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A look at both sides

Wren Wertin
Vail Daily/Melinda Kruse"The Happy Promoter," by Sura
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The way it was, the way it is and the way it will be.

Two artists, Prent Milhoan and Sura, share wall space at Milhoan Studios and Gallery on Williams Street in the heart of the Minturn Market. Both will be at the gallery – when they’re not wandering through the market – from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

The show is aptly named “19-83,” as in: Prent is 19, and Sura is 83. Sura travels to Minturn from California, and has had shows at Milhoan Studios periodically over the past few years. Milhoan will be in Eagle County for the summer, and then he hightails it for the Art Institute of Chicago.



“Prent is awfully prolific,” said his father, Randy Milhoan, an artist himself and owner of the gallery. “He started painting seriously last summer, though he’d always dabbled in it.”

Prent is self taught, something Randy is a big fan of – despite the fact he went to school. Randy considers self-taught artists to be fresher, and more revealing.



“He’s got a great sense of composition, especially for a high school kid,” he said. “I’ve seen college graduates who don’t paint that well. I hope school doesn’t mess him up too much.”

After her children were born, Sura wanted to do something with her hands. She picked up a paintbrush and hasn’t put it down yet.

Her paintings are satirical in nature, and, along with the title, tell a story.



“It all happens on the canvas,” she said regarding how she creates her art.

Sura doesn’t paint people she knows, though she’s often inspired by the scenes around her. She learned to paint primarily under her own direction. In the early days, she met with a group of women, and under one woman’s tutelage, the group would critique each other’s work.

“But she never actually taught us to draw or paint,” Sura said. “It was all on our own, which is how it should be, don’t you think?”

No fan of surrealism or abstract art, she prefers realistic, expressive styles. Gustav Klimt, Vincent Van Gogh and Mary Cassat are a few of her favorites.

“Her paintings aren’t three-dimensional,” said Jane Cotter, Sura’s daughter and Vail local. “They’re bright and flat.”

Though Sura is no stranger to showing her award-winning work, it’s not a priority for her.

“I don’t make an effort for that,” she said. “For me, it’s just painting. The process of painting, that’s what I love.”


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