Vail art: Eye pieces |

Vail art: Eye pieces

Caramie Schnell
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley artist Maddie McCaulley with her painting titled "Watching Eye No. 4."

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Children in many Asian countries are pushed to excel in math and science and often times, the creative arts and other extracurricular activities fall by the wayside.

Enter Kids’ Gallery, schools scattered across Asia that focus on nurturing the right side of children’s brains – the part that thrives on painting, theater, music and the like.

Edwards resident and artist Maddie McCaulley, 23, spent 10 weeks this summer at one such school in South Korea that caters to expatriates’ children.

“It’s a good opportunity for international children, Korean kids too, to come and make art,” McCaulley said. “It’s not graded and they have a really nurturing environment. It was fun to be a part of that for a few months.”

McCaulley, who grew up in the valley and graduated from Battle Mountain High School, mostly taught children age 3 to 6. They’d spend hours making paper mache animal costumes or finger painting. She also painted with some of the older children she worked with, up to age 14.

“It was a cool experience to not be the typical teacher going to Asia to teach English, instead I was working in the creative arts.”

McCaulley, who has a fine arts degree from St. Olaf, enjoyed the experience so much she’s considering going back to school to become an art teacher, she said.

Most recently she’s been working on her oil paintings and preparing for an art show at Loaded Joe’s in Avon this month. An artist reception is set for 6 to 8 p.m., Friday at Loaded Joe’s. McCaulley had her first art exhibit at Loaded Joe’s just over a year ago. It was last fall that she became fascinated with local aspen trees. She started drawing them first, before progressing to painting them.

Eventually she started focusing on eye shapes on the trunk and many of the oil paintings in the show reflect her current fascination. The other paintings in the show – large, colorful abstract pieces – are drastically different from the detailed aspen eye pieces.

“The aspen paintings are so complex, that’s why I’ve done the other paintings – to relieve myself from the detail … The two projects kind of balanced each other.”

Name: Maddie McCaulley

Medium: Oil painting

How long have you lived in the valley: 23 years

Date and time of show: Through Oct. 31

Reception: 6 to 8 p.m., Friday

Location of show: Loaded Joe’s, Avon

Name of show: “Eye Examination”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

Support Local Journalism