‘Own an Original’ goes online

Museum’s yearly art show takes virtual approach as COVID closes facilities

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Forty-two Colorado artists submitted 158 artworks to be juried by Dr. Sarah Magnetta earlier in the fall for Littleton’s 2020 Own an Original exhibit-the 55th year for this event.

Usually, the opening of this exhibit is celebrated with a festive reception at the Littleton Museum. At times, there has even been live music ...

The theme, determined when the call for artists was announced, was “Liberating Humor,” which turned out to be a savvy choice by the Littleton Fine Art Board. “To liberate is to provide freedom from the limitations of thought or behavior,” said the announcement.

Just as the exhibit opened on Nov. 20, a few people got to see it, then all city buildings were closed per Colorado health order. Closed down along with what seems like the remainder of the world ... Oh my!

One can still access the images on the city website and hopefully, the museum will be able to open before the exhibit’s Jan. 2, 2021 closing date — keep an eye out for announcements. In the meantime, your computer screen continues to be the avenue to the arts ... go to www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/museum and click on “Liberating Humor” and then on “Digital Exhibit.”

Dr. Sara Magnetta is assistant professor of global contemporary art in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Denver. Her choice for “Best of Show” was “My Las Vegas Money,” a tempera painting by Olga and Aleksey Ivanov showing the back of a framed artwork, with a small roll of bills tucked in the corner of the frame — and what appears to be a receipt for the piece illustrated — and a green and white lollipop! Just in case.

Visual artists can be creative with words too ... See also: Susie Drucker’s “Loo With a View”; Mary Clark’s “Down on the Ranch,” a small herd of curious cows; “Talk to the Moon” by Jesse Guess (a crow atop a globe, as though he owns the world); “Where Have You Been?” by Dawn Hendrix — a goofy peacock close-up portrait. One hears shrill sounds by just looking!

The Ivanovs also have a piece called “Collector’s Chair” which is worth a chuckle. In fact, the whole show is entertaining — give yourself a break and linger on this website awhile ... The color and clear reproduction are fine — one just doesn’t get a conception of size, although of course it’s stated for each piece. And texture shows clearly in the photographs.

Highlands Ranch sculptor Shohini Ghosh exhibits one of her cast bronze sculptures: “Infinity,” with a mini-storyline: “A lady dancing with such grace that her grace and balance creates the infinite balance of movement and grace.”

In the three-dimensional department, sculptor Jutta Golas entered a ceramic sculpture: “On Top of it All.”

The Best of Show winners will get to mount a whole show next year, sharing space with the Best of Show winner in the “Eye of the Camera” photography exhibit. We enjoyed visiting their website and look forward to more exposure to their work ...

Other winners: first place: Anne Feller, “Embrace”; second place: “Chromaticism VI” by Matthew Bollinger, who says the museum is right in his neighborhood. Third place went to Will Barker’s “Upheaval.”

Honorable mention awards: Jesse Guess for “Talk to the Moon”; Heidi Rounds for “The Sprinkler”; and Shara Oliman for “Carrot-ish.”

We’ll hope to announce a reopening of City of Littleton facilities soon, but for now, an online look may help with a hunger to see new artworks in the round ... (And of course it’s there at midnight if the reader feels antsy then!)

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