Color-filled exhibit opens at museum

Posted 11/20/10

Littleton’s Fine Arts Committee opened its 45th annual Own and Original exhibit on Nov. 18 with a festive reception attended by participating …

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Color-filled exhibit opens at museum


Littleton’s Fine Arts Committee opened its 45th annual Own and Original exhibit on Nov. 18 with a festive reception attended by participating artists, friends and families and members of the Littleton Library/Museum.

Show juror, painter Susie Hyer, discussed her approach to selection of included works and choice of awards before leading a gallery tour through the show. There are 101 paintings and sculptures exhibited in the handsome exhibit, including three paintings by Hyer, who is a well recognized landscape painter and teacher.

She spoke to artists regarding her selections, saying a “pretty high level of professionalism” in the digital entry is important. They shouldn’t show frames, tags, etc. She recommends hiring a professional photographer. “Some had to go right away” on that basis. Next, she looks for “strong visual ideas and beauty in arrangement of shape. I try not to look at subject matter and get caught up in emotions… I look for a strong idea behind the work… By looking at several pieces, I can see where they’re going.”

Painter Victoria Morris Eklelund received the Best of Show award for her luminous oil painting of a young woman reading: “Reading at the Metropolis.” In her gallery tour, Hyer commented that she could as well have given the award to Ekelund’s other strong entry, “Smokin.’” The visual impact jumped out.

Ekelund says that she asked her daughter to bring a book and pose for her when she participated in the Denver Plein Air event held in the Golden Triangle Museum District last summer. “I wanted to submit a figure as most of the paintings submitted for this event don’t have figures as the center of interest. I did a 9 X 12 study with more of the whole figure. I ended up not submitting it to that show, but from it I knew what I wanted to do. I changed the format from landscape to portrait and went for a more graphic approach. I liked the black on black with her porcelain skin and a bit of red and green thrown in.”

An experienced plein air artist (see her work in the current Plein Air Society’s show at the Denver Central Library), her website says she has recently returned to figurative painting. Her award is accompanied by a $1,000 check and an invitation for a one woman exhibit in 2011.

She grew up in a military family, living in Europe, where her teen years were spent in museums studying the Old Masters. Her graphic design training at Colorado Institute of Art is apparent in her work, as is the influence of teachers at the Art Students League of Denver, including Quang Ho, Kim English, Mel Carter, Bruce Cody and recently, Mark Daily and Kevin Weckbach for figurative art.

“Cantar,” by Alix Evendorff won First Place and a $500 check. Hyer commented on the surface texture and vibrant color in the artist’s abstract work. Her work will also be exhibited at Zip 39 Gallery on Navajo Street in December.

Cherry Hills western landscape painter Janet Anderson’s oil, “Long Day,” was awarded Second Place and $250. “I’m sucked in,” Hyer said of Anderson’s quiet landscape with a child flopped on his back near a tranquil pond. Compositionally, the figure is in the right place, she added.

Julie Makely, a sculpture teacher at Monarch High School in Louisville won Third Place for her ceramic sculptures “Purse Obsession Series I.” Her three purses, which began as wheel-thrown works, are each glazed differently, smile-inducing variations on a theme of a well-worn handbag.

The Own an Original Arts Exhibition was initiated in 1965 — when Bemis Library opened and exhibit space became available— by the Littleton Fine Art Committee, a volunteer group whose members are appointed by the Littleton City Council. Members meet monthly, advise the city on public art, review proposed donations to the city, sponsor exhibits and lectures and install the shows they sponsor at the Littleton Museum’s gallery.

If you go:

The 45th Own an Original Arts Exhibition, presented by the Littleton Fine Art Committee, runs Nov. 19 through Jan. 16 at the Littleton Museum, 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. 303-795-3950.


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