Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do you have an artist within?

Eye-popping exhibit @ the Eco Quilts show

I have been close to two women in my life who are painters. One woman paints the visual life of her environs in a colorful Matisse-like style that delights. She paints her interior and exterior landscape, her cats, chickens, dogs, and friends. I was lucky enough to live nearby and was included in many of her paintings.  The other woman paints enormous canvases in a style reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe and shares whatever vision she is currently being fed from the collective unconscious. I think Carl Jung would have liked her paintings because they are filled with mythical symbolism.  Both artists received BFA degrees from hometown colleges, and they were driven to this artistic expression. Both make painting look easy.
There have been times when I have tried to emulate them and attempt to paint something.  The finished product ended up looking like my kindergarten paintings – all the primary colors colliding with each other and dissolving into a muddy brown.  There is much creativity wanting to pour out of me, but painting may not be my medium. Thankfully, there are ways other than painting to create. Gardening and landscape architecture are a way to bring a Monet painting into the third dimension. Furthermore, there is architecture, design, photography, jewelry-making, sculpture, and textile arts, to name a few.  For years, I have admired the artistry of Amish quilts with their bold use of geometry and color; they are incredible graphic creations that incorporate form with function.
Eco Quilts Show exhibit
In southeast Denver there exists a place where textile artists can share, learn, experiment, and exhibit their work. It is called TACtile - Textile Arts Center, Rocky Mountain Region. There is always something being stitched up by the center. Coming to an end this week is an exhibition of “Eco Quilts: Earth Sensitive Textile Arts.” Patchwork and quilting has for centuries been a creative way women have recycled torn or worn clothing into blankets. The show is being held at the Women’s College at the University of Denver through September 30.
Eco Quilts: Crazy quilt and Hankie quilts
When the call for entries came for this show I sent a photo of a “crazy quilt” I had stitched from old velvet, silk and satin dresses. Crazy quilts do not form straight lines or squares but are put together in a haphazard and crazy way. The embroidery on the quilt - plants, animals, birds, buildings - tells a tale of travel and signifies the many countries that I have visited and experienced. To my amazement, the quilt was selected for the show and in that acceptance I was termed “an artist.” Who knew? There are two quilts on display, close to mine, in the gallery hall which are made from old “hankies” collected from different places around the world reflecting the travel theme of mine. Other wonderful quilts at the show use beads, buttons, and colorful fabric scraps to create eye popping graphics. The photos say a thousand words.

Other exhibits at the Eco Quilt Show
Information below:
Textile Arts Center
1955 South Quince Street, Suite 200    
Denver Colorado 80231
Located Northeast of Quebec and Evans/Iliff



Another big shout out to a great community center devoted to art, creativity and yoga – how cool is that? - the Half MoonStudios in Denver. The Half Moon Studios mission is to:
“to promote art and creativity on a community level, bringing joy and inspiration to others through the arts. Housed within Half Moon Studios is a working artist’s studio, as well as a multi-use gallery space which exhibits culturally relevant, contemporary works. Half Moon Studios also hosts a variety of open studio events, art salons, film nights and creative workshops throughout the year, as well as art classes for both children and adults. We at Half Moon believe the arts should be tangibly and financially accessible to all and aim to touch the lives of the people we serve in profound and encouraging ways.”

The current show on exhibit there is titled "Back of Beyond" and features the large scale ink paintings by one of the co-founders, Jared David Paul.

Information for Half Moon below:

Half Moon Studios
901 West 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

These are two great community centers that can encourage and allow the artist within all of us to find a medium of expression.

1 comment:

  1. These are great. Keep up the interesting blogs with pics on the sense of place.