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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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
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
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
“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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