Art by the truly young at heart |

Art by the truly young at heart

Trina Ortega

Young artists from around Roaring Fork Valley display 500 pieces of work in this month’s “Valley Kids Art Exhibit” at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.With a rainbow of color in works of glass, copper, silk, clay, paint, ink and other media, the “Valley Kids” exhibit is an inspiration for artists of all ages.”We probably have 500 pieces of art from kids from Aspen to Rifle,” said Center for the Arts director Gayle Mortell. “It’s inspiring. It truly is. When you look at some of the stuff kids come up with, it’s astounding. Their imagination takes them to places that are unbelievable.” Students from Carbondale Middle School submitted a variety of works, including Picasso-style self-portraits on silk, table place-settings based on famous artists, collaborative murals, mixed-media CD covers, and papier-mâché busts of fantasy figures. The fantasy figures are accompanied by a life story written by the artist and features characters such as rags-to-riches rapper “Tyrone Biggins” and his trophy wife “Ruby Smith Biggins.” “They’re pretty hilarious,” said CMS art teacher Ami Maes, who orchestrated CMS students to submit artwork. She has participated in the show for the duration of her seven-year career, and she looks forward to it every year. “The Valley Kids show has always been such an important thing for me,” she said, noting that she is impressed with the quality of work and the great ideas that are developed by the participating artists.

She added that the value for the kids is also significant because the students set their standards higher.”I think that the kids feel a lot of excitement for this show,” she said. “It takes their work to a more professional level. They push toward a higher quality.” Maes and fellow art educator Lynn Pulford at Colorado Rocky Mountain School agree that exhibiting in the show is a one-of-a-kind experience. “It’s really neat for them to display their work in a true arts facility,” Pulford said. “The students are always excited to have the community see their art. What they’re doing is sharing their viewpoint, and sharing their viewpoints with other students can be very powerful.”The school has a strong showing of photography (primarily black-and-whites), mixed-media pieces, and oil paintings. CRMS also holds an annual photography exhibit in Basalt and has another show in December on campus to highlight student work in the school’s art disciplines, which include silversmithing, ceramics, painting, photography, visual media, music and drama.Mortell credits the art teachers for helping the young artists motivate. “You can tell teachers are very thoughtful about teaching,” she said. “The students are really learning about art.”It’s the second year the Center for the Arts has hosted the valleywide show. Prior to that, it was held at the Aspen Art Museum. The area’s art teachers are excited that the show has stayed alive.

“It is a celebration of student art up and down the valley,” Pulford said. “I would like to thank the Glenwood Center for the Arts for their efforts. We’re so glad to see that the show has continued.”Mortell agreed the show is important for new and experienced artists, alike, and encouraged all artists in the valley to see the show.”It’s inspiring. It’s unusual. A lot of adult artists should see this to be inspired themselves,” she said. The show runs through April 9. The Glenwood Center for the Arts is located at 601 Sixth St. Call 945-2414 for gallery hours.

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