Salon Supplémentaire at the Sisson Library

Parallel with our organization’s 6th Annual Juried Exhibition, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring the adjunct exhibit, Salon Supplémentaire, at the Sisson Library. I decided to conduct Salon Supplémentaire to provide additional opportunity for us to feature more artworks than our little cramped Town Park Gallery can accommodate. We had a near record number of entry submissions to this year’s sixth annual Juried Exhibition; with 49 artists submitting 93 works. Our Town Park Gallery can only accommodate about one-fourth of these works, so I approached Jacqueline Welch, director of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library and local artist Sabine Baeckmann-Elge and together we set in motion this year’s adjunct exhibit.

 Salon Supplémentaire was juried by local artists Baeckmann-Elge, Pierre Mion and me from the entry submissions we received for our Juried Exhibition. Featured will be the artworks of Pagosa Springs artists Randy Albers, Virginia Bartlett, Denise Chaney, Sindey Greher, Sandra Kuhne, Mary Cruz Magdaleno, Jana Parkes, Marcia Pastuszek, Betty Slade and Jean Smith.

Artist Randy Albers’ “East Fork Cattle Drive” magnificently captures the slow under swell of energy of a cattle drive moving up East Fork Road in early morning light. I look at the dust cloud rendered by Albers and feel like I am in the midst. I can hear the cattle’s low mooing as they slowly move along the road. I know and remember fondly the exact location along the East Fork of the San Juan River represented by Albers. Many of you know and admire Randy Albers’ oils. One of her recent works, “Pope John Paul II,” now resides in the new and recently dedicated Pope John Paul II Church in Pagosa Springs.

 “Gathering Storm,” rendered by Virginia Bartlett as a watercolor collage, is an intriguing representation of a stormy desert landscape. Bartlett’s interpretation is fresh and energetic. In her collages, Bartlett paints various color and textural effects in watercolor; then tears and reassembles the torn pieces into unique landscape scenes. Bartlett, a native of Virginia, majored in Fine Art at the College of William and Mary Virginia. While interested in art from an early age, Bartlett began to seriously study with outstanding artists in 1976 to continue to grow her artistic skills and prowess. “I feel after the techniques are mastered and have become second nature, an artist is free to express what she or he feels on canvas or paper without being hampered by having to think of the mechanics,” says Bartlett. “Communicating the artist’s feelings about a subject to the viewer is what fine art is all about.”

Denise Chaney presents two works, “Grey Horse” and “Windmill,” both created using the wax-resist dyeing technique known as batik. Batik is similar in a sense to the Japanese Shibori technique used by Longmont artist Miriam Basart to create “Recidivist” currently on exhibit in the Juried Exhibition. However, the two fabric dyeing techniques differ immensely in that batik uses a wax resist in addition to the bound resist used in the creation of Shibori textiles. Through the process of batik an artist can create the unique patterned and striated effects one see’s in Chaney’s works.

 “Chrysalis” and “Blue Indian Vase,” by Sindey Greher, are both reflective of Greher’s love of color and forms. Greher’s abstract paintings are vibrant with highly detailed surfaces. Her works often incorporate mixed media such as fabrics and paper. She is well versed in the color palette. Greher, a New York native, spent some of her early years in Antigua, West Indies, where she was influenced by Caribbean art, music and culture. She later earned her MFA from New York University, and has painted fervently ever since. Greher moved to Pagosa Springs in August 2006, and earlier this year exhibited with artists Rachel Alber and Kay Harper Roberts in Convergence-Three Women Artists at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council’s Town Park Gallery.

Jana Parkes’ “Glimpsing the Fabric of Life” and “Cosmic Birth” are excellent examples of her works in acrylic. “Cosmic Birth” is quite literally “cosmic” in its expression. It appears to represent a white hole, which astrophysicists theorize as the theoretical time reversal of a black hole. Counter to a black hole, which draws in any matter crossing its event horizon, a white hole acts as a source that ejects matter from its event horizon. “Glimpsing the Fabric of Life” is one of Parkes’ energy-emotion expression paintings, which are abstract expressions of archetypal energies or emotions. Parkes studied art and design at Kendall College of Design in Michigan, where she grew up. After graduating she spent 19 years in the space planning and interior design field, eleven of those years with her own consulting business. Jana’s spiritual path brought her back to painting. Since 2006, she has painted full time; her passion.

Betty Slade draws from her 40 years of painting to present “Lillian’s Pearl” and “In Naked Silence,” two exquisite works in oil. Slade’s approach to the use of color presents her subjects in vibrant impressionistic palettes awash with pinks, reds, oranges, aqua, blues and greens. These works have an abstracted looseness that I enjoy; akin to a freeness of spirit. Her blending and layering techniques create masterful depth in her paintings. Betty stretches herself through experimentation with colors and design.

 Slade comments that she “has experienced every facet in the art field.” She has owned several galleries, had her own television program, and owned her own publishing company. She now writes Life In The Artist Lane in the PREVIEW. Betty loves to share her knowledge and help others who desire to grow personally and professionally in the arts. She has taught art instructional workshops in watercolors and oils through the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

 Jean Smith presents, “Tarahumara Mother” and “Child and Woman in Nepal,” both watercolors that express Smith’s keen interest in world cultures. In these works, Smith captures her subjects with a fine attention to detail, celebrating the traditional lifestyles of these two distinct cultures. The Tarahumara are an indigenous people of northern Mexico renowned for their long-distance running ability. Many Tarahumara still practice transhumance, the nomadic raising of animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. Almost all Tarahumara migrate in some form or another during the course of a year.

Smith is a community humanitarian. In addition to serving as a recent President of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, she and her husband David have performed countless volunteer hours benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County. Both Jean and David are retired professors of the University of Nebraska, where Jean served as a professor of chemistry. Jean and her husband were instrumental in establishing Gurais, Pakistan as Pagosa Springs’ sister village.

 Salon Supplémentaire will open with its artists’ reception to be held at the Sisson Library on Thursday, June 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. A People’s Choice award winner will be selected from Salon Supplémentaire via community vote during the exhibit run.

 Both the Sisson Library and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council are pleased to jointly present Salon Supplémentaire. The Salon Supplémentaire sales commission proceeds will benefit the library, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, or both, organizations, as directed by the artist. Salon Supplémentaire will run from June 25–July 21.

 PSAC invites art connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike to come and explore the unique and evocative works on display in both of our exciting exhibits.