Facebook.com/ANobleTouchPhotography
Julia L. Wright
My love of Nature and being outdoors has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. Creating art in many forms has been the basis of my life starting with theatre when I built sets and directed others in High School and college. I created fiber-based crafts ranging from macramé plant hangers or unique wall pieces that included found objects and woven elements. Feathers have always been part of my art creations. Mandala style feather wall hangings evolved into my creating feather masks. Creating those masks still is very fun! Creating earrings, hairclips and pendants was a natural progression to ways to create artful accessories using feathers and found objects.
I have taken thousands of photographs on my hikes and in many gardens. About six years ago I started using my realistic nature and other photos to illustrate my books and journals. And more recently, I began to use my realistic photographs to create different types of decks of cards for children and adults.
Three years ago, I “fell down a rabbit hole of creativity” and began using my Nature photos to create abstract, kaleidoscopic and mandala style images by taking a little part of a Nature photo and playing with it in PhotoShop. Currently these can only be seen online. Original versions of my photographic Nature-based images can be seen in this show and express my love of Nature.
When I am in my studio or sitting at my computer, I get totally lost in the process and my imagination can run pretty wild thinking about how to take the images I captured and create something totally unique and fun or hone in a specific element found in a photograph, such as water. It uplifts my spirit to honor the beauty of the amazing places I get to hike and glorify Nature in various artful ways.
Working in my feather studio or on a computer or taking photos on my hikes always has my creative juices flowing. I am constantly looking for some new way to use the materials at hand to create a bit of awe and wonder when someone sees the finished art.
Nature is my most powerful inspiration. When hiking or passing a beautiful garden, I often stop to take in the amazingly beautiful natural creations that surround me. A driftwood stump or a rock formation or a bit of moss can be as enticing to my eye as a beautiful wildflower. The reflection of a mountain or rock formation or clouds in water can stop me in my tracks to look deeper into that fleeting image. Each one makes my heart sing and my spirit soar with joy when I take the time to really look at the beauty others pass by each day without noticing it.
The normal concept of a photograph is a translation or transformation of a scene onto a two-dimensional surface, and most photographers leave it at that. Back on my computer, I become immersed in the process of creating something new and visionary from what I saw to create a unique view and transform that image into an artistic composition.
Some of my photos get used as they were taken, or maybe have sections highlighted. Other times, the process of transformation starts when I notice some interesting element in a section of a Nature photograph. Then I will start to transform that photograph by modifying a section of the image in such a way that it becomes something totally new and uniquely changed from its original shape.
The idea of using my Nature photos for card decks for children came from seeing too many instances of how little respect people have for the natural world and can only hope that by showing how beautiful and fragile wildflowers can be starting with a card game that might inspire more kids to get out and search for them and find other reasons to respect their natural surroundings.
My books have very practical advice and have come from my own experiences and based on creating a more sustainable art festival and natural solutions for health. And I recently updated my tree squirrel book and created a new one about ground squirrels in which I express my love of squirrels and teach children a bit about them.
My journals are based on specific themes, but they are not just “blank books”. They have practical advice in the introductions and some photographs related to the journal’s subject. Each one has prompts for a person to fill in the blanks relating to that prompt and can be used to write down their thoughts and have pages to sketch on or color designs in some of the books.
All art involves an artist taking up some media and transforming it into a new form or image that comes from their vision and imagination. I try to transform what most people see as ordinary into something extraordinary with a unique way of seeing the world.
Often when hiking, I, Julia, stop to take some time to look at a bit of Nature. Sometimes it is a part of a tree; maybe a root, a stump or a burl. Looking towards the ground I may spy a uniquely shaped mushroom or flower that catches my eye. Sometimes moss growing on a tree or on a rock causes me to stop to look closer at a section of it. So I take a photograph.
Reflections seen in water have always captured my imagination. I am often surprised when I look at a photograph on the computer to see a reflection of clouds or shoreline plants that create a lovely addition to the landscape that I was seeking to capture.
I have a great respect for the pristine waters that flow down from mountains in rivers and creeks and form ponds and lakes I discover along hiking trails. It saddens me to see trash collecting in them and have never understood why if someone can carry in a heavier item, when it is empty, they can’t carry it back out . . . I am always careful to be sure the area I visit is not burdened with any items I bring in and pack them out myself. I have the hope when people view photos expressing the beauty of Nature, the might become a bit more aware how they can take actions to keep where they travel as pristine as when they arrived.
My work can be found at:
Manitou Art Center in the First Amendment Gallery
My books are also on Amazon under the name of HieroGraphics Books.
kj becker is a manitou springs-based artists with a unique set of skills and over 22 years of combined experience in the areas where there are deficiencies in the social system for the expressive arts and how we connect with marginalized populations, such as, military veterans, sexual assault survivors, and differently-abled folks. kj has been an artist all her life and received a bfa in studio art and psychology from the university of illinois in 2007 after 5 years of active duty in the air force as a mental health technician. kj went on to manage the arts of life in chicago and then worked for the va doing expressive art peer support. today KJ is a full-time professional artist.
for kj, artmaking is all about the process. having physical disabilities and ptsd from her time in the air force, kj has found the physicality of artmaking is most beneficial compared to traditional therapies and medications that are commonly prescribed.
"adored" is an artistic expression of kj falling in love with her partner in the summer of 2018. contrary to previous works that were more about the physicality of the art piece, rather than concept, kj is just starting to explore what her "story" is, as she has felt invisible for decades.
current residency at art111, the manitou art center, library 21c, and a solo show in april 2019 at goatpatch brewery
As with all life-changing shifts, I did not come to art gracefully or willingly. I received a channeled message in Jan. 2014 that I would be used as a conduit to create paintings that contained energetic messages designed to benefit humanity's evolution and that these messages would be embedded into the paint. The messages themselves would draw the people to them that needed those frequencies. My instruction was to "hold the brush and wait." I experienced tremendous discomfort and frustration in this process. It was 18 months before anything started to happen, before I felt any "click" while moving color on canvas or wood. I disliked almost everything I painted during this time. The one thing that made a difference, and that kept me squarely in the instruction, holding the brush while seemingly nothing occurred, was an earlier experience with receiving an internal intuitive message that also made no sense and was in direct opposition to my lifestyle, yet brought forth an outcome for me that consisted of success and happiness beyond my wildest dreams. At some time early on in this extremely stuttery, cranky-producing painting process, some dragon shapes started to appear in the paint that I had not created myself. They insisted on being seen and on being painted. They are in charge of this energetic process and bring joy to these paintings and to me.
The painting "Transformation: The Fire/Water Dance" is a channel or portal for balance. During the floods after the Waldo Canyon fire, I often thought about how what we perceive as an extreme negative event might just be the exact thing that brings about perfect balance. The dance of fire and water in our particular geography is ancient and, I believe, directly impacts our consciousness, even if we are unaware of these effects. Our fiery moments tend to consume us. Our watery moments bring forth more fluidity in our moment to moment living. We are integral to our landscapes and our landscapes continuously offer us their blessings, even when they come disguised as catastrophe.
The dragons and I are eternally grateful for all opportunities to express, fulfill, and serve as conduits for any who are drawn to the energetic gifts of the galactic light art paintings.
Paintings can be viewed at http://www.galacticlightart.com and at Movement Arts Community Studio, 525 E Fountain Blvd, Ste. 150, Co Spgs: http://www.movementartscs.com.
Like many people, I had to wait until I retired to begin exploring my artistic abilities. Luckily I was able to retire early, and after experimenting with many media, including clay, mixed media, alcohol ink, jewelry, etc., I found my true passion in fused glass. I enjoy experimenting, and particularly enjoy creating 3-D pieces in the kiln. This requires a number of firings at varying temperatures, all taking between 9-20 hours, with 4 or 5 hours of cool-down time. My inspiration comes from nature, including both the mountains and the sea, having lived near the beach in Florida for 12 years. I have been working in fused glass for 14 years, I have three kilns, and have taken over every inch of available space in my house and garage for my studio! I’m looking forward to adding a fourth, larger kiln to my collection so that I can create taller and larger pieces.
Creating art is the most important thing I do. It makes me feel like I am contributing something of value, and it brings me much happiness, both in the process of creating and in the end result.
As stated above, the sea is a huge source of inspiration. All of the colors found at the sea shore are my favorites, and the beautiful colors of art glass lend themselves perfectly to this theme. I try capture the whimsy and movement of the sea, so I can remind people of how they feel when they are on the shore and in the water.
My work can be found on my Facebook page, LoLo’s Paloozas (www.facebook.com/LoLosPaloozas/), and is currently sold in the Strictly Guffey Gallery in Guffey, Colorado. I exhibit at many other venues in the Colorado Springs area including the MAC, the Modbo, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, and others.
These works represent a technique I discovered quite on accident over a year ago but have only more recently started to create actual pieces. I use a variety of surface material and then combine water and tissue paper to create texture and color. I control the color and design for any piece. They are then finished using a high gloss urethane. The water adds a fluid and abstract nature to the works that changes the color, light and perspective for the viewer.
I grew up in an artistic family and have always been drawn to creating, designing and working with color and pigments. My father was an interior designer and I learned much of the foundation of my knowledge in textiles and design from him when I was growing up. I later attended Denver University where I studied Interior Design and the Instituto Allende in Mexico where I studied the fine arts and sculpture. As an adult I studied French Interior Design and French Culinary Arts in Paris.
I have lived in the Cascade area now for over 35 years permanently. These last 5 years I have enjoyed studying and experimenting with many different mediums, creating my own, directly from plant-based pigment. I photograph natural color from food, flowers and birds. And study light. The only element that creates color. I cook. And eat. And enjoy life, from a different perspective these days. And always creating. And designing.
You can see more of my design work by visiting my website at: DeramusDesigns.houzz.com linkedin.com
Rhonda Van Pelt
I grew up in an artistic family: my dad worked in wood and my mom painted. I earned my bachelor’s degree in art (painting emphasis) in 1980 at the University of Southern Colorado, where I studied with Lew Tilley, Robert Wands, Ed Sajbel and Orlin Helgoe. I’ve been a working artist ever since and have combined that with my love of writing to work as a graphic designer and as a journalist with various publications.
For me, a day without being creative is a wasted day. I am excited and inspired by nature, other artists’ work and simply walking down a street and being observant.
I love the patterns I see in nature. I manipulated photos I took at Monument Valley Park to make them abstract and then, for the first time, had my photos printed on metal. I think it’s especially appropriate and effective for this subject matter.
I mostly show at the Manitou Art Center and Academy Art & Frame Co., but in March, I will also have a solo exhibit in Colorado Springs City Hall. Also see: rhondashouseofcreativity.shutterfly.com.
As a child I was always making stuff with no concern about whether or not it was art. I simply enjoyed it. Born and raised in central California, I attended Fresno State College (BA Degree and General Secondary Teaching Credential), followed by graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley (MA Degree with Specialty in painting). Further studies were undertaken at the University of California at Los Angeles, the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and overseas at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria.
Before moving to Colorado Springs in 1995, I spent 29 years as an art teacher with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany and Belgium. Extensive travel, including photo safaris to East Africa and scuba diving trips to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Hawaii have been rich sources of inspiration for my art, which has appeared in local, national, and international shows.
Here in Colorado, I was a studio artist at the Manitou Art Center for 4 years, a member of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op for 10 years, and taught ceramics part-time for 12 years at Pikes Peak Community College. Now I enjoy working in my own studio at home.
Art, in whatever form it might take, is something that I must do, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m able.
Fifteen of the most exciting years of my life were spent as a scuba diver, exploring the undersea world in such faraway places as the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, and the Red Sea, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Hawaiian Pacific. It was like entering another world of coral reefs teeming with life beneath the surface of the water, and with an underwater camera was able to capture some of it on film.
Now that I no longer dive, I can relive those fabulous adventures by scanning a few of the many slides I’ve collected. Each has a story to tell. These old photos can be reworked and improved by enlarging, cropping, repositioning, and enhancing in various ways. The possibilities are endless. My goal is that these pictures have artistic value and are more than just snapshots. For me, a clay artist, this is an exciting new creative adventure into another medium that I’m happy to share with you, the viewer. I hope you enjoy these pictures.
My ceramic work and photos can be seen by appointment at my home studio in Colorado Springs. I can be contacted by phone at 719/592-0984 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I have a few ceramic pieces in Commonwheel’s online store at www.commonwheel.com.
I recently moved from Delaware to Colorado Springs to pursue my photography career. I got my first DSLR camera when I was 18 and have loved taking photos since. My junior year of college I officially declared my major as photography and dove in head first. Landscape, nature, and wildlife photography have always been my "jam" as I like to say. I have been taking small steps to further my career since moving to Colorado and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds.
To me, making art means I get to show the world the way I see and feel it. One of my favorite things about photography is that no one else sees the world exactly like I do or feels exactly what I felt in the moment that I create a photograph. It is fulfilling and profound to create something that makes you happy no matter how simple, or complex, it may be.
Being from Delaware I grew up surrounded by water - ponds, lakes, the bay, and the ocean. It has been a common subject of my photography since I first started out 8 years ago. There is a huge draw to water for me, whether its capturing a reflection on a still lake, or the rushing waters of a river.
Instagram: @ amyshortphoto
Gallery: Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City
I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember! I was the "artistic" kid in my family, even in elementary school. I majored in graphic design in college and worked in that field for 20 years. Although I took some painting classes in college, I'm mostly self-taught. Throughout my teens and adult years, even when working full time as a commercial art, I continued to paint - always in watercolors. I started showing and selling my work in local and regional art festivals about 15 years ago. I feel that my artwork enjoyed a significant "growth spurt" in quantity and quality a few years ago when I was able to devote more time to painting.
To me, making art is one way that I interpret the world that I experience, and one way that I "archive" an experience in a tangible form. Art is a recording of my experience and an invitation for the viewer to share that experience.
I was inspired to start painting water scenes because, frankly, it was a challenge, and I like to take on painting "challenges" especially when others comment "oh, that's SO hard to paint!". I'm especially drawn to interpret and portray local water scenes in my paintings, because water is so precious and so scarce here. I painted the 'Blue Mesa Reservoir" scenes from photos I took there on a cold, very windy day. The rocks and whitecaps made me feel like I was at the ocean, and I tried to capture that feeling.
I belong to the Mountain Artists in Woodland Park, the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, and the Western Colorado Watercolor Society. My work can be viewed on the Mountain Artists website, and in various exhibits that they sponsor in Woodland Park, including the Mountain Arts Festival.
A 1998 graduate from the Colorado Institute of Art, I found my love for photography at an early age through the appreciation of geometric angles and in 2013 evolved to underwater photography...
Underwater photography should take you to another realm, a world that people can experience through my imagery.
Challenged by the unpredictable element of water and weightless gravity, the outcome produces some of the most visually unique images - human forms unlike any found on land, free flowing of fabric, no worry hair and an unearthed world that is created.
I am Underwater Conceptual Photographer
I have always had a love for the water from the sound to touch to even the smell. When I see underwater imagery there is a kind of purity and freedom. By putting people into an environment that human life is not generally pictured, a whole new world of imagination can be created. There is such natural beauty within the source of water. We are surrounded by water internally and externally and combining the two shows the strength that water is composed of and how it truly is a source of life. Water can be interpreted in many ways, it is up to the audience to decide what they see and how it moves them. I love the unpredictability of the outcome, both for myself, the subject and the audience.
I was motivated to take my photography further upon moving to this beautiful state of CO from the Midwest. I am a self-taught photographer and have been taking photos professionally for 7 years now but photographing as a non-professional for years & years prior. I work full time in corporate America but photography is my passion and the pastime in which I lose all sense of my surroundings and time. I can completely submerge myself into the act of photographing and love to spend a day doing nothing but shooting.
Making my art is an opportunity to capture, with a lens, & share the extreme beauty I see in this world, painted all around me. My hope is to inspire others in some way or to give others the chance to see something they may not ever have the opportunity to see with their own two eyes.
My inspiration for this show was the amazing beauty of Grand Exuma Island in the Bahamas. I saw water in colors I had never seen before and every where I turned were spectacular landscapes and amazing sea life.
You can find my work in the Commonwheel Co-op Gallery in Manitou Springs, in the Colorado Creative Co-op in Old Colorado City, and online at http://tinarodholm.zenfolio.com. You can also follow me on Instagram @hisbeautifulcanvas and on Facebook at "His Beautiful Canvas"
My art is in photography, from shooting to processing, framing and printing. I can't call it a career since I did that in the electronics field, and am retired. My quest is to take decent pictures and process them with an intent to capture the beauty or other fascination that was observed at the moment each was taken. I am highlighting the third dimension by distorting the print in various ways. I have been at this now for six years.
My great pleasure is in seeing the printed image “come to life” as I do my work. Sometimes the added value is amazing, other times perhaps marginal, but I am inspired after working with each one to continue making them “better”. It means a lot to me when others can see and enjoy my finished work.
I keep looking for opportunities to display my pictures and since I have some that fit into the category of “Water in the High Desert” there was no hesitation to enter. I was pleased to have two accepted. In fact, those two were a new design I just began, using a 5”X7” Shadow Box frame to display a couple of my 3-dimensional ideas. It allows me to use a distance gradient on the print (it is slanted back toward the rear of the picture) as well as a form of embossing the surface to further emphasize that phenomenon.
I have a lot of pictures on Fine Art America, but you won't see any 3-D on the website since that part of the process takes place on the print. email@example.com I have entered my work previously at Commonwheel for the “Autumn Colors” event, at Tri-Lakes Monochrome Photography gallery and at the Academy Art and Frame Gallery where one photo placed second and another got honorable mention in their Miniatures event.
To promote my work further, I have rented a hallway room at Cottonwood Center for the Arts for the months of March and May and will also have work on display at Boulder Street Gallery and Framing during the month of April, 2019. I registered my photo business as Richard's Photo Craft in Colorado, working in my home. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We asked the artists selected for our “Recycled Art” Show the following questions:
1)In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself
2)With your recycled materials, tell us about your process. Walk us through the steps to achieve one of your works from sourcing the materials to completing the work for display or use.
3)What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
4)What has inspired you to apply for this show?
5)Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
What follows are responses we received and images of some of the work you’ll see in this show.
m. jo hart
Originally from St. Louis, I moved to Colorado in 2015 after receiving my MFA in Ceramics from Illinois State University. I have a B.A. in Visual Communications and have worked as an Art Director/Graphic Designer in the corporate sector, non-profit, and public/private design industries with over 38+ years’ experience. I consider myself both an artist and maker. I create highly decorative functional pottery along with sculptural work that primarily focuses on female issues.
During my time as a designer I sought out ways to create for myself and was reacquainted with clay, remembering the fun I had in the clay studio as an undergrad. For years I attended classes at a local pottery studio and began selling my work. Later in my life an opportunity to apply to graduate school presented itself and I fully immersed myself in a 3-year program where I discovered a passion for working with the figure in clay, primarily on female issues. Attending graduate school as an older student, I was confronted with many hurdles and I was presented with countless opportunity for evolving as an artist.
Today, I work as an artist/maker, leaving the corporate world in the dust and no longer having to be contained in a cubicle. Recently I began collaborating with my partner, combining his woodworking craft and my porcelain art. I teach workshops and private lessons in clay and other mediums and find the creative process at times more satisfying than the outcome. As a self-supporting artist my piggy bank is often not as full as it was, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.
I am a collector of things I find on the ground (ie. rusty metal, things I find in garbage bins, other people’s trash. I may not have a specific use in mind when I retrieve something, but I always think I’ll use it later for an art piece. I like to make different kinds of art other than clay and the Recycle Show was an opportunity to do just that.
I don’t have a specific process when working with the recycled pieces. I look at what I have and put together what feels right.
My ceramic work can be found at Commonwheel Artist Co-Op and I can be reached at my email address; email@example.com
All my life I have had a connection to art. My grandparents and parents are artists. I studied at UCCS where I really started to develop my own style and content. A few big themes in my work are domesticity, femininity, and the temporality of life. Using recycled materials really interests me because they show time and age. Recycled materials also have a past life. They are fragments of the past. For me, using recycled pieces of fabric or lace acknowledges and celebrates the past. That also includes celebrating and acknowledging the past ideas about what domesticity means. Re-purposing materials gives them a new life and represents a new era of domesticity.
For my piece Hometown Glass I had a unique process which started with searching for glass in my hometown, Salida, Co, with mom. My mom has always been a resourceful, creative type, so naturally she knows where all of the good scavenging locations are. There is a location tucked in the mountains by Salida, Co that used to be an old dump. There is glass scattered all over the ground ranging from deep blue, to purple, to opaque milky glass. So wandering around and finding little treasures was where Hometown Glass first started. Another component for this piece is the lace. I am always hunting through thrift stores and estate sales looking for interesting lace patterns and fabric. Even the wood for this piece is recycled and found in one of my outings. When I put all of the components together I focused on composition. With the green piece of glass especially, I loved the way it curved over the edge of the wood. I used epoxy resin to combine all of the components together. There were preexisting holes in the top of the wood, so I used those to thread a string through for hanging. Overall, I felt I created a piece that talks about domesticity, the past, and the passage of time.
My favorite piece for sale in this show is Impermanent Fabric. I think it has a vibrancy from the colors that is fun as well as nostalgic. My favorite part is how the print of the lace underneath the flower repeats the texture that is within the flower on top. Overall, I think it reflects what I enjoy doing which is printmaking as well as using recycled materials to create interesting pieces of art.
I decided to apply for this show because I thought that my work fit the theme very well. I embrace using recycled materials in all of my work. It is not only an economical decision it is also an aesthetic decision. I am excited to have more opportunities to show and share my work.
The best place to see my work is on Instagram. My Instagram name is artfrances.
Born and raised in Colorado with no official art training. Focused on Piano and Cello performance throughout school. I was a Music performance major in college at CSU-Pueblo, but I always loved going to look at the current displays in art gallery next door. Later in life, I was giving an acrylic paint set as a gift and I decided the next year to make custom gifts, for all of my family and friends. I found that I really enjoy working with different mediums and playing with recycled wire in my work. As an outdoors enthusiast, I love our beautiful state as well as our planet, and reduce reuse and recycle are core values for me. I am dedicated to always finding the beauty in the scrap, and to creating something new from something considered to be "trash". Inspiration can come from anywhere, and I always try to keep my eyes open.
With your recycled materials, tell us about your process. Walk us through the steps achieve one of your works from sourcing the materials to completing the work for display or use.
It all started with some old wood scrap from inside an old couch, that became my first Colorado flag. Then I started working with wood pallets. In my old '91 Jeep i would go around town and collect "trash" pallets or free ones from Craigslist. Moving maybe 6 at a time, I built up a stock at my home that I then began to disassemble (which is harder than it sounds). With the free lumber assorted by wood type and sizes, I then create unique sized and shaped back boards that I then will paint (see photo). After a thorough sanding and cleaning, I began to add color to base background.
My husband is an electrician and brings home "scrap" wire. We normally recycle this, one day I decided to use some wire to outline an eagle I had painted. I liked it so much that I then created a copper tree growing from my painting. I continued this theme and painted a aspen scene with the leaves free hanging, made of brass wire. I started to then experiment with colored beads on the wire in the paintings. It is at this point that I painted Metal Monarch. I primarily use copper wire in my work, but I also use aluminum and occasionally brass. I even use insulated scrap copper to hang all of my pieces.
I absolutely love Tentacle Tangle! I love painting ships on pallet wood because it adds so much character to the piece. You can carve in the detail and layer with paint. I have always loved reading and have been fascinated with the oceans since I read “2000 Leagues Under the Sea” as a child. I tried to weave the aluminum wire so carefully into the outline of this monster. It is a special beast and fragile as it is strong. Even the pirates though, are not safe from what waits below!
Last Year, I was fortunate to be a featured Artist of the Month for 2 separate months at 2 different PPLD locations. Until this time, I had only worked primarily with family and friends. I gained confidence based on the positive feedback and emotional connections that were created by my work and I became more and more ambitious in my creations. Although I sometimes only paint, I most enjoy working with multiple mediums combining both texturing the wood and adding different types of scrap wires into my art. Every piece I've created from the beginning, has always been from recycled materials. When I saw the open call for this show on Facebook, I knew I had to try.
I have done a few small craft fares around town in past but mostly I work custom commissioned gifts or animal memorials. To reach LMK Up-Cycled Creations email FromScraptoArt4Life@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/NewLife4Art/
Let's get creative! The possibilities are endless . . .
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been making stuff out of most anything I could find, and with no concern about whether or not it was art. I simply enjoyed it. Back in the 1960’s, while a graduate student in Painting at the University of California in Berkeley, just for fun I began making metal sculptures out of “junk” I found behind my dad’s machine shop. For me it was an escape from the complicated “rules” of Abstract Expressionist Painting. No worries about “equivocal space” or “violating the integrity of the picture plane”. I was free to make anything I wanted, and art was fun again! My wire sculptures in this Commonwheel show bring back fond memories of those “good old days” in Berkeley, of “free speech”, “flower power” and the “Grateful Dead”!
Usually I’ll begin a wire sculpture by referring to one of my continuous-line contour drawings left over from life drawing classes. The wire sculpture thus becomes a 3-D contour drawing.
For my sculptures I’ve used mostly coat hanger wire, but sometimes baling wire if more length is needed. It can be worked with pliers, wire cutters and metal files. A bench vise and hammer are also useful. For attachments I use binding wire and solder. Sometimes I’ll cut up a tin can with metal shears to add bulk to the piece. Coating everything with black spray paint unifies it.
The “Rock Star” piece is embellished with bottle caps for eyes and guitar tuning pegs for earrings. The eyeballs inside the bottle caps are made of polymer clay.
While coat hanger wire, tin cans and bottle caps are common household items, the need for a pair of guitar tuning pegs sent me out on a treasure hunt into the fascinating world of music stores. Rummaging through the stores’ spare parts boxes revealed a wealth of really cool stuff just waiting to be repurposed. It was a pack rat’s paradise! Something to keep in mind for future projects.
Though I like the slender grace and swiftness of the “Gazelle” piece, my favorite is “Rock Star”. It’s a retro piece from the 1960’s that I’ve restored and modernized this year. “Rock Star” is a bobble-head that used to come to life while riding on the inside rear deck of my Ford Falcon. I made it just for myself, so I felt free to break all the rules of “Abstract Expressionism” at UC Berkeley’s prestigious Department of Fine Art. Yay! Just touch it gently on the top of its head, and “Rock Star” will bobble for you.
2016’s Recycled Art show at Commonwheel impressed me very much. The inventive use of materials in the work was fascinating. That’s what inspired me to re-work a couple of my old wire sculptures and enter them in this year’s show.
My ceramic work can be seen by appointment at my home studio in Colorado Springs. I can be contacted by phone at (719) 592-0984 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also I have a few pieces in the online store at www.commonwheel.com.
I am a licensed architect in my country of origin, Brazil. I have worked in the field of architecture here in Colorado since emigrating from Brazil in 1997.
In Brazil, crime makes jewelry of precious metals and gems dangerous to own and wear. This has led me to appreciate things that were not meant to be jewels but possess a particular beauty in and of themselves.
My husband, a native of Colorado Springs, is a lover of the wild, an avid hiker, and my best supplier of metal, scraps, broken glass and aged objects. He finds new possibilities everywhere he goes and brings home pockets full of things.
My designs combine a variety of media, depending on the inspiration I find in the objects with which I start. I add glass beads, wire wrapping, other metal findings. The results are interesting and unique, and no two pieces are exactly the same.
I have 2 favorite pieces – a note holder and a pair of earrings.
The note holder is the light metal with blue aqua glass beads and copper wire wrapping. I love it because have no clue what the metal piece is, and I was able to use as the base for the note holder. I also like the combination copper wire and blue beads very much—it seems to come to me at all times.
The earrings are also a blue tone with copper wire. The nails were found by my husband and I when we were hiking, and they were both crooked the same way. The beads were bought in Brazil in one of my last trips in a second-hand store that sells a lot of jewelry.
The show theme is what I do – I create jewelry and décor objects that connect function and form, utilizing the antique beauty of objects found while hiking in Colorado.
Website – www.jewelrybymana.com
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jewelrybymana
Etsy store - https://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelrybyMana
Kuttlefish store - https://kuttlefish.com/shops/jewelrybymana
I have always loved art and painting, and my grandfather drew and painted watercolors. More recently I have begun to create pieces using found objects and things that might normally be discarded. I have also taken up pottery and acrylic painting.
I enjoy neighborhood walks and keep an eye out for items that are being thrown away. I have also remodeled several homes and think about reusing items where possible rather than sending them to the landfill. The banjo neck from 'Banjo Clock' was a found item a couple of years ago. The body is a ceiling fan housing from my former house in Texas, and the clock face is from a light fixture from my new home here in Colorado Springs. There are also parts from an old phone, watch strap, TV and vintage labeling machine. It can take months or years to source components and then decide the best way to use them. Once I came up with the concept of a clock, the assembly took only a few days.
'Banjo Clock' is a play on words. A banjo clock is a type of traditional clock in the shape of a banjo. My piece goes a step further as it is actually a clock made from (parts of) a banjo. Literally everything on it is reused/recycled.
I had already created several recycled art pieces when I saw the call for entries. Commonwheel has some incredible artists and pieces, so it is an honor to be included in the show.
Watch for the 3rd installment of this blog post!