Monday, January 12, 2009

Notes from SHY RABBIT; January, 2009

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is pleased to publish the second edition of “Notes from SHY RABBIT”; a comprehensive listing of art exhibitions, workshops and programs.

Notes from SHY RABBIT is updated quarterly and will include:

•At a Glance
•Exhibition Schedule (In Review and Upcoming)
•ARTAdvantage Program

At a Glance: SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts

Known as Southern Colorado’s premier contemporary art destination, SHY RABBIT is now celebrating 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, 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: In Review
(September, 2008 – January, 2009)

”DIALOGUES” (October 4 – November 15, 2008) was a highly successful group exhibition that served to introduce the work of four talented emerging and nationally recognized artists new to SHY RABBIT walls. This eclectic exhibition featured works that suggested 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/drawings. The exhibition also included a collaborative “DIALOGUES” Project by Debra Blair, New Mexico, paintings; and Marti Bledsoe, Colorado, monoprints, in the SHY RABBIT print studio gallery. ”DIALOGUES” will be repeated annually, featuring artist submissions received by SHY RABBIT and reviewed for consideration for exhibition and/or gallery feature throughout the course of the year.

“For the Small of It” (November 22, 2008 – January 17, 2009) followed on the heels of ”DIALOGUES”, featuring nearly 100 high quality works that encouraged us to slow down and contemplate the small things by: 18 local, regional and national artists working in different medias. “For the Small of It” was very well attended, despite the inclement weather and heavy snows that persisted throughout the exhibition, drawing in large numbers of local and long-distance visitors. Sales were good, with 26 pieces of artwork selling, split between local and out of town collectors.

SHY RABBIT 2009 Exhibition Schedule: Upcoming
(March, 2009 - January, 2010)

•“Portraits” (March 14 – April 18, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, March 14, 5-8:00 p.m.
This invitational portraiture exhibition will feature works in varying media by:
D. Michael Coffee, Colorado, monoprints; Sarah Comerford, Colorado, paintings; Mike Frisk, Arizona, paintings; Karl Isberg, Colorado, paintings; Ivy King, Colorado, mixed media; Shaun Martin, Colorado, paintings; Maureen May, Colorado, mixed media.

•“The Photograph” (May 2 – June 6, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, May 2, 5-8:00 p.m.
Featuring thoughtfully conceived contemporary photography by emerging and nationally recognized artists.

•“Paper & Clay II” Invitational (June 20 – August 8, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, June 20, 5-8:00 p.m.
Featuring original hand-pressed monoprints and ceramics by emerging and nationally recognized artists at the invitation of Brad Schwieger (“Clay”), Professor of Art and Ceramics Area Chairman, Ohio University, Ohio, and D. Michael Coffee (“Paper”), professional artist and SHY RABBIT “Printmaking without a Press” instructor.

•“SHY RABBIT Print National” (August 15 – September 26, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, August 15, 5-8:00 p.m.
This juried exhibition will feature exemplary print selections by local, regional and nationally recognized printmakers.

•“DIALOGUES II” (October 10 – November 7, 2009)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, October 10, 5-8:00 p.m.
This group exhibition will introduce the work of select talented emerging and nationally recognized artists new to SHY RABBIT, based on artist submissions received and reviewed for consideration for exhibition and/or gallery feature throughout the course of the year. Selected works are intended to suggest an exchange of ideas or opinions and to provoke thought and introspection.

•“For the LARGE and the SMALL of It” (November 21, 2009 – January 9, 2010)
-Opening Reception: Saturday, November 21, 5-8:00 p.m.
Featuring works that will encourage us to slow down and contemplate the small things by: a select group of local, regional and national artists working in different medias.


Entering its second year, WORK-Shops @ SHY RABBIT has continuously grown in popularity and scale. Nearly 165 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 and optional studio time.

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 handful of advanced level printmakers were invited to participate in “DIALOGUES” and “For the SMALL of It” by SHY RABBIT Instructor, D. Michael Coffee, resulting in the sale of several pieces 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 10,000 postcard mailers introducing ArtistsNet associates and their work to a nationwide audience.

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 ARTAdvantage 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 those 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 called the SHY RABBIT ARTAdvantage Program, designed 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.

Implementation of the SHY RABBIT ARTAdvantage Program began in the fall of 2008, resulting in the granting of a number of full and/or partial scholarships for ceramic and printmaking WORK-Shops @ SHY RABBIT to deserving participants.

If you would like more information about SHY RABBIT ARTAdvantage Program or would like to become a supporter, please contact us by Clicking Here. We also accept direct support contributions to this program via PayPal. Contributions to this program are not tax deductible at this time.

Thanks for your interest and we look forward to your support of SHY RABBIT ARTAdvantage Program.

We need the very best among us as [Artist] members. We’ll never get them to step forward if we keep cheaply making targets of them;

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt, Paris, 1910

For more information on these or 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

No comments: