Friday, May 17, 2019

Artists Choice Award Winners

The Lakewood Arts Gallery's Artist Choice Exhibit brings out the creativity in Colorado artists.  This highly anticipated show at the Lakewood Cultural Center fills up the walls in the upstairs mezzanine with oils, watercolors, pastels, photography and other mediums.  Juror Katy Haas had some tough decisions to make both with regard to choosing which pieces would be in the display, as well as which of those would qualify for awards.  She chose well: a interesting and varied exhibit along with some very worthy award winners.
First place went to Lea McComas for "Soul Mates", a thread painting.  Her unique art can be seen on her website at and a video of her method shows the painstaking detail applied to her evocative portraits.

Second place went to Donna Sorenson for her gorgeous pastel landscape,  "Chamisa Among the Rocks".

Charlie Casper with his always popular digital photographs, won third place with "Cattle Drive".
Carolyn Tegeder's abstract acrylic, "On the Go" won a well-deserved merit award.
Dan Fyles intriguing mixed media piece "Going to School" also won a merit award.
An additional merit award went to Sherry Veltkamp for her stunning watercolor, "Red Roses".

Congratulations to all in the show, and particularly to all award winners.  The exhibit runs through July 5, 2019.

All photos courtesy of Annette Sapp. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Reno Unger: Artist in the Spotlight

Reno Unger is one of the newest members of the Lakewood Arts Gallery Co-op.  Here he answers some of my questions about how he got his start in art and where he plans to go from here. Stop in the gallery and see his beautiful photography!

 How did you get started in creating art?
I have always enjoyed art.  The first piece I remember was from kindergarten entitled “Two Peanuts in a Red Sack”.  I went to a serious, science-oriented high school - the kind where art, music and phys. ed. were irrelevant.  When I got to college I remember feeling somewhat illicit taking an art course as an elective.  I took a number of other art electives and began to accumulate a notebook filled with watercolors that I was quite pleased with.  A girlfriend at the time asked if she could take them home over spring break to show her mother and I never saw them again.  Shortly after that, the draft called and I spent 5 years in the Navy, by which I had lost much of my ability in watercolor, but had found photography, woodcuts and pen and ink.

What is your favorite medium and why?
 Even though it is not what I do most often, I love woodcuts.  Perhaps  the reason is that it is much more challenging.  I often finish one, look at the result and split the block up for kindling.  Now that I have more time, I hope to turn out significantly more work.
    I spend far more time and energy on nature and scenic photography.  I usually get to a photo workshop in a different part of the country about once a year and have been to Costa Rica, Tennessee, N. Carolina, the Chesapeake Bay, W. Virginia, Oregon, Wyoming and several other states.
    I also enjoy furniture design and building.  Most of that, however, ends up in my home or as Christmas presents for the children.

What are your favorite subjects? 
 I have always loved nature and use art and photography as an excuse to spend long hours outdoors.  Most of my work revolves around scenics and animals as a result.  Insects, especially butterflies are my very favorites.  Knowing that such thinks just don’t appeal to most people, however, I rarely put them in a show.  I also love glass slumping, but they are so expensive to produce that I could never sell them.

 Do you have a vision for your work?  For a body of work that you would like to create?
 I am not sure that I have a goal for a “body of work”.  The photography is definitely turning out that way as mentioned above, but in art I enjoy try ing new things and learning new techniques.  That will probably end up my body of work - a wide variety of efforts in many different media.

How did you find out about the Lakewood Arts Council and Co-op?  What do you find most enjoyable or beneficial about being a member?
 I stumbled across the gallery quite by accident.  I went to a store nearby, saw the art in the window and went in to look around.  During a conversation with the artist on duty, I found out that woodcuts and photography would be valued and applied to the jury.  I was new in town, having just moved from Pennsylvania, and was looking for art oriented activities.

What's next on the horizon?
In the near future, I want to seek out a place for lessons in different media and will be producing more woodcuts, photography and pen and ink.  I may even get started in watercolors again.

Has your work changed over the years?  In what way?
I’m not sure my work has evolved much.  With practice and additional training, hopefully I’ve gotten better.  Other than that,  nothing much has changed.

Which artists from the past or living do you admire most?
Winslow Homer has been a favorite ever since I saw three of his works at the Chicago Art Institute.  If I ever get back into watercolor, he will greatly influence my style.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll!  And roll they did -- with 2 opening receptions, brass marching bands, tarot reading, mask-making and more, The March First Friday at the Gallery was filled with fun and festivities.

Last night was the opening reception for the Expressions in Abstract, a state-wide show juried by Kristen Autobee.  She must have had a hard time deciding who to award prizes to as there was a lot of striking abstract work to choose from.

 On the community wall was an extensive display from the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists.  These amazing botanical studies warranted a magnifying glass to study the details.  Such beautiful work!

Revelers wore their Mardi Gras beads and masks; kids and adults alike put their crafting skills to the test to decorate their own masks, much to the delight of the little ones.

Off in the corner, Madame Annette told fortunes with her tarot cards, while Donna Sorensen demonstrated her talent with pastels.

And of course gallery-goers were treated to all sorts of goodies including King Cake from our hospitality ladies.

If you were out and about visiting all the other galleries in the 40West Arts District, you were also treated to a New Orleans style brass marching band.

What a fun night to celebrate the arts!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Abstract art -- what does it all mean?

The Lakewood Arts Gallery's Expressions in Abstract show is about to be hung, after a jurying process on Saturday, February 23rd.  If you're like me, I not only wonder what the public sees in some abstract pieces, but also what a juror might look for in judging pieces for awards.  And what's the difference between abstract, non-representational and modern art?
      Abstract Expressionism is the only art form that originated in the United States.  In New York after World War I, Peggy Guggenheim started collecting abstracts which gave the artists credence after much rejection of their artwork.  Abstracts are now the most collected art form.  So what constitutes an abstract?  According to The Artist's Illustrated Encyclopedia, by Phil Metzger, an abstract is art containing little or no depiction of real objects or real scenes.  Abstract art relies on shapes, textures, color, tone and other qualities for its impact, rather than on a depiction of things. But it is not synonymous with non-objective or non-representational art.  So what is that?
     Non-representational or non-objective art is just what it sounds like.  It does not represent or depict an actual object or scene, whether it is a two-dimensional or three-dimensional creation.  Makes sense, right?  Well, there's even another term that can get mixed up with these, and that would be "modern art". 
     Modern art doesn't actually refer to a particular style or school, according to Artist's Illustrated.  It refers to art from the late 1800s to the present that contrasts with earlier art in its rejection of stiff academic rules and traditions. Many consider modern art to be abstract, but that's not necessarily the case. Many modern artists feel free to experiment not only with materials and techniques, but to comment on social, political and intellectual conditions.
   Without being able to jury a show based on adherence to theme or recognizable subjects, what does a juror look for in judging an abstract show?  They should be looking for the same design principles and elements that a show of representational art would require: good composition, value, movement of the viewer's eye throughout the picture, color harmony, etc.  And one thing I've learned about interpreting abstract art, is to consider how the piece of art makes you feel, rather than just deciding whether you find the depiction of the subject matter pleasing.
     So there you have it!  And if you'd like to test your knowledge of abstract art, come on in and see the Expressions in Abstract show on display at the Lakewood Arts Gallery February 24th through March 29, 2019. Join us for a fun-filled reception on Friday, March 1 from 5-9 pm.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Dias de los Muertos and Holiday Show Reception

40West Arts and the Lakewood Arts Gallery know how to throw a party!  From Aztec dancers to Tarot readings, mask-making and moody music, First Friday at the Gallery was a treat last night!  A spooky sky over CasaBonita set the scene as Dias de los Muertos was celebrated along with the opening for our annual Holiday show.

 Fun and useful hand-crafted items filled the Acorn Gallery, giving shoppers lots of choices for gift giving this year. From unusual decorative Christmas trees, to fabric decorated cards, knitted woolen goods and elegant aprons -- there's an option for all. Stop in through December to check off your holiday shopping list.

Neil Petersen provided the musical entertainment last night, setting the scene with his hooded black robe.
 Adults and children enjoyed crafting masks,
and Madame Annette predicted the future with Tarot readings.

A special touch was an altar where visitors could remember their past artist ancestors.
And of course there were lots of refreshments to sustain gallery-hoppers in their art crawl of the many galleries in the 40 West Arts District. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Fun for First Friday

It was hard to determine the best thing about last night's First Friday at the Gallery -- was it the amazing miniatures show? Or was the engaging music from Sugar Factory, Rolina Carter's educational jewelry demo or just the beautiful evening bringing out visitors gallery hopping?  Either way, the Lakewood Arts Gallery's First Friday at the Gallery was a fun event.  Here's some photos from last night's art walk.