The American West has inspired many artists to interpret the frontier life and landscape onto canvas and into the artful home. The inspiration of the cowboy way, Native American culture and settling of the Western Frontier are strong traditions in the arts. Art on the Rockies will feature four eminent western masters among the 115 contemporary artists who will exhibit at Colorado Mountain College’s Edwards campus July 11-13.
Painter Douglas Wodark is an affable cowboy and triathlete from Castle Rock whose passion for art became a successful career after taking a one-year sabbatical from marketing to travel the world.
“I returned realizing that I live in one of the greatest countries on earth with almost unlimited opportunity, and I determined to live my life more fully by doing what I really loved — creating art,” he said.
Wodark’s masterful use of bright vibrant colors create a strong contrast of light and shadow to create the kind of beauty in his paintings that reaches out and grabs the viewer.
“Sometimes it just feels good to be alive on a crisp spring morning with the beautiful Rocky Mountains at your back,” muses the painter.
His new painting of a young chief couched in the warmth of his buffalo robes just might feel that way. You can feel the raw beauty of the Colorado landscape in his realistic oil paintings.
‘I CREATE BECAUSE I MUST’
Mixed media artist Tyler Voorhees will travel up from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival to show his new work at the Edwards Arts Festival.
From his humble beginnings in rural South Dakota, Voorhees has always been drawn to the art of storytelling, and he seeks to spin a yarn on the canvas with the whimsical characters he paints and collages. “The Gunslinger” grew out of his fascination with the Wild West and the characters that arose from this tumultuous time in America’s past.
“With my paintings, I meld my love of American history with the whimsical characters that my mind conjures,” he said. “Above all, I create because I must.”
Mike Roths, of Bear Paw Designs, has been designing and building fine Western furniture since 1979. With so many years of woodworking experience behind him, Roths is coming to Art on the Rockies from Stevensville, Montana.
Hardwoods, leather and hand-forged iron define Roths award-winning style, but do not limit his creative designs. Using vintage ammunition boxes, rifle cartridges for knobs and trigger guards for handles, rusty metal for top and sides, plus a 1920s vintage Stevens rifle for the top drawer pull, he captures the historic west in his one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.
NATIVE AMERICAN PAINTER
Guadalupe Apodaca is a Native American painter born in Fort Collins. Working in oil and pastels, Apodaca’s use of color is courageous. Using bold strokes, he creates vibrant movement and abstract quality for his signature background style.
For over 40 years his award winning and deeply personal paintings have touched hearts and memories. A prolific artist, his work is displayed in museums and corporate and private collections the world over. He will be center stage at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards for the festival.
Art on the Rockies is a free, family event that will host many different artists selling paintings, photographs, sculptures, crafts and furniture for your artful home. Visit www.vailarts fest.com to learn more.