Monday, December 11, 2006

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 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

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