Cogswell shows Darcie Peet | VailDaily.com
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Cogswell shows Darcie Peet

Stew Mosberg

Nestled just behind the children’s fountain and below the Sapphire Restaurant is Cogswell Gallery. Established in 1985, it is one of the oldest art gallery in Vail Village.Step inside and find one of the most broadly based collections in the Vail Valley. Paintings, bronzes, weavings, jewelry, artifacts, ceremonial spears and even headdresses from Bhutan are on display.Room after room, and every nook and cranny, are filled with archetypal and atypical works, including handcrafted and painted furniture by David Marsh, beaded baskets from Sumatra, Indonesian rugs and pillows and a comprehensive portfolio of photos by Edward Curtis, famed photographer of Native Americans.Among the artwork array are paintings by David Devary of sexy cowgirls in flowing coats and leather chaps, expansive landscapes by Tom Lockhart, bronzes by Sherry Sander, oils by Paula Fasken and lacquered and wooden trout by Gill Sanders. To be sure, there are dozens of other well-known and coveted artists to be seen in this fascinating showcase.One of the more recently acknowledged painters, albeit not well represented at Cogswell, is plein-air master Darcie Peet.Peet won both the Collector’s Choice and Artist’s Choice awards at the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP) competition held in Estes Park last month. Based on those accolades alone, Peet may well be one of the best of her genre and worth collecting.Peet is not new to art. In fact, she’s been drawing since she was a child and had the desire to be an artist ever since. Chicago-born Peet studied art at Carnegie-Mellon in Pennsylvania, received a degree in fine arts from Colorado College and spent more than 20 years in advertising and graphic arts. Later earning a master’s degree in interior design from the University of Colorado, she somehow found herself in the wide-open spaces painting the landscapes of the West.Her love of horses, the western expanse and being outdoors, combined with her ability to capture the essence of the landscape on canvas, has resulted in numerous awards and professional acclaim. In addition to the Cogswell Gallery, her work is represented at galleries in Wyoming and in Tucson, Ariz., where she resides when not at home on Copper Mountain.”It was truly a genuine surprise,” Peet said, expressing her excitement at winning the RMPAP awards, particularly the Artist’s Choice. “With the caliber of artists that were there, it is an honor to be recognized by one’s peers.”Influenced by masters such as Caravaggio, Monet and Nicolas Fechin, as well as contemporary impressionist artists, Peet’s work exhibits a deftness and complete understanding of how even filtered light impacts a scene.Whether reflections on a mountain stream or distant peak, her control of the acrylic paint she uses is evident in everything she does.Yet another amazing thing about this accomplished painter is her modesty. When describing the impact of her recently received honors, Peet said, “It makes me want to strive harder, to grow and to improve. My ultimate goal is a quality painting.”Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer and recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of two books on design and can be reached at WrtrF@aol.com


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