Celebrate more than 45 years of zen and the art of furniture making at the opening reception of the Bob Johnson Retrospective Exhibition from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at CCAH’s R2 Gallery in the Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St. in Carbondale. This exhibition features a lifetime of work by longtime Carbondale furniture builder Bob Johnson and will also feature Annette Roberts-Gray’s most recent series titled “Commuter Watercolors.”
When Bob Johnson started building fine furniture in 1970, beginning with a few pieces for his home, he recognized a sense of powerful connection to his Swedish grandfather and soon abandoned the career he had trained for as a tool and die maker in favor of working with wood. For 18 years, Johnson built furniture without the aid of machine tools, and his current work features meticulous handwork, reflecting his personal need to show his hands in the finished piece. Johnson’s furniture is in private collections across the country and has been featured on the cover of Aspen magazine. Locally you can see his hand-carved entrance doors at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork and St. Benedict’s Monastery Retreat Center Meditation Room. This exhibition will be a retrospective of Johnson’s career, featuring a variety of works borrowed from private collections, as well as merchandise (walking sticks, bread boards, stools) for sale.
Annette Roberts-Gray’s recent series of work,“Commuter Watercolors,” will also be featured in this upcoming exhibition. Roberts-Gray, of Glenwood Springs, has created 30 small paintings completed on her daily RFTA commute from her home in Glenwood Springs to her job at the Carbondale library. “Over 30 years living in the Roaring Fork Valley, I have driven the 10 or so miles between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale countless times, but while driving, does one really see? Riding the bus has afforded the luxury/ability for me to really look at the landscape, to notice the quality of the sky at a particular time of day, on a particular day; the color of the trees and the soil; the way snow has changed the scene,” reflected Roberts-Gray. She began making small watercolor studies while riding the bus. They are elegantly simple snapshots of scenes that we see every day.
The exhibition will be open to the viewing public for May 8 through June 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. An additional gallery event will be held from 5:30- 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at the R2 Gallery, during which the artists Bob Johnson and Annette Roberts-Gray will speak about their work.