"Extravagant Possibilities: Rocky Mountain National Park and the Contemporary Imagination"
January 9 - Feb 27, 2015
James Biggers, Bob Campagna, Cathy Goodale, Denny Haskew, Tedi Jensen, Selina Karim, Veronica Patterson, Kayo Peeler, Dena Peterson, Michael Ryan, Ronda Stone, Andrew Svedlow and Dion Weichers
Curated by Andrew Jay Svedlow, Ph.D.
The history of the National Parks in the United States is intimately intertwined with the history of art produced in what would become the National Parks and the art being created today in these majestic places. This transaction between artists and US National Parks goes back to as early as 1872 and the creation of Yellowstone as the country’s first National Park where the painter Thomas Moran and the photographer William Henry Jackson revealed, through their art, the wonder and worthiness of Yellowstone as a place to be preserved and marveled at by future generations.
Artworks Loveland is located a mere thirty miles or so from one of the nation’s most visited and cherished National Parks, Rocky Mountain National Park which celebrates its one hundredth anniversary in 2015. As a community of contemporary studio artists who create their art so near Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) at Artworks Loveland, the mountains and lakes of RMNP are never far from their consciousness or their visual range.
While these artists and colleagues in the region who have been asked to participate in this exhibition, do not always focus their attention on the wilderness close at hand, in honor of RMNP’s 100th anniversary they have taken time from their customary work to travel through the park and to use its beauty and awesomeness as a muse for their work. This exhibition features the idiosyncratic and distinctively contemporary approach that these artists have manifested as their take on the omnipresent RMNP in their lives.
Some of the works in this exhibition fit uneasily in the pristine white walls of a gallery and wish to be fiercely connected to the true wildness that is found in Rocky Mountain National Park, and others fit more comfortably within the confines of the exhibition arena. Whether an esoteric and intellectual reflection on the history and presence of the Park in the artist’s imagination or a direct representation of a place depicted sensually and viscerally, these compelling works of art combine to complete and nuanced and complex relationship that reveals a lasting truth about the importance of RMNP in the lives of those who reside in Colorado and those who come from across the globe to experience the aesthetic mystery that is wildness contained within the boundaries of RMNP.
There is a long history of painters and photographers that have created in RMNP and that tradition is still alive and well in the park today. Included in this practice today are artists represented in this exhibition: James Biggers, Bob Campagna, Cathy Goodale, Denny Haskew, Tedi Jensen, Selina Karim, Veronica Patterson, Kayo Peeler, Dena Peterson, Michael Ryan, Ronda Stone, Andrew Svedlow and Dion Weichers, all of whom have captured the objective reality that is ever changing in the evolving biomes of the park. Using a different imaginative lens are artists such as Joe Norman and Carrie Johansing whose installations are evocative, if not directly so, of the geological time that has been present in the transformation of the park over millennium.
These artistic reactions and musings take the viewer on an excursion as powerful and illuminating as a hike in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Jan 9, 6-9 pm, Opening Reception
- Feb 13, 6-9 pm, Second Friday
- Jan 30, 6:30-8:30 pm, Artist Reception