The 13th annual Govenor’s Invitational Art Show
With the ski season behind us and most businesses, including art galleries, taking a breather, art enthusiasts can still get their “fix” by heading northeast to Loveland.
For the past 13 years Loveland has hosted a Rotary fund-raiser, and watched it grow into one of the best art shows in the state.
Originally started in 1991 featuring only local sculptors, this year’s opening night event was attended by more than 500 aficionados, including many of the artists, and garnered more than $175,000 from sales.
Held at the Loveland Museum, the show, with work ranging from wildlife and Western-themed bronzes, to traditional and abstract sculpture, will run through May 23. As might be expected in these parts, many paintings at the show fall into the Western theme category, but there are also plein air landscapes and contemporary and figurative images to see.
Work on view include that of: sculptors Gerald Balciar and Barry Eisenach, who are carried by some of the galleries here in Vail and Beaver Creek. One by Balciar’s is “Canyon Princess,” a mountain lion slinking down an embankment, and another by Eisenach, “Fancy Shawl Dance,” captures the sublime movement of a young woman, spreading her wrap as if they were wings.
Ed Dwight’s “New Orleans-Live,” is a bronze sculpture masterpiece. The depicted jazz musicians, seven in all, are linked together, seemingly in midair, each performing on different instruments. Their hands appear to float out of nowhere, fingering a saxophone, strumming a banjo, bass or trumpet.
Quang Ho, one of the best-known artists in the exhibition has several oil paintings on display. His “Rock Climber” is a personal favorite of mine. The painting’s natural colors and impressionistic brushstrokes combine the surrounding elements with the woman’s flesh tones, emphasizing the relationship between the subject and her environment. Although a small canvas, it manages to squeeze a lot in its limited space, without feeling crowded.
The increasingly popular paintings of Carrie Fell are also on view. Her unmistakable style is bold, light and sweeping. Cowboys and horses are treated as decorative, yet dynamic figures.
Lani Vlaanderleen’s use of large blocks of color help to frame her key subject matter. For example, in “Mustang Wind,” she manages to suggest a blustery day by just hinting at movement while grazing horses are set within a semi-abstract foreground and background. In the painting, Vlaanderleen treats one of the horse’s manes with a light brush stroke, sweeping it forward as if tousled by the wind. It is just that kind of nuance that makes her work so masterful.
Clive Tyler creates with pastels, but his mastery of the medium is so acute, his work appears at first, to be painted in oils.
If semi-abstract is your preference, Nancy Switzer’s paintings are about as good as anything in the show. Simple objects, such as two martini glasses, a jar or a stack of metal cans, are fascinatingly portrayed. Textural, thickly painted and energetic, her choice of colors and unusual point of view make these very exciting pieces.
George Foott and S. Mark Thompson are trompe l’oeil masters; while their paintings use different mediums, each renders their subject with an exactitude rivaling photography.
The Loveland Museum is well lit, with plenty of room to step back and move around. There is an abundance of talent on display at this venue and definitely worth the trip.
Stew Mosberg is a writer and journalist working out of Blue River. He holds a Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts and Architecture, is author of two books on design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He can be reached at wrtrF@aol.com