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, or log onto

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