Wild Women exhibit gets a ‘Facelift’
Arts and Entertainment Contributor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — By definition, the word “wild” means savage, mad, feral and not domesticated or cultivated.
For the new artists of the “Facelift” Wild Women exhibit at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts gallery, 601 E. Sixth St., those words are all relative.
“I am a wild woman of the Roaring Fork Valley,” said artist Liz Waters. “The work in this show is my sheds … personal icons and autobiographical chatter. Except for the ‘How the West Was Won’ mixed-media piece, which gives a humorous take on the aforementioned title.”
Originally from the Chicagoland area, Waters has been living and teaching art in the area for the past 13 years. A Rifle High School art teacher, Waters said she is honored to participate in the popular Wild Women show. Titled “Facelift” this year for its even wilder form of feminine expression through art, according to curator Christina Brusig, the exhibit runs through Sept. 8.
“Thank you, Glenwood Springs Center of the Arts for changing my title from ‘crazy’ to ‘wild,’ Waters said.
Western Slope quilt artist Deborah Snider has an eye for how women are typically viewed in society. She sees how art can change traditional opinions that have historically shaped the female persona, as displayed in her Wild Women “Saints and Sweeties” collection.
“In 2005, I began to notice how women were often depicted: large and small Madonnas in combination with sweeties — scantily-clad women — on motorcycles, skis, skates, in uniform,” Snider said. “Women are stereotypically presented as the virginal, pure, Madonna-like icons as found here, or as the rebellious woman, ‘soiled dove,’ or ‘ditzy bimbo.’ I play with the dualities of the roles of women in our culture and world, reflecting on how both Saints and Sweeties give comfort, whether spiritually or physically.”
As a singer and comedian in the Viva la Woman burlesque troupe, Carbondale artist Kat Rich said her Wild Women prints are strongly shaped through her on-stage experiences. As a burlesque performer, the fourth-generation Colorado native is better known as Kitty La Crème.
“Those prints are primarily influenced by burlesque,” she said. “I use a lot of red and black, and those are very burlesque colors, say when you look around a burlesque house. They are very powerful color choices. And I try to do a lot of contrast.”
Rich’s breakthrough Wild Women collection is her first experience with printing after studying at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass this summer. Prior to developing an interest in print media, Rich primarily painted with acrylics to express her inner burlesque stage star.
“I tried the print process and I fell in love with it,” she said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. It’s a fluke I’m even a print artist.”
Examination of different media is what highlights Fruita’s Cassie Sokal’s mosaic work on display as part of “Facelift.”
“I got into making mosaics because I have a small kiln and large ideas,” she said. “I love to experiment with glazes and firing techniques.”
Grand Junction fine artist Judy Rogan takes a shiny-happy-feeling approach to her award-winning acrylic paintings. She has combined previously featured subjects of wine and bicycles into one painting to win the 2013 Colorado Winefest poster as well as the 2013 Fruita Fall Festival.
Rogan’s specialty is typically animal portraits, in which she focuses on capturing the animal’s essence and personality.
“I also choose happy, uplifting and cheerful subjects such as bicycles, wine, desserts, high heels and much more,” she said.
Whitewater, Colo., artist DJ Janowski also looks to her surrounding as inspiration for her Wild Women artwork. Raised on a ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, Janowski brings a contemporary interpretation to modern and historic images of the American West.
“My fascination with Native American cultures began as a child when I used to hunt for arrowheads in blowouts — like sand traps — on the prairie,” she said.
Janowski’s major influences include Fritz Scholder, Gerald Cassidy and RC Gorman. She has lived and worked as an artist in New York, London, Houston, Dallas, Omaha, Chicago and Denver — but is always drawn back to her roots.
“At heart, I’ve always been a Westerner,” she said.
Like Janowski and her fellow Wild Women artists, Aspen intuitive healer Jeanne Wicks channels her environment and experiments with media to create her female-empowered works.
“I am inspired by nature, the spirit of the Divine Feminine, and that which comes to me in my dreams, meditations and visions,” she said. “I have an urge to experiment with and express myself through many kinds of media — oftentimes combining several — which highlight my fondness for dimension, texture and illusion.”
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