Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Flames from a campfire spew sparks into the cold air, a warm welcome at Salto’s First Friday happy hour. Inside, live music is lively, happy and conversation buzzes over the tables.
Locals meet for drinks and appetizers and a chance to talk to the artist who opened her show on Friday. Jaci Lee Reno, who moved here last year from Minnesota, says she became interested in art when she was 12 years old. She delved into sketches and went to art museums.
“At that time, I was lucky enough to join a community arts program in Minnetonka. I was into abstract then and working in oil, but a year later I got into acrylics. I love the texture and use the paint flat out of the tube. I don’t add water.”
Jaci and her husband moved to the area on August First and this is her first show in Colorado. She says she loves Nederland and the mountains and is eager to try to paint the mountains in an abstract environment.
Jaci’s paintings are bright and bold and draw the eye to the top of the walls where they have a sense of movement.
“While I sometimes sketch out ideas, my pieces usually come together spontaneously in short bursts of inspiration. To me, art should be fun and liberating, not restraining.”
Pointing to a painting in the corner, Jaci says “The Circle of Life” has a special meaning.” She began working on it three days before her mother died and she was able to touch it, feel the texture of the paint.
“I am so proud of you,” she told her daughter who knew the chosen colors were what her mom liked to wear.
That painting is not for sale.
First Fridays are casual events, featuring an artist and local bands.
(Originally published in the November 9, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)