Color is everywhere at the Colorado Governor’s Art Show

Bison by Julia Mulligan, ceramic/mixed

The Lookout by Douglas Wodark, oil

Imagine rooms where paintings and sculptures by top artists from our beautiful state adorn the walls and pillars. Imagine rooms full of vibrant color and majestic Colorado landscapes. Imagine chatting with the artists as you admire their work. That’s the magic of the 28th Annual Colorado Governor’s Art Show at the Loveland Museum. Both well-known artists and new-to-the-show painters and sculptors will present their one-of-a-kind art pieces at the juried art exhibit and sale. The opening night gala, which all artists attend, is May 3, and the show opens to the public from May 4-June 2. We went behind the scenes and spoke with some of the show’s board members to learn more about what to look for.

“There are times in the art world when people are looking for color that lifts their spirits and makes them happy,” says John Kinkade, co-chair of the show and founder-executive director

of the National Sculptors’ Guild at Columbine Gallery. He noted that out of 250 entries, the esteemed five-person jury chose 56 artists. “We have different people on the jury every year, and we keep getting a higher level of artists. I love seeing the new talent show alongside established talent at the same time, and there are dozens who have gotten their start at this show.”

“I have a hard time pinpointing favorites,” show committee member Craig Van Wechel says. “Art is such an emotional buy, and so unique and subjective to each person who enjoys it. It’s a great opportunity for anyone just entering into the art-buying world, since some pieces are quite affordable.” (You can take home a piece for as little as $300, or as much as $20,000.)

We asked Kinkade and Van Wechel to comment on some of the specific art you’ll see at the show. Kinkade mentioned two of the 14 new-to-the-show artists whose work he is particularly excited about.

“Douglas Wodark from Castle Rock is taking a traditional subject and giving it brilliant color and an abstracted background,” Kinkade says of a piece depicting a Native American man riding a horse.

“It’s contemporary and fun and will be well received.”

Julia Mulligan from Golden is a new sculptor to watch, he says. He calls her sculpture of a buffalo with a wagon and wheels “whimsical” and feels it would look great as a display piece in a home, office building or hotel lobby.

A Walk in the Woods by Martin Lambuth, oil

“We also have six artists who haven’t been in the show for five or six years. Our attendees will be excited,” Kinkade says.

Cathy Sheeter of Aurora, one of the returnees, uses a Scratchboard process, which Van Wechel describes as “incredible.” In Scratchboard art, a form of direct engraving, the artist scrapes off the surface of a solid black panel to expose a layer of white clay underneath. Large pieces can take hundreds of hours.

Another unique way of painting comes from Martin Lambuth of Denver. He sometimes layers on paint with cut-up credit card, room key and gift card pieces, rather than paintbrushes. Lambuth writes on his website that “the results can be unpredictable. A particular stroke doesn’t happen on demand, nor can it be duplicated.” He calls it a blend of “concerted effort and happy accidents.”

Sculptor Daniel Glanz of Loveland has a piece with two birds that leaves “a little to the imagination,” Kinkade says. “Having the birds at an angle, he has directed your attention to the birds nuzzling. One is standing still, the other is approaching. It lets us have a play into it so we can decide if they are gossiping or making a move on each other.”

Nikolo Balkanski of Lakewood created one landscape piece that Kinkade calls “exquisite and accomplished. Because of the way he has painted it, Balkanski takes your eye down the pathway to a dark spot and leaves you there. Then your eye starts to look around the painting and take in everything the painting offers. Look at the buildings on the left side. The rooflines take you to the center; the fence takes you to the center; the stones on the right take you to the center; the shed above takes you to the center.” Van Wechel adds that Balkanski’s brush strokes always appear “slightly pixelated.”

There is truly something for everyone at the Colorado Governor’s Art Show. “What I love about this show is that there’s always a sense of surprise to see what’s there,” says Van Wechel. “Sometimes they bring something different than what they originally submitted. This is the only show that I know of within Colorado that features only Colorado artists, and we give part of the proceeds to the Homeless Assistance Fund and other groups.”

 

Gala tickets ($75) and more info are at www.governorsartshow.org.