Archive for April, 2011

A Real American Cowboy

April 18, 2011 in Art,Artists | Comments (0)

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In case you didn’t know, cowboys are alive and well—and multi-talented!  There’s one cowboy, I’d especially like you to meet.  Gary Campbell.  He’s not your typical cowboy.  He’s a talented artist in well-worn cowboy boots and probably knows how to tie more kinds of knots in a rope than a boy scout.

Aside from being a modern-day American cowboy, he has a special creative gift and brings something unusual to his craft.  Maybe it is the fact that he trained horses professionally for 40 years; and for all those years, he handled the material that now is fundamental to his artwork.  Although he’s an accomplished sculptor and for years sculpted cowboys, horses, wildlife and Native Americans,  now his hands are busy molding rope. Gary has worked with rope all his life and can  lasso his target with precision. Today, however, he is doing something unexpected with this well-known cowboy’s tool. 

He’s making baskets. Based on a simple idea, he decided to repurpose authentic lariat ropes from working cowboys, cowgirls, and ranchers.  He collects used rope and artfully turns them into decorative baskets.  His idea flourished. His baskets evolved. From ordinary, natural rope, he twists and turns, and forms exquisite functional baskets. His wife, Sue, knew he was on to something special right from the start. She suggested dying the rope and adding other elements to the baskets or lids like elk, deer, or moose horns.  Gary’s ideas for new and unexpected designs continue to grow with each creation.  He recently told us that what makes his artwork special is, “Each basket or bowl has its own character, like the sturdy rope it was made with.  These ropes previously had a full life of their own and now they have a new life. That makes for an interesting story. ” I could not agree more.

From one cowboy’s hard-working hands, to Gary’s creative hands, to your hands, we are excited to bring these beautiful baskets to Hunter-Wolff Gallery—and pass on the legend of a real American cowboy.

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Memories in the Making

April 3, 2011 in Art,Artists,Events | Comments (0)

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Artist Marlene Kort

Artist Marlene Kort

As artists, we are all aware of how art forms can become a universal language, uninhibited by words, political, cultural or spiritual limitations.  Art, music, literature and dance have often bridged connections between people who might otherwise be unable to communicate.

Recently I became aware of another angle on this theme through the Memories In the Making® art program of the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.  Through the freedom of art, those affected with Alzheimer’s are able to express feelings and ideas that may otherwise be trapped inside.  With brush strokes they pull us into their world and help us see their stories. 

The program began in 1986 when artist and caregiver Selly Jenny, whose mother had Alzheimer’s, began to use an art program to see what patients were able to reveal about themselves.  It grew from there, nationally and internationally, to include a training manual, an art exhibit and auction, a calendar, and much more.

Our local chapter will be holding a number of events in the next few months tied with this program.  Some of you may be participating in the palette program, where artists are given a traditional painter’s palette and asked to create a work of art directly on the palette, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for further research and development. 

Another program, which I am participating in, is a “pairing”, where I am paired with an Alzheimer’s patient and am using her work of art to inspire my own original piece.  These works will also be auctioned off as a fundraiser.

I am excited about this project for several reasons.  My grandmother had a very early onset of Alzheimer’s, a full decade before it became recognized and diagnostically identifiable.  Family members suggested that my grandfather was too domineering and wouldn’t allow her to think for herself as the source of her dementia.  We know now that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Probably no one reading this has been spared the touch of Alzheimer’s in their circle of family or friends.  I am excited to find yet one more way that our art can be a positive contribution in our society.

If you are interested in learning more about this program or the upcoming events in our community, here are some contacts;

2011 Memories in the Making Art Auction

April 29, 5:30pm ProRodeo Hall of Fame

Nancy Oxenhandler, Art Committee Co-Chair

Marlene Kort, Artist & Treasurer, Pikes Peak Pastel Society  

Brightness from the Shadows by Marlene Kort

Brightness from the Shadows by Marlene Kort

Blooming Tulips by Vera

Blooming Tulips by Vera

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