Barbara Lawlor, Nederland
Summer in the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway corridor is an art gallery filled with the beauty and mystery of nature.
Art at the Center in the Nederland Community Center is a show that captures the talent and vision of the people who live here.
Last Thursday’s reception for this summer’s artists was the usual gala event, with delicious finger food, a choice of wines—and, of course, the opportunity to speak to the artists.
The summer reception added a new, interactive, messy-but-fun event: demonstrations by a couple of the artists and a photography shoot by photographer Sue Daniels with models Mackenzie Belden and Rebecca Hermann, Nederland High School graduates. Changing costume along with attitude, these two young women had a great time under the spotlights, and the crowd enjoyed watching them and learning some helpful tips towards making beauty more beautiful.
Local award-winning painter Marie Channer began creating one of her popular horse portraits as people watched her eye a photograph and then recreate it with paint on a large canvas. Channer was also one of the featured artists whose work has been shown and admired all over the Front Range.
While people chatted and sipped and munched, they gazed at the NCC gallery, with art hung in the hallways, stairs, and the community room. Pianist Glenn Colby created a jazzy atmosphere, nostalgic and pleasant. As viewers meandered through the halls, they voted for their favorite works. There would be three winners.
At the end of the night, the votes were counted and Nancy Kirkendall was the first-place winner with her bold, scenic acrylic landscapes. Kirkendall helped novices apply paint to canvases in the community room, saying, “I like wet on wet paint canvas. You start with one color and then build with others and the colors blend. This process makes you go quick and spontaneous. You go through intuition and heart and mind. Then you let it dry and go over it with fresh paint.”
Nine-year-olds Maddie Brewer and Abby Norman tried their hand with the bright, gooey paint and said they liked it “ ’cause it dries fast.”
Carol Cavalaris, the second-place winner, included four large floral paintings, but not her usual still life. Carol says, “My Language of Flowers series was inspired by my fascination with the colors and textures of flowers and the way they always speak to my heart.”
Cavalaris is a multi-media artist, using computer art programs as well as brushes to paint. Her computer is her canvas and she loves to blend reality and fantasy together, sometimes combining photo sources and painting techniques to create unique mixed-media images she calls living art. Her flower images are vividly real, and at the same time the blossoms, the stems, the leaves form a mystical aura that contains more than light and color.
Rebecca Linn, a Ward artist known for capturing locals in the community in her intricate drawings, was named third place winner for her India ink and walnut ink on Scraperboard and clapboard work. Her process combines ink washes, drawing, and removing pigment. Her work “Homecoming” invited people to stop and look deeply into the drawing, to the woman walking up a path toward a porch where a hand and a dog awaited her.
She says, “Our lives consist of profound experiences that leave us changed in many ways. This allegorical piece tells the story of a loved one who returns from a place of frightening misery.”
Attending an Art at the Center showing is an event that can be enjoyed all summer long when visiting the gym, the theater, or other activities to be held in the next few months. Take some time to walk through the halls and ponder the stories and subjects that local artists take in and then give back to the community.