Bronze sculptor and pastel artist visit Vail Saturday |

Bronze sculptor and pastel artist visit Vail Saturday

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

The Cogswell gallery will host a two women art opening Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Melissa Cooper, a bronze sculptor, and Kathy Beekman, a pastel artist, will both demonstrate their techniques.

Cooper was born in a family of artists and started sculpting as an assistant in her father’s foundry. Eventually she developed her own style and is now a full time sculptor. She spends a great deal of time in nature, observing birds, sketching and photographing. She describes the animal world with her own distinctive style, paying a lot of attention to the endearing, whimsical faces, and abstracting the body shape to a lovely rounded figure. With the help of renowned patina artist, Patrick Kipper, she creates unique stone-style patinas, so the viewers forget that the large bear or the little robin is actually a bronze, not a marble statue. Each sculpture has a slightly different finish, so each is unique. Most of her inspiration is found outdoors and then transformed in studio.

Similarly, pastel artist Kathy Beekman also started painting at a very young age. A graduate from Siena Height University, she found her own distinct style out of utter necessity. She was travelling in Mexico with her archeologist husband and ran out of paint supplies, including white drawing paper. She started using pastels on black paper and suddenly her colors popped and acquired an almost photographic feel.

“Sometime during high school I remember reading, ‘where there is no risk there is no achievement.’ I don’t remember where I read this, but it had such a profound effect on me that I wrote it on a large poster board and taped this poster board above my bed so that I would look at it often and be reminded to take the risk when I felt scared,” said Beekman, who grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and lives now in Colorado.

She expresses a nostalgic feeling for the large expansive spaces. Her skies are highly kinetic with clouds stretched by high winds, juxtaposed to calm fields and solitary farm houses, reminiscent of a pastoral lifestyle lost to urban progress.

For more information, call 970-476-1769.

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