Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

HOLD IT!...Shan Wells




“Hold It!” opens to large crowd @ Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts

By Denise Coffee

“Hold It!”, an exhibition of contemporary containers, opened at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts on Saturday night, Dec. 9, to a large and energetic crowd. This elegant exhibition features seven emerging and mid-career artists working in varying and somewhat unconventional mediums. The exhibition runs through Jan. 20, 2007.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Shy Rabbit also welcomes visitors during non-posted hours. Please call (970) 731-2766 to confirm the gallery is open.

“Hold It!” artists were asked to stretch the concept of a typical container or vessel. This exhibition entertains the viewer’s imagination with a wide range of materials and forms.

Several of the artists invited to participate in “Hold it!” had existing works that fit the show theme. Others created new work inspired by the show title and the freedom they were allowed in the process.

Artists were provided with approx. 3-4 months in which to complete new work, and had no restrictions other than a size range and the number of finished works required. The process was a very organic one that resulted in the creation of work that is natural and unforced.

The seven featured artists are: Chad Haspels, Colo, wood; Sarah Hewitt, NM, fiber; Clarissa Hudson, Colo, fiber; Terry Inokuma, OR, ceramics; Mary Ellen Long, Colo, mixed media; Chris Richter, NM, ceramics; and Shan Wells, Colo, mixed media.

Shan Wells is a North American Sculptor and political illustrator. Born in Cortez, Colo, he attended Art Center College of Design, and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Wells received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 1999, and two successive Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowships for drawing and sculpture, respectively, one of two recipients of the awards to do so in the 35 year history of the program. He was recently selected as one of Colorado's best 75 artists for the exhibition, “Best of Colorado”, at the Denver International Airport.

Wells illustrates a political cartoon for the Durango Telegraph, an independent weekly newspaper. His illustrations have also appeared in Truthout.org, Westword, Las Vegas City Life, and the Los Angeles Reader.

Wells has three pieces on display in “Hold It!”, two that were existing works, and one that he created specifically for the show.

“A Portable Container for Shadows” is made up of Ponderosa pine, found metal, leather, steel, and recycled mahogany. This piece greets the viewer as he/she enters the smaller of the two Shy Rabbit gallery spaces, and sets the tone for the entire show.

“A metaphor for introspection, this piece flows directly from the work of Edmund Husserl, who originated the idea of Phenomenology,” Wells states. “The idea of never being able to fully perceive anything was of interest- for example, the inside of a tree limb. We perceive it only one side at a time, and the interior is never fully observable. Containers have a great metaphoric value for this reason- they are potentialities, exposures that become more beautiful to us as they become more transparent and complex, mirroring our own perceived souls.”

Wells creates works that are visually pleasing while provocative in nature, and that also inspire a great deal of thought if fully absorbed.

“A Portable Container for Shadows” reverses this to create an object that simultaneously reveals its core and conceals it— thus illustrating the working contradiction inherent in introspection that I think we all strive to overcome as we peer into our own dark recesses, searching for meaning in our behavior, adding another arrow to the quiver of our self-definition,” Wells continues.

Wells second contribution is entitled “ArcHive.” It is skillfully constructed of recycled Douglas fir, wax, ink, and leather.

“Bees use a complex dance to communicate with one another”, Wells explains. “Called waggle-dance, this behavior results in an incredibly plastic language ability, capable of communicating very specific information about food location, quality, timing, and other things, as well as enabling arguments over competing resources.”

“ArcHive is a metaphor for the library of knowledge the dance represents, the compilation of bee knowing”, Wells summarizes.

Wells’ third is entitled “Spectral.” It is constructed of wood, wax, leaves, light, and components.

“This work speaks to the common scientific process of dissecting nature in order to understand it. It can be done, but the subject tends to die in the process”, Wells continues.

“The work also references core sampling, and specifically, spectral analysis of celestial bodies- hence the line of color. All of this comes together in the title “Spectral”, Wells states.

Wells lives with his family in Durango, Colo.

Please visit http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com for more information on Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts shows, events, and programs.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 through B-4, one block north of Hwy 160 off of North Pagosa Blvd. For additional information on Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, please email shyrabbit01@aol.com.

HOLD IT...Chad Haspels




“Hold It!” Opens at Shy Rabbit
Dec. 9 with Artists’ Reception

By Denise Coffee

“Hold It!”, an exhibition of contemporary containers, opens at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts with an artists’ reception on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. The exhibition features seven artists working in different mediums from throughout the country, and runs through Jan. 20, 2007.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Shy Rabbit also welcomes visitors during non-posted hours. Please call (970) 731-2766 to confirm the gallery is open.

“Hold It!” stretches the generally held perception of what a container might be considered, and entertains the viewer’s imagination with a wide range of materials and forms.

Several of the artists invited to participate in “Hold it!” had existing works that fit the show theme. Others created new work inspired by the show title and the freedom they were allowed in the process.

The seven featured artists are: Chad Haspels, Colo, wood; Sarah Hewitt, NM, fiber; Clarissa Hudson, Colo, fiber; Terry Inokuma, OR, ceramics; Mary Ellen Long, Colo, mixed media; Chris Richter, NM, ceramics; and Shan Wells, Colo, mixed media.

In 1998, while working towards his Fine Arts Degree from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT, Chad Haspels developed his initial interest in sculpting while experimenting with wood, stone, bronze, and clay. He apprenticed under Master Carver James Acheampong in 1999.

After completing his education in 2000, Haspels returned to the southwestern Colorado area where he grew up. He has been sculpting with wood full time since 2002, and quickly developed a name for his work by executing publicly commissioned works for the towns of Pagosa Springs and Bayfield, and the community of Vallecito Lake, Colo, among others.

Haspels created two new contemporary pieces for “Hold It!” after being invited into the exhibition in late August. His streamlined sculptures might not be recognized by those familiar with his signature public works due to their vastly differing styles, but are sure to be warmly welcomed as a new glimpse into the Wood Sculptors ever-changing persona.
“Over the last six years, I have focused my artistic development to using wood as my primary medium for multiple reasons”, quotes Haspels. “My technique involves taking advantage of spontaneous movements and decisions to capture an initial energy with the form of the sculpture.” Haspels continues, “Then, depending on the direction I want to go, I may focus on detail and precision on top of this, or I may leave the energy driven process to show through in the finished piece by way of having tool textures remain.”

Haspels’ largest sculpture has been a work in process for nearly three years, and is an example of the sculptor’s patience and ability to let the energy driven process show through in his work. “Reclaiming Vessel” is skillfully carved out of Douglas fir, measures 45” tall by 24” wide, and is presented on a black steel base.

“I worked around the rot that this particular piece of wood had to create the void areas, and to open up the solid walls of the vessel shape”, states Haspels. “This, to me, creates a “container of space”, hopefully drawing the eye into the inner space.”

The second sculpture is a beautifully calming composition entitled “Duo”. It is carved out of Ponderosa pine and stands 24” tall by 25” in diameter. Made up of two pieces, each is hollowed out and placed back to back with a one inch gap between the two. It is also presented on a black steel base.

Please visit http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com for more information on Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts shows, events, and programs.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 through B-4, one block north of Hwy 160 off of North Pagosa Blvd. For additional information on Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, please email shyrabbit01@aol.com.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HOLD IT!.....An Exhibition of Contemporary Containers


Artists' Reception-Saturday, December 9, from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.



Shy Rabbit is proud to announce "Hold It!", an exhibition of contemporary containers. Exhibition dates are December 9, 2006 through January 20, 2007. Artists' Reception is Saturday, December 9, from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. Featured artists are: Chad Haspels, wood; Sarah Hewitt, fiber; Clarissa Hudson, fiber; Terry Inokuma, ceramics; Mary Ellen Long, mixed media; Chris Richter, ceramics; and Shan Wells, mixed media.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Forms, Figures, Symbols" opens Saturday at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts featuring 59 works of contemporary art by 43 artists from around the country




Ronald Gonzalez, N.Y.--"Pin Cushion Man," Marcia Lenke, Mass.--"Untitled 63," Amy Wendland, Colo.--"Kelp."

Pagosa Springs, Colo.—Juror Gerry Riggs, former Director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at CU Colorado Springs, selected 59 works of art by 43 different artists for the upcoming "Forms, Figures, Symbols," a Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Works, Oct. 21 - Nov. 28, 2006 at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts. Opening reception with the artists is Sat., Oct. 21, from 5-8 p.m.

“I was delighted that there were so many submissions to choose from,” Riggs said. “I thought the intake would be mostly from regional artists, but as it happens, there were entries from all over the country. This means that the show has a national scope, which is more than I had hoped for.”

A total of 182 submissions were received from 61 artists working in various mediums throughout the country. Artist’s selected for “Forms, Figures, Symbols” include: Maude Andrade, N.M.; Kelly Angard, Colo.; Sandy Applegate, Colo.; W. Howard Brandenburg, N.M.; Sandra Butler, Colo.; Tirzah Camacho, Colo.; Lou Chapman, Texas; Sarah Comerford, Colo.; Deborah DeGraffenreid, N.Y.; Leah Dunaway, Texas; Lal B. Echterhoff, Colo.; Aaron Englert, Colo.; Ted Fish, Colo.; Ronald Gonzalez, N.Y.; Jean Gumpper, Colo.; C.J. Hannah, Colo.; Crystal Hartman, Colo.; Barbara Heinrich, Colo.; Diana Jacobs, Calif.; Gail Lois Jaffe, Florida.; Bradley Kachnowicz, Colo.; Rebecca Koeppen, Colo.; Shama Ko, Texas.; Marcie Lenke, Mass.; Patrick Linehan, Illinois; Don R. Long, Colo.; Mary Ellen Long, Colo.; Lara Loutrel, Mass.; Raymond Martinez, Colo; Marie McCallum, Colo.; Sid McCammond, Colo.; Daisy McConnell, Colo.; Lynne Medsker, Indiana; Paul F. Morris, Colo.; Maryellen Morrow, Colo.; Al Olson, Colo.; Linda Pampinella, Colo.; Joan Levine-Russell, Colo.; William Secrest, Colo.; Harold D. Seibel, Colo.; Marcy Sperry, Illinois; Don Weir, Colo.; Amy K. Wendland, Colo.

“I ended up selecting about a third of the submissions,” Riggs added. “There is a limit as to what can be reasonably exhibited on Shy Rabbit's walls and I'm certain I pushed the number of selections right up to that limit. I recommended that particular related works be hung stacked in order to accommodate more work than is usually shown.”

The work selected is diverse in medium.

Riggs seemed surprised that “there was not an abundance of three dimensional submissions, but I was particularly pleased with the 3-D selections as they were generally quite contemporary in treatment and varied in their themes, choice of materials and execution.”

Yet for a show entitled, “Forms, Figures, Symbols,” there were not as many figurative submissions as Riggs expected. Many of the figurative submissions didn’t make it into the show, he said. “Not because they weren't well executed, but because they were simply very traditional or academic in treatment. This is a contemporary show and that translates into original, unique or fresh approaches to the subject.”

Riggs is pleased with the work and his selections.

“Overall, I think the show is comparable to many good contemporary exhibitions I have seen or curated in the past, and will prove to be a worthwhile, varied and interesting exhibition for viewers,” he said, then added: “I'm sure it will also give some viewers something to consider, apart from the usual. I am grateful to Shy Rabbit for allowing me to select the show, as I'm sure they knew that my artistic leanings are far from timid or conventional.”

Riggs spent 14-1/2 years at CU Colorado Springs as the Gallery Director and an assistant professor. Prior to that, he was a curator of fine art and an exhibition coordinator at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Earlier in his career he served as the Curator for the C.B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Ardmore, Okla.

Riggs' professional accomplishments include the installation design for over 400 exhibitions. He is credited for transforming the gallery at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs into one of the region's most important art spaces, and the only one dedicated to contemporary art, whether regional of from halfway around the world. He is a member of the American Association of Museums, and the AAM Museum Advocacy Team. Riggs became a full-time resident of Pagosa Springs in 2006. He is an accomplished photographer, session drummer and avid skier.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take Hwy 160 to North Pagosa Blvd., stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Visitors are welcome to call or stop by during non-posted hours. Private appointments are also available by request.

For more information please call (970) 731-2766, email shyrabbit01@aol.com, or log onto http://www.shyrabbit.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Let's Explore" Series

The “Let’s Explore” program brings in guest speakers, slide presentations, films and experts to discuss the many facets of contemporary art and art history. "Let's Explore" is currently scheduled on the second Thursday of each month. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the programs run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

December 14, 2006--"Let's Explore: Art:21 (Spirituality, Consumption)," a viewing of the two themes from the first season of the PBS Series Art:21 (Art in the Twenty-first Century). The theme "Spirituality" is explored through the art of Beryl Korot, Ann Hamilton, John Feodorov, Shahzia Sikander, and James Turrell. The theme "Consumption" is explored through the art of Barbara Kruger, Michael Ray Charles, Matthew Barney, Andrea Zittel and Mel Chin.

November 9, 2006--"Let's Explore: Contemporary Art with Gerry Riggs." A lecture and slide presentation with Riggs, the juror for “Forms, Figures, Symbols,” who has curated more than 400 exhibitions during his museum and gallery career.

October 12, 2006--"Let's Explore: Art:21 (Place, Identity)," a viewing of two themes from the first season of the PBS Series Art:21 (Art in the Twenty-first Century). The theme "Place" is explored through the art of Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Margaret Kilgallen, Berry McGee, and Pepon Osorio. The theme "Identity" is explored through the art of William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Kerry James Marshall, Louise Bourgeois and Maya Lin.

September 14, 2006--"Let's Explore: Isamu Noguchie," a viewing of the documentary film about Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Stones and Paper directed by Niro Narita.

August 10, 2006--"Let's Explore: Andy Goldsworthy,"a viewing of the award-winning documentaryRivers and Tides by filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer

A suggested donation of $5-$10 is recommended.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take Hwy 160 to North Pagosa Blvd., stay on N. Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Forms, Figures, Symbols Prospectus

A JURIED EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY WORKS
@ SHY RABBIT
October 21-November 28, 2006

DOWNLOAD "Forms, Figures, Symbols" ENTRY FORM HERE

ELIGIBILITY
Open to all artists over the age of 18 working in all mediums except for video and film. All works must be framed or finished, exhibit top level presentation, and must have been completed in the last three years. Weight limit for wall-mounted works may not exceed 25 lbs.

JUROR
Gerry Riggs served as Director/Curator of the Gallery of Contemporary Art and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for 14 1/2 years. Riggs also served as the Curator of Fine Art/Exhibition Coordinator at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center and Director/Curator for the C.B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Ardmore, OK. Riggs holds a Masters of Liberal Studies with Museum Emphasis degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts In Art degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Association of Museums and the AAM Museum Advocacy Team.

Riggs' professional accomplishments include the installation design for over 400 exhibitions. He is credited for transforming the gallery at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs into one of the region's most important contemporary art spaces. Riggs is also an accomplished photographer, session drummer, and avid skier. He continues to work as an independent Curator/Consultant.

JUROR’S JUDGING/SELECTION CRITERIA
Shy Rabbit has wisely chosen the broad themes of "Forms, Figures, Symbols" to maximize the range of contemporary expression that may be submitted. Most artists will likely find some affinity with the show's title and their existing work. Forms allows for abstraction and even work based on amorphic or undefined shapes and/or coloration, as well as realisticly rendered, non-figurative works. Figures implies tangible, but not necessarily realistically rendered life-based subject matter; figure studies, etc. Symbols allows for iconographic, even Jungian 'dream-based imagery' to be submitted; this could include imagery incorporating virtually any known symbol, logo, or other highly charged 'representative' cultural or socially-based interpretations.

Given these broad themes, I will select those submissions that I feel are the most: compelling, interesting and/or well executed; appropriately and/or professionally presented; original in style, and/or contemporary/timely in feel or tone. I will also be looking for enough work in 2 & 3 dimensional
mediums to allow for an interesting, varied and balanced installation, in keeping with the high level and broad range of contemporary work that Shy Rabbit has presented in the past.

-Gerry Riggs

IMAGE SPECIFICATIONS
Images must be submitted on CD or DVD. 35mm slide submissions will be considered but high resolution digital images are preferred. CDs/DVDs and slides will not be returned to artists so that images can be kept on file for future reference and documentation.

Digital Specifications:
*.JPG or TIFF file format
*350 ppi at 8.675 inches/22 cm width

35 mm slide specification:
*cardboard or plastic mounts only (no glass)
*protect slides in plastic sleeves
*each slide must include artist’s name and slide number
that corresponds with number on Entry Form
*add $5.oo per slide to Entry Fee for digital scanning

ENTRY DEADLINE: September 19, 2006
Entries must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2006. Artist notification will be by email only on Monday, September 25, 2006.
It is essential that artists have an email address and check it regularly.

FEES
Non-refundable entry fees are $25 for 1-3 images, plus $5 for each additional image, up to a maximum of 6. Slide entries must be accompanied by an additional $5 per slidescanning fee. Fees must accompany entries. Please make checks or money orders payable to: SHY RABBIT. Entries will be mailed to: SHY RABBIT, PO Box 5887, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Entry and slide scanning fees may also be paid by approved credit card (Visa and MasterCard only). Credit card payments will be processed via our DMC ARTS, LLC Merchant Account which is the name that will appear on the card holder’s bank statement.

SALES & COMMISIONS
Sales will be encouraged, therefore all artwork must be available for sale. SHY RABBIT will retain a commission of 40% of the sale price. Price your artwork accordingly, including packaging or special crating costs. Payment to the artist will be mailed within 30 days after receipt of proceeds from sales.

SHIPPING, LIABILITY & INSURANCE
Artists whose work is accepted for the exhibit will be given specific shipping or hand delivery instructions in their Acceptance Notification Email. Shipping and insurance in transit to and from your address is the artist’s responsibility. SHY RABBIT assumes no responsibility and shall not be held responsible for any damage of any kind that occurs during shipping. All work shipped or delivered must include full payment (or approved credit card) for return. All return shipping fees advanced will be returned to the artist if the work is sold. Artists must pack and crate works carefully in RE-USABLE shipping containers. SHY RABBIT will insure all artworks in our possession from the time of their arrival up to the time at which they are sold or shipped to the artist. Insured value will equal the artist’s portion. We will handle work with all reasonable care while in our possession. Artwork that, upon receipt and inspection, is determined to be too fragile to handle in a public exhibition, or potentially hazardous to visitors, will not be unpacked and will be returned to the artist at their own expense.

PRESENTATION
Pedestals and gallery lighting will be provided to show work to its best advantage. Artwork may also be freestanding, ceiling- or wall-mounted. All work must be suitably prepared with proper supports, hanging devices (no sawtooth-type hangers), and clear instructions for installation.

PUBLICITY
“Forms, Figures, Symbols” will be promoted in print, online and in all available art and event calendars regionally, state and nation wide.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS and PERMISSION
Images submitted—and other images of accepted work—may be used on http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com and elsewhere in printed postcards, posters, advertising, catalogs, and other promotional materials and on the Internet, both prior to and following the exhibition. By entering this exhibition and signing the agreement, artists warrant that all artwork they submit for jurying is original to them and that it does not infringe on any other artist’s or entity’s copyrighted or trademarked work. Artists must also have received permission from the photographer of their artwork for SHY RABBIT’s use in catalogs, advertising, and for promotional and sales purposes with no additional financial obligation due to the artist or photographer.

DELIVERY
Accepted work being shipped must be received between October 2-14, 2006, in Pagosa Springs, CO. If hand delivered, it can be received at the exhibition location on Saturday, October 14, 2006, 10:00am to 4:00pm. Work may be disallowed if it is not suitably prepared for exhibition or was not adequately represented by the image submitted for jurying. Exhibiting artists will be provided with full delivery details.

AGREEMENT
The receipt of any application will be understood to imply agreement on the part of the entrant with all conditions set forth and inferred in this prospectus.

For a .PDF file of this Prospectus and Entry Form please send a request via email to shyrabbit01@aol.com.

For additional information please contact SHY RABBIT at:

SHY RABBIT
333 Bastille Drive
PO Box 5887
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

(v) 970.731.2766
(f) 970.731.2659
email: shyrabbit01@aol.com
blog: http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com

Monday, July 31, 2006

"Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition and Knowledge," Master Works by: Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs, Colorado – Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space and gallery, presents “Mind’s Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge”, featuring the masterworks of Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg. The exhibition runs from August 26 – October 7, 2006, with an artist’s reception on Saturday, August 26, from 5-8 p.m.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Shy Rabbit is located at: 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 & B-4. For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com, call (970) 731-2766, or email shyrabbit01@aol.com.

“Mind’s Material” brings the work of Pedersen, Hauck and Isberg together for the first time since their fateful meeting in 1983. The human image is key to each artist’s work, which ends any similarities that they might otherwise exhibit.

Pedersen’s paintings are filled with heads: Heads that look like masks or ancient sculptures. Heads with mouths agape, or lips pursed. Heads with cratered eyes. Red faces on green backgrounds. Gobs of paint and layers of color masterfully applied to canvas creating images of heads filled with expressions of the here and now.

Hauck’s collage figures often incorporate fine Japanese papers that look as if they could be brush strokes of paint. Capturing movement, laughter, emotion and spirit in tiny pieces of paper all placed together to create an image that might be equally beautiful and disturbing.

Isberg paints abstracted heads and figures, using color and geometry to express desire and emotion. Some of his work is vibrant and colorful; other paintings are muted and subdued.

This work evokes passion and stirs emotion. It is art that expresses the human condition, with all its frailties and strengths. It is art that beckons a closer look, and that speaks in uniquely personal terms to each viewer that chances a better understanding.

For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.


Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take Hwy 160 to North Pagosa Blvd., stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

Let's Explore Alfred Steiglitz: Stieglitz changed art in America

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Alfred Stieglitz showed the works of Cezanne, Picasso, Rodin and Matisse at his Little Gallery of the Photo-Secession, six years before the famed Armory Show in 1913.

On July 13, 2006, 21 interested artists, photographers and community members gathered at Shy Rabbit for a presentation on Stieglitz and his 291 Gallery by Dr. Marilee Jantzer-White.

White, who teaches art history at Fort Lewis College, is a petite woman with a passion for her work. She talked without notes for over an hour about modern art in the early 20th century. More importantly, she provided slides to visually highlight the spectacular differences between American Art in early 1900 and the work of those that Stieglitz promoted.

The realism and austerity of photography at the time, used only to document things as they existed, was represented in the work of Timothy Sullivan, a Civil War photographer. This contrasted with the work of Stieglitz, whose famous photo "The Steerage" is all about line and form.

Even more dramatically, White showed slides of work by Thomas Cole from the Hudson River School representing painters trying to capture the realism of nature on the canvas. Stieglitz wanted photography to be considered fine art and in order to do so, felt that painting no longer needed to document things as they are in nature, but should move in a new direction. The only work he found at the time was that of European painters like Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse.

Seeing a work by Matisse, with all its vibrant, emotional color, or a work by Cezanne, with it's geometry of white canvas and focused color, in contrast with a painting by someone like Thomas Cole drives home the vast difference between what was considered art and taught in the art schools at the time, and what we now know as modern art.

Stieglitz believed that painters and photographers should not mimic what the other can achieve in their medium.

It was in 1907, 1908 and 1909 that Stieglitz launched the first exhibitions of Picasso's work in the United States. Stieglitz also showed nudes by Rodin that had so incensed the German public that the gallery director who showed the works in Germany had to resign. In the United States, all of Rodin's nude work sold to mostly women.

American artist John Marin was a Stieglitz favorite and it was fascinating to see Stieglitz photographs of the Woolworth Building in New York next to an abstracted painting by Marin of the same scene.

Yet, many artists disagreed with Stieglitz emphasis on European painting and sculpture, believing that the genius of America was in its machinery and that American artists needed to focus on something entirely new. Eventually, artists like Duchamp, O'Keeffe and Arthur Dove would move in that direction.

Until 1930, O'Keeffe painted very small, but influenced by muralists like Diego Rivera and moving away from Stieglitz's philosophy, she began painting what she described as something American, something big and up close.

It was Duchamp who felt that Stieglitz had it all wrong and that American art should go in a different direction. And it did. Today, Duchamp is more well-known than any American painter shown by Stieglitz. Very few people have ever heard of John Marin or Arthur Dove. Even O'Keeffe is better known than her husband, Alfred Stieglitz.

The presentation by Dr. White was the first in a series called "Let's Explore," a new program at Shy Rabbit. "Let's Explore Alfred Stieglitz" was made possible by the generous donation of slide projectors and screens from Bruce Andersen and Jim Struck. The event was coordinated by Al Olson.

The "Let's Explore" series will continue to bring in guest speakers, slide presentations, films and experts to discuss the many facets of art and art history.

In August, "Let's Explore" will feature a film on Andy Goldsworthy and in September, a film on Isamu Noguchi.

"The 'Let's Explore' series is an opportunity to bring in experts in their field to Pagosa and for those of us actively involved in the creation of Shy Rabbit to do what we love&emdash;explore art in all it's many forms and facets, sit around and talk about it and share in the experience," Michael Coffee said.

"Let's Explore--Goldsworthy" is one night only, Aug. 12, and "Let's Explore--Noguchi" is Sept. 14. The suggested donation for both films is $5.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, go north to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Select Works" opens July 1 at Shy Rabbit

Pagosa Springs, Colorado—“Select Works” opens July 1 @ Shy Rabbit with artists: Susan Andersen (Marsan), mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Sarah Comerford, painting; Ron Fundingsland, intaglio printmaking; Deborah Gorton, mixed media; Shaun Martin, painting; Al Olson, photography; Lisa Pedolsky, ceramics; and Kate Petley, resin on acrylic panels. A reception for the artists will be held from 5-8 p.m. Regular gallery hours beginning July 1 are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. with extended hours on the second Thursday of the month from 1-6:30 p.m.

MarSan’s works are about emergence. The emergence of simple earthly objects to an elevated state of recognition, or the combining of earthy objects formed together to shed light on the process of emergence. “It is like the Dragon Fly incubating in cocooned darkness till it’s emergence to light. The transformation is not so much about a particular change that transpires but more about the shedding of light on particular objects or transformations,” Anderson says.
Some of the pieces selected for this show are unchanged, only slightly embellished or have been put together with another piece, creating complimentary parallels or complimentary opposites.

“I find beauty in simplicity, which when isolated, has a sophistication that seems beyond human endeavor. On the other hand I find ingenuity in artistic construction and an insight into the individual psyche especially when the construction is put to paper, sculpture, music, or words,” Anderson says.

D. Michael Coffee has worked extensively in all types of media, including painting, wood, metal, architecture, printmaking and ceramics. “Art is my passion and the true backbone of my existence,” he says. “I cannot lay claim to any particular style or genre, as I am primarily interested in nonlinear paths of development in the objects I make.”

For Coffee, each step of the art making process is part of a personal inner journey. The common thread that stitches his work together is an overriding desire to be surprised by the outcome, as though he wasn’t present during the process.

“The art that I create is a product of a concerted effort to exploit my powers of intuition for the sheer joy of attempting to reach a ‘mindless mind’ state of awareness,” Coffee says. “For me, the challenge is to let go of predetermined understanding and foresight, and to work on developing my instincts. I strive to create outside of my conscious self, empowered by the strength of my intuition. I tend to select materials that are simple, so as not to become material bound. When I am successful, the pieces that I create truly represent the sum total of my life experiences and visual histories.”

As a figurative painter, Sarah Comerford looks to the body as a metaphor that can reveal intangible things about the human experience of embodiment. “I am inspired by events that have shaped culture and by lives that have been misshaped by culture,” Comerford writes in her artist statement.

Comerford’s work uses a language of dichotomy in an attempt to point out the inherent contradictions in life such as the appreciation of beauty despite cruelty, or the realization of joy despite degeneration of the spirit and mind. She often pulls in historical reference to other artists who have explored similar concepts.
Ron Fundingsland is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and the International Print Triennial Society. His traditional intaglio and aquatint prints were recently exhibited in New York; Cairo, Egypt; and Lincoln, Nebraska. It is his voice that we recognize more readily in Southwest Colorado, as Fundingsland is a radio announcer at KSUT.

Fundingsland says in his artist statement that he is affected by a number of social, political and personal issues that are frequently seen in his work. “More often than not, I think of it as commentary,” he writes.

Yet his most recent work is a direct reaction to the force of social and political issues. It is a response to the overwhelming intensity of our world situation and a way to create something beautiful in an ugly time.
Deborah Gorton expresses a similar idea of history in her work. “Whether this series of work portrays the image of ancient symbols and messages that were just discovered or a futuristic one that could be revealed some time in the future, after our society has disappeared and been buried by time, is something I leave for the viewer to decide,” Gorton says.

Gorton’s work is about creating a sense of layers through imagery, of revealing images from long ago that have been covered up and forgotten. “I feel like my own personal process in life is one of peeling back my layers, reaching deeper and deeper within myself to discover the core of my being,” Gorton says.

Gorton’s works with a combination of materials in order to achieve this impression of layers: Beginning with a stretched canvas she uses acrylics, mediums, papers, parts of old books or text, found and manufactured objects, beads and artifacts.

Shaun Martin also works intuitively. “My recent work has been all about keeping myself open. I feel a real collaboration with my art,” Martin says. “I allow pieces to form and show me certain directions to explore. This keeps me present as I’m creating. I love the anticipation of seeing the surface textures come alive with depth and color.”

Martin uses symbols to represent concepts, people, places and movement. Sometimes the titles of the work lead to an understanding of the symbols. Other times, the titles are just for personal expression.

“To me, the pieces feel like a memory of a cultural or personal ceremony,” Martin says.

Al Olson enjoys making in-camera images to create a vision that oftentimes contrasts with our normal experience by creating abstract elements or using unusual lighting effects, camera angles, film media, and subject matter that permit the viewer to use their own imagination to interpret the composition.

Olson uses extended exposures under low light conditions, infrared media (both B&W and color), slow shutter effects, and multiple exposures on a single frame.

“My purpose is to create critical photographs that meet standards for fine art photography,” Olson writes in his artist statement. The integrity of the image is important to Olson. He achieves all of his effects using the camera and standard darkroom procedures.

Lisa Pedolsky acquires deep satisfaction from working with clay by addressing both function and form. All of her ceramics incorporate a functional aspect, but the work goes deeper than strict utility—serving as a vehicle for self-expression. Pedolsky draws upon an ecclectic mix of influences, ranging from childhood toys to architecture to textiles. They often appear in subtle and surprising ways, contributing to the character of a piece.

The hand built forms Pedolsky creates are intended to invite the viewer in through tactile as well as visual interaction. Through this close perspective an intimacy with the work is created.

Kate Petley is an artist who uses unusual materials to grant viewers a dazzling glimpse of light itself. Petley’s technical wizardry evokes a world of associations, and recent panels begin with an exotic and unforgiving process.

Beginning with a handmade transparent screen, detailed reflections are projected onto the wall that Petley photographs and prints on fragile film. Gooey resins laminate these films to acrylic panels in a painstaking process. Corrections are impossible, and the unpredictable resin process introduces small bubbles and drops that are amazingly projected onto the wall. The tiniest drop appears to be huge, hypnotizing the eyes and disorienting the senses. Like an extreme collage project, done with impossibly sticky resins, drawings are also layered into the panels. Resembling an odd, juicy flat-screen, the panels again cast a reflection on the wall behind them, doubling the image with dizzying effects. They are a reflection of a reflection and form yet another new reflection. This strangely sensual cycle repeats itself with endless variables.

Acclaimed for her ability to surprise, Petley’s work contains special effects that address sensory perception. Inspiring viewers to notice the subtle optical effects created by light, Petley slows the very act of seeing. An optimistic abstraction runs through her work, but it is not na├»ve or simple. By reinforcing the unbelievable richness of experience, found in the minute details of everything surrounding us, Petley expresses vital hopefulness.

Shy Rabbit—a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery—is gaining widespread recognition for its cutting edge exhibitions and professional workshops. Shy Rabbit appeals to discerning art-lovers, and area visitors alike, with its contemporary appearance and welcoming atmosphere.

“Select Works” will be on display through August 12. Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take Hwy 160 to North Pagosa Blvd., stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

Contemporary art @ Shy Rabbit: "Select Works" open July 1













Top Row: "Untitled," mixed media by MarSan (Susan Andersen) and "Big Box," handbuilt ceramics by Lisa Pedolsky
Second Row: "Blue Zinnia," aquatint print by Ron Fundingsland
Bottom: "Titles Unknown," resin on acrylic by Kate Petley

Contemporary art @ Shy Rabbit: "Select Works" open July 1
























Top Row: "Title Unknown," oil painting by Sarah Comerford; "Title Unknown," mixed media by Deborah Gorton;
Middle Row: "The Birth of an Idea," acrylic on canvas by Shaun Martin; "Clouds II," B&W infrared photograph by Al Olson.
Bottom Row: "Fish," wheel thrown and altered ceramics by D. Michael Coffee

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sculpture Workshop Ends

































The Beginning Sculpture workshop ended on June 14. Roberto Garcia said most of his students would have earned As and Bs had he been grading their work. Personally, I'd give them all As. Once everyone finished the female head and learned the basic techniques they were off and running creating some wildly creative work. Hard to believe this is the first time most of these people have ever sculpted anything.

Everyone looks forward to additional sculpture workshops in the Fall. Keep on sculpting and thanks to all who participated. Watch for more workshops, taught by master artisans, hosted by Shy Rabbit.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Beginning Sculpture-Session 5

































For most participants, their female heads are finished (or as finished as they are going to be) and much progress has been made on the independent projects. There are angels, dogs, horses, ravens and bas-relief figures. The progress of these students is amazing. Their work is polished, competent and professional.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

lost Wax Method-Step 1



From sketch to clay model. This is only the beginning.

lost Wax Method-Step 2



A reusable silicone mold is made from the clay model. Plaster helps support the flexible silicone.

lost Wax Method-Step 3



A hollow wax copy of the clay master is made.

Lost Wax Method-Step 4



A ceramic shell mold is developed over the hollow wax copy.

Lost Wax Method-Step 5



The wax is burned out (lost wax) leaving a ceramic shell mold with pouring and venting systems for the molten bronze.

Lost Wax Method-Step 6



The ceramic shell is filled with molten bronze and then cooled.

Lost Wax Method-Step 7



When the bronze cools it is removed from the mold and welded back together, filed and smoothed, and then finished with a patina.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Beginning Sculpture-Session 3
























In session three, Roberto Garcia helped sculpture students create armatures for their unique projects: labrador retrievers, bas reliefs, ravens, figures. Garcia also gave an extensive lecture on the mold making process.

Sculptors continue to work on their heads and the details of facial expression, lips, eyes, nose, hair. Everyone seems to have mastered creating their head at 3/4 size of the original and all the heads are now similar in dimension, which makes instructor Garcia very happy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Beginning Sculpture-Session 2
























The second session of Beginning Sculpture was a rousing success. In spite of some trepidation about lopping off the extra clay and exposing the copper armature wires and reshaping it with a hammer, everyone is making tremendous progress. This is an awesome experience for new sculptors, learning the incredible amount of detail that goes into creating the human head in clay.

Students brought along their sketches for a second sculpture of their imagining, and Roberto provided them with instructions for making their own armature to begin the next project.