Vail Valley Art Guild’s ‘Far Away Places’ exhibit opens Oct. 7 in Avon | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Art Guild’s ‘Far Away Places’ exhibit opens Oct. 7 in Avon

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Writers and artists are often advised to "write what you know" or "paint familiar surroundings." As such, painters and photographers can often be identified by their local landscapes. But sometimes it takes a journey outside their comfort zones to inspire a new approach or subject matter.

Winslow Homer, who began his career sketching Civil War scenes, returned home to his studio in Prout's Neck, Maine, where he was known for painting the rocky seascapes of New England. When Homer traveled to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba and the Florida Keys, his paintings absorbed the vibrant colors and shapes of the tropical flora.

John Singer Sargent was the foremost portrait artist of the late 1800s and early 1900s and had studios in London and New York. When he traveled to Venice, he rented gondolas and painted watercolors of Venetian buildings and canals. He also carried his watercolors to the Swiss Alps and the American West. These loose, colorful paintings were quite a departure from the large, formal oil paintings of his patrons.

One of the more famous artists who traveled far from home was Post Impressionist Paul Gauguin, who left his native France on various trips to Panama, Martinique and Tahiti. Gauguin's paintings of Polynesian people and tropical landscapes of Tahiti resulted in bold uses of color and form. His work during this period influenced future artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

The Vail Valley Art Guild has more than 180 active members who are inspired by life in the Vail Valley. Like the aforementioned artists, many of the guild members are also influenced by travels to exotic and far-away locales.

On Friday, the Vail Valley Art Guild will host a reception for a new exhibit of works created from these voyages. "Far Away Places" will run through Sunday, Oct. 30, at Art of the Valley Gallery in Avon, and more than 30 artists, photographers and ceramic artists will have works on display.

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The exhibit includes pastels, watercolors, oils, photographs and more, with subject matter ranging from the nearby red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, to abstract interpretations of stars. A concurrent exhibit, "Figures and Portraits," will be on display until Sunday, Oct. 16.

If you go …

What: “Far Away Places,” an exhibit of the Vail Valley Art Guild.

When: Reception 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, and exhibit runs through Sunday, Oct. 30; gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Where: Art of the Valley Gallery, 240 Chapel Square, Avon.

Cost: Admission is free.

More Information: Visit http://www.vailvalleyartguild.com.