Former higher education professional to exhibit at Artists Mercantile and Gallery |

Former higher education professional to exhibit at Artists Mercantile and Gallery

Carla Jean Whitley

If you go

Second Friday Reception

Friday, 5- 8 p.m. Featuring mixed media by Alice Bedard-Voorhees.

Artists Mercantile and Gallery, 720 Cooper Ave., Glenwood Springs | Free | 947-0947 |

Glen-A-Palooza takes place the second Friday of each month, and will feature several other events throughout the city’s downtown. The evening will include live music from The Missing Link Band, community art projects and family friendly games. Learn more at

Alice Bedard-Voorhees isn’t new to creativity. She’s explored it through a variety of forms: batik and a craft cooperative, creative writing, poetry and graduate school.

But until recently, Bedard-Voorhees focused most of her effort on a career in higher education, workplace learning and online education. The last four years, however, have been filled with mixed media and abstract art. She has shown work in three Valley Visual Arts shows in Carbondale, a Colorado Mountain College show in Rifle and created work for Glenwood Springs Center for the Art’s “6×6” exhibit. This month, she’s the featured artist at Artists Mercantile and Gallery in Glenwood.

Bedard-Voorhees is often inspired by lines and textures of stone surfaces and is drawn to abstract imagery.

“Maybe what drives that is my curiosity about the world of ideas and innovation,” she said. The Minnesota-raised artist’s travels have allowed her to see art on many continents. Bedard-Voorhees shares her work and others’ at

Post Independent: Art is a rather new direction for you; your interest is long held, but you spent much of your career in another field. What drew you to pursue visual arts?

Alice Bedard-Voorhees: I’ve been involved in creative activities since I was a child: sewing (color, design, fabric), cooking (“First the Eye Eats”), and later all kinds of crafts, then batik. Over time I have sought out visual art exhibits and was especially drawn to abstract and conceptual work. My work in the digital realm has increasingly brought me to the visual world. Additionally, having more time in my personal life, I felt the freedom to start making visual art.

PI: How have your studies, both in creative writing/poetry and American Studies, and your work experience shaped your particular visual interests?

ABD: That is a great question. The arts both inspire and are reactions to what is going on in culture (world) or the periods of the art before the current cycle.

The various types of fine arts inform each other as well. You will find paintings based on music; music inspired by the work of painters, poetry including references to paintings and music. Those are practices that have caught my attention over time. One specific example I can provide is after creating some works that were vaguely inspired by (Belgian surrealist René) Magritte, I discovered that Magritte’s inspiration was a reference to a work by Edgar Allen Poe.

I have a great interest in exploring materials and techniques that have become available for use in art making. We can now incorporate links to the digital world in a two-dimensional piece of art or use digital images as elements in our works.

PI: Can you tell me about how your interest, ideas and innovation relate to the works in this show?

ABD: The exploration of materials and textures is what most characterized this group. If this grouping had a title it would be “Lines and Layers.”

I’ve enjoyed naming the works; as the works have developed, their titles announced themselves.

PI: When you create, do you listen to music? If not, where is your mind as you work? How does that translate on the canvas?

ABD: Though I love music, I don’t typically listen to music while working. What goes on in my mind while I’m working? While I generally might have an idea about shape, texture or color and general layout, the exciting part for me is exploring how materials can contribute to the ultimate work. Some of the materials I use are mediums that add texture to the paints or painting surfaces. I sometimes use digital printing onto paper or canvas as a component of the work. The discovery and challenge to produce a finished work are what engage me during the art-making process.

I am curious about trying to paint to different kinds of music, and how that interaction might affect the process.

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