Andy Mast: The Drawing Dream

WHEN HUMANS EXPERIENCE trauma, a natural response is to avoid the source of it. But, perhaps, if you are an extraordinary individual, you might embrace the trauma for the lessons and silver linings that it can teach. One cold winter morning in the still-darkness of rural Illinois, then 17 year-old artist, Andy Mast, son of …

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Whimsy, Welding and Nostalgia

UPDATED Editors note: John passed away Dec. 8 after sustaining multiple injuries in a car accident on Nov. 12. Please give here if you are able. Thank you. COOPER THE WHOOPER, a pile of welded and painted farm tools and spare parts, stands on U.S. 160 in the center of Monte Vista. Cooper was my …

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Old Souls and New Soles

…with Douglas Crowwolf Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Douglas Crowwolf is a Lakota artisan based in Monte Vista, where he makes custom moccasins, bracelets, wrist cuffs, medicine bags and — in a nod to modern times — phone cases, among other crafts. He sells his work online and out of the gallery …

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Mel Strawn: Artist and Activist

By Robert Parker Editor’s note: Renowned Salida artist Mel Strawn passed away on May 17, 2020 at the age of 90. We reached out to local artist and climate activist Robert Parker for his thoughts about this talented and beloved man. Mel Strawn was nationally known as an accomplished non-objective artist and printmaker. He was …

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About the Cover Artist: Evy McLean

Evy’s work is inspired by nature, especially the tenacious, inconspicuous forms growing in the rugged Southwest. Seedpods, thistles, fungi and cones fill the frame with their intricate structures, and the complex micro-landscapes are aggrandized in oil on canvas. Evy began her art career at a young age, making posters and signs for local events in …

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About the Cover Artist: Sarah Woods

Sarah Woods grew up in Wyoming where she developed a love of wide open spaces and the wildlife that inhabit them, but it has been her 26 years living in Westcliffe that has had the greatest impact. Surrounded by scenic vistas, ranch land and incredibly diverse wildlife, Sarah feels passionate about the disappearing western landscape …

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Fish’s Heads

In Memory of Ted Fish

On March 10 of this year, Salida artist Ted Fish died due to complications from heart surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. Ted was born in New York City in 1946 and grew up in East Stroudsburg, Pa.

In 1971 he received his BA in political science at East Stroudsburg University and four years later married his wife Louise. In 1982, the couple moved to Denver where Ted earned a BFA with an emphasis in ceramics in 2001 at Metropolitan State College. He exhibited his trademark clay heads throughout the state and in Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts and New York. He was the author of a book, 500 Figures In Clay, published in 2004, and won the Laguna Clay Award at the Colorado Clay Exhibition in 2003. In 2005, the couple moved to Salida.

Ted’s work was hand-built with a modified slab coil technique generally using paper clay. Pottery shards or other items were often embedded prior to bisque firing. Low fired glazes or slips were applied and the work was fired at 1,950 degrees F. For many pieces, a third firing in a raku kiln followed and the work was then removed from the kiln and sprayed with ferric chloride. He named this process Ferriku. Other pieces were finished with acrylic paint and some were placed on a found object metal base, marble, wood, or other materials. Ted also enjoyed painting with acrylics.

From his artist statement: “All of the work results from my interest in the power of primitive and ancient sculptures and how such sculpture connects the meditative, contemplative mind with emotions ranging from restful loving to excited anger.”

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About the Cover Artist: Brynn Ronning

Brynn Ronning paints with oils and finds home in the town of Buena Vista, Colorado. As a seven-year resident, Brynn has immersed herself in Jailhouse Arts, a community project of artists that collectively and creatively inhabit the town’s former jailhouse. Brynn has acted as gallery and events coordinator for the Jailhouse, encouraging the hands of local artists to turn this historical, stone-walled building into a space for the arts. The collective’s focus has been to showcase local talent, offer studio space, and develop workshops and classes. Brynn is grateful for the unfolding of both intentional and spontaneous acts of art to occur at the Jailhouse from a community of collaborators.

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Sculptor Chris Byars: A Salida Original

By Mike Rosso

It’s quite likely there may never have been an arts scene in Salida without the arrival of sculptor Chris Byars. One of the ironies of this is that many recent artists to town have never even met the man.

While on a back roads tour of Colorado in 1971, the Denver native stopped in Salida to visit his older brother Jack, who was living there at the time. The following weekend, Chris followed suit.

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Leah Cerise: Evolution of an Artist

By Sue Snively

He stands in the middle of the field, looking strong and personable, just waiting for the silly dog to charge. When the dog does, you can almost hear the bird laughing as he caws and flies away, only to return to the ground and wait for the next charge. The artist captures him with her camera and then draws the raven from the photograph. Ultimately this beautiful, smart bird with his iridescent feathers appears as a solar-etched monoprint.

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Sculpting Humanity – Jaroso Artist Lynn Kircher

by Kenneth Jessen

Jaroso was founded in 1910 as the southern-most point reached by the San Luis Southern Railway originating in Blanca, 31.7 miles to the north. A year later, Jaroso (pronounced Hah-roh-soh) got its own post office and with rail access, it grew to become an agricultural trade center. The Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, sustained droughts and the fact that the land was never developed caused the town to fade away. The railroad was dismantled and its depots abandoned. Located just north of the Colorado – New Mexico line in Costilla County, it could have become one of the 1,500 or so Colorado ghost towns. The Anderson family became its only occupants.

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Precious Metals

By Jennifer Dempsey

For Salida artist Tammy Grubisha, solving complicated engineering problems for custom orders was the easy part. Coming up with a name for her company was the hard part.

“It was difficult naming my business because of all the things I do,” said the 44-year-old furniture maker/sculptor/welder/muralist. “I gave up trying to label what I do long ago. There are people who wouldn’t call me an artist, and some who wouldn’t call me a welder. All I know is I love what I do, it’s my gift to this world, and I make myself and other people happy with my creations.”

Finally deciding on the trade name Mz. Allaneus, (pronounced ‘miscellaneous’) Grubisha creates furniture, railings, lighting, tile work, signage, hardware and sculpture using metal, clay, wood, glass and found objects. Describing herself as a “full-time functional fine artist,” her style ranges from eccentric to elegant, and her work includes everything from Halloween ‘Grubkins’ (gargoyle inspired pumpkin faces) to high-end chandeliers and furniture.

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The Imagery of Charles Frizzell

Frizzell, Shaman

What would be the best course of action when the director of the art department at your college informs you just prior to graduation that you will never make it as an artist? That you are too “scattered?”

In the case of artist Charles Frizzell, he chose to ignore her admonition and went on to have a successful and rewarding career as a working artist despite that lack of endorsement.

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The Net Drawings of Jude Silva

Jude Silva

by Mel Strawn

Nets, like webs, are linear systems or networks. Jude Silva’s net drawings completely, evenly and elegantly span rectangles about 13 by 10 inches, filling a 23×15.5” space like patterned gossamer floating within a larger white rectangular world. None, however, are just flat patterns; they are spatial structures tied at nodes, mostly four-way but some with three connecting lines and a few with more. In nature, cracks in drying mud or fractured rock or other elastic materials, typically finds three-way, 120-degree patterns. Our minds impose different norms – often 90-degree oppositions, which also occur in non-elastic materials under stress, like ceramic crackle patterns. These drawings result from mental constructs, not depictions of stress patterns. Each drawing is animated in a different way and dances to its own special tune. A few suggest larger geometric or architectural ambitions. Most, and for me the more interesting, find less geometric rhythms and tensions like Number 15, reproduced here (and part of this month’s cover image). Number 11, also shown here, is more austere, sans color, and offers another of the wide variety of spatial effects shown in the whole series.

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George Wade Foott – Art, Artifacts … and Whitewater

Ever since we took over the reins of this magazine last March we’d been hoping to do a profile on George Foott. His wonderfully realistic historic paintings and his legendary boating skills — skills he was still developing well into his late 60s — were an inspiration to many in a variety of intersecting circles in Colorado.

Then suddenly, he was gone, a victim of the melanoma which had metastasized and quickly took George on December 17, 2009 at the age of 70.

Rather than write a tribute to the man ourselves we sought out some of his old friends, kayaking buddies and business associates and asked them to tell us about George in their own words. We thank them for their memories and contributions. — M. Rosso

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Portrayer of Souls – The Art of Bailey Escapule

by Sue Snively

She exudes personality, showing kindness in her eyes, determination in the set of her jaw and subtle humor in the “almost” half smile on her lips. There is wisdom coming from the overall expression on her rugged and wrinkled face. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but the elegance of this lady with her dangling earrings and her creased and folded hat makes for a very attractive portrait. It is a portrait of what it means to grow old gracefully, accepting the wrinkles, the gray, and other affirmatives of the later stage of life.

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Rod Porco of Salida: Beauty with Thorns

Article by Sue Snively

Artist – May 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE UNIQUENESS OF HIS ART speaks for itself. A Salida craftsman, Rod Porco uses mostly salvaged items to create his unusual vessels. Although there are elements of basketry in his work, the pieces are entities unto themselves, fashioned from discarded objects, broken scraps, plants, and other non-traditional materials. In one exquisite piece, Porco may combine thorns, gourds, pieces of copper, Venetian glass, and barbed wire.

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