All Colorado Art Exhibit back for 36th year

Littleton show held in intimate Depot Art Gallery

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Just inside the front door of the Depot Art Gallery is a colorful painting by Desmond O’Hagan, who was 2019 juror for the All Colorado Art Exhibit, now in its 36th year. Looking at its fine details sets the tone for a visitor to this really pleasing — and varied — exhibit. It was open to all Coloradans and shows many ways of experiencing one’s world.

Any exhibit at this intimate gallery is limited in the size of works shown, but it draws a number of fine-tuned and, in some cases, beautifully crafted smaller works that are great to contemplate and just might be the very thing to fit in a visitor’s home. It’s especially hard not to touch some of these works, such as Eileen Flanigan’s intricately etched brass “Kaleidoscope” — but please don’t!!!

O’Hagan awarded ribbons to artists at an Aug. 2 reception at the historic depot gallery and the show will continue through Aug. 24.

Best in show went to Joann Lavender’s oil painting, “Morning Sun on Pike’s Peak,” and it’s just one of several really skillful landscapes in the show. It summons up memories of those gorgeous early-in-the-day scenes we Coloradans treasure from past excursions. The ones that just make one stop and stare!

Up a few steps on the platform is the quirky first-place painting, “Neon Nuclear Duck,” by Jeff Velarde. What is the story here? One would enjoy a statement from the artist, although mostly, I’d prefer not to have a lot to read! A group of photographs includes Raj Manickam’s second-place photograph, “Dance and Drama,” portraying a lovely young dancer performing at the edge of a crowd. One can almost hear the accompanying music. Mary Holms’ mixed media painting, “Lawn Chairs,” is on a different track, as an example of Abstract Expressionism that won third place.

O’Hagan also awarded several honorable mentions: Andrew Woodward’s acrylic painting, “Flatiron Clouds”; Scott DeWeese’s “Red Vessel # 14”; and Jeanne Trueax’s pen and ink drawing, “Rocky Hillside.”

DeWeese’s intricately carved impressions of Native American basketry are an example of especially fine craftsmanship, as well as sensitive artistry. I was happy to see that the juror honored his work.

And across the middle room from those pieces is a pair of assemblage pieces that are a send-up of the trophy heads one sees around: Artist Susan Wechsler demonstrates really intricate craftsmanship in “Indy Blue Eyes,” a deer, and “Zelda,” a zebra. Be sure to stop and stare for a few moments.

Continue to the back room and enjoy ceramic artist Carol Broere’s stunning green necklace to the right. (What could I wear with that?) Continue across the room to a square fabric piece showing a napping dog — “Vigil.” While I’ve never been a quilter, I was struck by the intricacy of this piece — look closely at the stitching.

Also in the back room is work by Artist of the Month Cele Bergstrom, who was the Littleton Fine Arts Guild member on hosting duty, along with member Forest Plesko, who declared this was the best exhibit he’d seen there. Note that you are invited to vote for a People’s Choice Award while at the Depot.

For area artists interested in a gallery home and new associates, I noted postcards saying there were openings for new members to this longtime local arts organization, which will present an “Outdoor Art Market” in Bega Park on Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a variety of unframed work and crafts … DepotArtGallery.org, 303-795-0781, 2069 W. Powers Ave., Littleton.

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