Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ ‘Black & White’ exhibit opens |

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ ‘Black & White’ exhibit opens

This print of Chair Mountain is one of five drawings by Ruth Mollman that appear in "Black & White
Jessica Cabe / Post Independent |

If You Go...

Who: Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

What: ‘Black & White’

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

How Much: Free

There is something classic, clean and emotive about black and white art. Once color is stripped away, content is what’s left, and creating content that inspires an emotional response is a challenging but rewarding task.

The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is hosting its first “Black & White” exhibit, featuring about 20 pieces by nine artists, all of whom work in different media. A free opening reception will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday.

The idea for “Black & White” came from a road trip brainstorm session between Executive Director Christina Brusig and Program Assistant Brie Carmer.

“Brie and I were driving to a grant conference in Loveland, Colorado, and we were talking about how we could do something inclusive but unique,” Brusig said. “We came up with ‘Black & White.’”

“I always come back to black and white. There’s nothing to distract you — no color to distract you.”Ruth MollmanArtist

The black and white art submitted comes in a variety of forms, including photographs, drawings, mixed media, paintings and more.

“Every piece of art is totally different,” Brusig said. “None of the artists did anything similar to each other, which I think is really cool.”

Because black and white art is so clean, Brusig said she wanted to keep the exhibit fairly clean and sparse as well.

“We went with a less is more concept with this show,” she said. “We wanted to keep it simple, clean and concise, just like black and white.”

One of the participating artists, Ruth Mollman, submitted five pencil prints depicting scenes from the valley, including Chair Mountain, sunflowers she grew in her garden and four draft horses in a field. She said when she heard about “Black & White,” she was instantly interested.

“I thought, ‘I have to enter,’” she said. “That’s what I do. I always come back to black and white. There’s nothing to distract you — no color to distract you.”

Mollman said the beauty of a black and white exhibit is the ability for patrons to view the art for what it is rather than to try to find pieces to match their furniture.

“You’re not buying the art to match your couch; you’re buying it because you like the emotion it evokes,” she said.

Sara Gallagher, another artist in the show, submitted 15 4-by-6-inch double exposure photographs — five sets of three images — that blend the conscious and subconscious experience she had on a trip through Europe. Her first time through the black and white roll of film, she shot patterns or solid colors, like the sky or a close-up of a cluster of leaves. She then wound the roll back and shot people or places over top of the pattern images, not keeping track or having much of a plan.

“It was a way to capture the transient nature of the trip, blending memories with the captured reality,” Gallagher said.

While she has been a photographer for 10 years, Gallagher is more focused on colorful, vibrant oil painting and mixed media art. But when she heard about “Black & White,” she felt her photographs would be a perfect fit.

“What stuck out to me was that I actually never work in black and white,” she said. “My paintings and mixed media are always vibrant, but it immediately made me think of my photography. I think it will look really great walking into the gallery and seeing what people use in just the grayscale.”

Mollman said she loves to work in black and white because it strips away all distractions.

“Black and white is pure form, pure emotion,” she said. “The colors don’t draw you in, but the subject matter does. And you’ll feel something.”

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