Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Note from SHY RABBIT" 09.25.08

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is pleased to introduce “Notes from SHY RABBIT”, a comprehensive listing of art exhibitions, workshops and programs.

Notes from SHY RABBIT will be updated quarterly and will include:

• At a Glance
• Exhibition Schedule (2008 – 2009)
• WORK-Shops
• ArtistsNet
• ART Advantage Program

At a Glance: SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts

Known as Southern Colorado’s premier contemporary art destination, SHY RABBIT is now in its fifth year of operation in Pagosa Springs. The 4,000 square foot arts facility is located ‘off the beaten path’ in a wooded commercial district on the west end of town. SHY RABBIT houses a fine art gallery and ceramic studio, two mixed-media workshops, a well-lit exhibition space, and a print studio gallery.

SHY RABBIT is currently offering educational workshops in ceramics, printmaking, and artist professional development year round, and is gaining national recognition for the high caliber of its gallery offerings and rotating exhibitions.

SHY RABBIT is widely acknowledged for its continuing contribution to the advancement of contemporary art and art education in the Four Corners region. Operating as a social mission-based enterprise, SHY RABBIT is interested in strengthening our creative economy and improving the quality of life in our community.

SHY RABBIT Exhibition Schedule:
(May 2008 – Aug. 2009)

The “Paper & Clay” Invitational (May 17 – July 6, 2008) was a huge success, introducing the work of 18 talented ceramists and printmakers to a new audience. The show brought in a steady flow of familiar faces mixed in with a great many new ones, totaling over 500 visitors throughout the duration of the show. Their numbers included several out of state visitors who traveled to Pagosa Springs specifically to see “Paper & Clay” and to learn more about the many facets of SHY RABBIT.

Following on the heels of a busy summer gallery season, the SHY RABBIT 2008 exhibition schedule continues with:

• “DIALOGUES” (Oct. 4 – Nov. 15, 2008)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, Oct. 4, 5-8:00 p.m.
Featuring works that suggest an exchange of ideas and opinions by: Carrianne Hendrickson, New York, ceramics; Marcie Paper, New York, paintings; Jeff Pender, North Carolina, ceramics; and Christopher St. John, New Mexico, paintings. Also showing a collaborative “DIALOGUES” project by Debra Blair, New Mexico, and Marti Bledsoe, Colorado, in the SHY RABBIT print studio gallery.

• “For the Small of It” (Nov. 22, 2008 – Jan. 17, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, Nov. 22, 5-8:00 p.m.
Featuring works that will encourage us to slow down and contemplate the small things by: 18 local, regional and national artists working in different medias.

SHY RABBIT’s 2009 exhibition schedule follows in part:

• “The Portrait” (March 14 – April 18, 2009)
This invitational portraiture exhibition will feature works in varying media by local, regional and nationally recognized artists.
• “Paper & Clay II” Invitational (May 2 – June 13, 2009)
Featuring original hand-pressed monoprints and ceramics by emerging and nationally recognized artists.
• “National Juried Print Exhibition” (June 27 – Aug. 22, 2009)
Featuring exemplary print selections by local, regional and nationally recognized printmakers.


Celebrating the completion of its first year, WORK-Shops @ SHY RABBIT has continuously grown in popularity. Nearly 130 students have successfully completed the classes to date. A large percentage of these students have also chosen to continue through intermediate and advanced levels of course offerings.

Offerings have expanded to include beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of:

• Printmaking without a Press
This 2-day printmaking workshop utilizes a unique hand-pressed printing process called "Reductive Ink"™, developed over the course of nearly 20 years by professional artist, D. Michael Coffee.
• Basic Ceramic Techniques and Hand-building:
This 2-day workshop focuses on hand forming, texturing, and assembling clay, all without the use of a potter's wheel or other equipment.
• Ceramics from the Potter’s Wheel
This 5-week course establishes good working fundamentals for students who have never used the potter’s wheel or for those who are continuing to build their basic skills.

In consideration of the exemplary work produced during Printmaking without a Press levels I-III, a select group of advanced level printmakers were invited to participate in “Paper & Clay” by SHY RABBIT Instructor, D. Michael Coffee. This resulted in the sale of six prints and exposure to a greatly expanded market. Others have gone on to show their work in juried exhibitions and invitationals, and are continuing to advance the "Reductive Ink"™ printmaking process while developing their own creative voice.

SHY RABBIT has also had great success with its professional artist development series, Expose Yourself, which currently includes:

• Photograph Your Work
This high content, 2-day workshop is designed to expose artists to the methods necessary to capture, manipulate, save and send digital images of their work for use in the development of their professional careers.
• The Artist’s Card
This high content, 1-day workshop is designed to expose participants to the basics of graphic layout, design, formatting, and uploading of files for printing by online internet, 4-color printing services, in the creation of a promotional postcard.

WORK-Shops @ SHY RABBIT are held in one of two spacious 1,000 square-foot mixed media studios, and are led by professional artist and ceramist, D. Michael Coffee. For additional information on D. Michael Coffee, visit

Comments from previous workshop participants:

"It takes a gifted teacher to make every student, no matter what level, feel excited about what they are producing. Michael has a great way of homing right in on the strengths of a piece. Imagine being guaranteed that you will come away from a class being jazzed about skills, vision, or whatever that you did not even know you had. His technique is compelling. Results are quick. It is very creative, all absorbing, play."

“I came home ecstatic both days of the workshop. Michael showed me ways to achieve an extra-special look that I have been striving for in my works on paper. The workshop went way beyond my expectations. Incredible techniques, especially if you have used traditional printmaking methods in the past. What I learned will add an extra dimension to my current artwork. Michael was an extremely knowledgeable, fun instructor. Highly recommended.”


Launched in June of 2008, SHY RABBIT ArtistsNet is an association of artists who value arts education and advocate for “artists helping artists” in developing viable, sustainable, professional futures. The true strength of this association is in the combined resources of the individual artists participating, allowing for the expansion and promotion of this cooperative support network.

The 14 associates who currently participate in SHY RABBIT ArtistsNet have been instrumental in the development and support of WORK-shops @ SHY RABBIT. Their participation in ArtistsNet has paved the way for their own advancement through the design and distribution of 5,000 postcard mailers introducing ArtistsNet associates and their work to a nationwide audience. An additional 5,000 cards are planned for distribution this fall.

ArtistsNet associates work is also featured on the SHY RABBIT website at:, with links to their individual ArtistsNet pages and personal websites.

The combined resources of this cooperative support network, in conjunction with SHY RABBIT, has also allowed for membership in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Farmington, and Santa Fe area Chambers of Commerce, as well as monthly print advertising in a nationally recognized art publication.

To date, this collaborative marketing effort has proven quite successful, generating sales and the commission of artwork by ArtistsNet associates. Samples of their work can be viewed on widely distributed postcard mailers, and on the SHY RABBIT website at:

SHY RABBIT ART Advantage Program

SHY RABBIT’s mission is to promote, teach, and nurture the creation of and appreciation for contemporary arts. One of SHY RABBIT’s most heart-felt goals is to enable the economically disadvantaged, who would not have the opportunity or the resources otherwise, to participate in high quality ceramic and printmaking workshops hosted by SHY RABBIT.

Another important goal is to help artists, who may not have the resources available to them, to purchase the supplies needed for the creation of their work. In addition, SHY RABBIT would like to afford artists the opportunity to attend one of their long distance opening receptions by paying a portion of their travel expenses. SHY RABBIT believes that interaction with the public is an important part of an artist’s professional development, and that it builds self-confidence and a better understanding of one’s viability in the marketplace. Personal introduction to the public is also of great benefit to potential collectors interested in knowing more about an artist’s work process and philosophies.

In pursuit of these goals, SHY RABBIT has created a scholarship and funding program to expand upon the benefits it currently offers in arts education. Funds are being provided by SHY RABBIT in conjunction with a group of generous supporters who also believe that art has the ability to change and improve the quality of our lives. SHY RABBIT will begin implementation of this program this fall.

“Museums of art will not make a country an art country. But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums. Better still, there will be the happiness that is in the making. Art tends towards balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living - very good things for anyone to be interested in.”
-THE ART SPIRIT: Robert Henri (1865-1929) Notes, Articles, Fragments of Letters and Talks, compiled by Margery Ryerson.

For more information on any of the exhibitions, workshops and/or art programs offered at SHY RABBIT, please visit and click on the applicable link at the top of the page. Check back often as the website is updated regularly and offerings change.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S.160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard. SHY RABBIT Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. If you would like your name added to the SHY RABBIT e- announcement list, please send a request to
SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts

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