Pick a color, any color | VailDaily.com

Pick a color, any color

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyBrooke "Oz" Burgee works on a sculptural painting while on the road this summer. She will paint live Sunday in front of La Tour in Vail Village.

Join Brooke “Oz” Burgee for a demonstration of her acrylic on canvas paint sculptures this Sunday on the patio of LaTour, on Meadow Drive in Vail Village, from 4-6 p.m.

Oz has been an artist all of her life. Oz was born and raised in Vermont and graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. After several years of travel and adventure she moved to the Vail area in 2004, and in 2006 made the leap to full time artist.

Since then, in just 13 months, her work is now represented by five galleries and in 2007 she will participate in over 16 shows ranging from juried events, to grand openings featuring her work, and the list continues to grow.

Oz has been a member of the Red Cliff art community since December 2006 when she took studio No. 4 in the Elementary School in Red Cliff.

Virtually sculpture on canvas, Oz’s work is inspired by her creativity and imagination, not emulation of others. Its three-dimensional quality is accomplished using palette knives in place of brushes with a flare for color that adds brilliance to its dimensionality. Color dominates her work, and for as long as she can remember she has always asked her friends and studio visitors to choose their own colors she then tranfers to the canvas.

Her latest collection of paintings were inspired at her Vergennes, Vermont, studio, where more than 100 neighbors stopped in to say hello and more than 50 neighbors selected their colors in just one week before Oz headed off to her studio in Colorado.

From one visitor to 20 at a time, they would drop by from a few minutes to hours on end and became engaged in activities inside the studio. Oz allowed her digital camera and video equipment to be used by anyone that wanted to document the studio activities. Kids and adults alike were instantly engaged, and Oz said she never found herself alone in the studio her last week in Vermont. This is where the “Neighborhood Collection” started.

Adults and kids found there own ways to participate in Oz’s work. Parents started donating art supplies so that kids could paint side-by-side with Oz, including oversized T-shirts to paints and canvas. Three 12-year-old girls even created their own blog (artwithoz.blogspot.com) to share with their experiences inside the studio.

Oz then took their blog on the road to Chicago and Columbia, where she recently exhibited. More than 60 more people have posted their entries about their experience with the artist, spanning all ages and backgrounds from the homeless to working professionals, from 2 years old to 90 years old.

While on the road for her exhibits, Oz will continue to collect individual color palettes during her travels. However, these new chosen color palettes will build upon the “Neighborhood Collection” and will be known as the “Community Collection.”

“It is snapshots of different people and places around the country,” Oz said. “When both series are complete the project will include a video essay of all of the pieces and their inspirations.”

From her neighborhood to her current national tour, Oz is taking time in her Red Cliff Studio to prepare for three upcoming Colorado shows: Park Meadows Art Festival, Beaver Creek Arts Festival and the 10th Annual Red Cliff Studio Tour.

“I am excited to have an opportunity to engage and share the creation of this new collection with people in the community in which I live,” Oz said. “Yes I am an artist, but more than that, I would consider myself a story teller. Right now, I’m telling the story of many people through their colors, including my own about pursuing my passion as an artist. Through my daily blog and real-time Web site, I’m documenting this journey from start to finish, leaving no detail out.”

Today, Oz’s painting demonstration will include completed works from the “Neighborhood Collection” and her traveling “color wall.” Passers by can opt to either chose their colors or just watch as colors are sculpted in front of La Tour.

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