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Eye on Artists

Editor’s note: Michael Raaum’s work is featured as part of the group art show, “Regionalism” at the UMC Art Gallery on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, through Feb. 17.City/town: BasaltArtist statement: I paint nature-inspired abstractions. I try to capture energy from a life experience and hold it for observation. My working process is formed by my art training, cultures I’ve experienced, artwork that has moved me, and I am guided by the importance of ethics in making art. Making the work is a conversation between the ideas, materials, shapes and colors. I use both an additive and a subtractive painting process with the aim of achieving a composition that reflects my feelings with simplicity and clarity. I start by applying transparent watercolor washes. As the forms emerge, line is added to cut the positive from the negative. Successive washes of color and line develops the texture. Lively drips and spatters react to the nature of gravity infusing the work with energy. The excitement of following an idea keeps me at it, pursuing a vision of the new. Artist background: I came from an artistic family. As an infant, I was happiest watching my father draw while I sat on his lap. I grew up making toys out of cardboard, tape and paints. I moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1985 to work for Colorado Mountain College in Aspen. I have taught painting and drawing for CMC ever since. Artist education: I received both my bachelor’s and master’s of fine arts in painting from the University of Minnesota. I consider myself to be in a continual state of furthering my education and recently received aesthetic training from the Lincoln Center in New York City. Shows and gallery exhibitions: I am currently included in a group show, “Regionalism,” at the UMC Art Gallery at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The work will show through Feb. 17.Selected solo exhibitions:n 2005, “String Dimensions,” new paintings, CMC Gallery, Center for Excellence in the Arts, Glenwood Springs n 2001, “Visual Power,” Morgridge Academic Center, CMC Aspen Campus Art Galleryn 1999, summer show, Café Bernard’s, Basalt n 1994, “Roots and Branches,” new works, Connie Logan Gallery, CMC Aspen Campusn 1987, 12 new works, Pitkin County Library, Aspenn 1982, “Works by Michael Raaum,” Theater In The Round Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota n 1982, selected works 1979-81, Catherine G. Murphy Galleries, St. Paul, Minn.n 1981, graphic works, School of Management, University of Minnesota n 1979, paintings, prints and drawings, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, MinneapolisSelected group exhibitions:n 2006, “Regionalism,” UMC Art Gallery, University of Colorado, Boulder n 2005-06, “Lysistrata,” Thunder River Theatre Gallery, Carbondale n 2005, Roaring Fork Open, Aspen Art Museumn 2005, Roaring Fork Artists, Alpine Bank, Carbondale n 2005, After Hours, 104 Midland Avenue, Basalt n 2005, faculty show, CMC Aspen Campusn 2005, “Imagine,” Sandra Phillips Gallery, Denvern 2005, Valley Visual Arts Show, Kahhak Fine Arts Gallery, sponsored by the Carbondale Council for Arts and Humanitiesn 2004, “Postcards From The Edge,” Visual Aids Benefit, hosted by the Brent Sikkema Gallery, New Yorkn 2004, “Artists for Peace,” Carbondale Council for Arts and Humanities, Carbondalen 2004, Red Brick Center for the Arts Gallery, 10th Anniversary Celebration, Aspenn 2003-05, Aspen Artist CooperativeFamily information: Married to my high school sweetheart, Ilene Schmidt How did you get started as an artist? I think it starts early. I recall drawing symbolic shapes that were too personal to share even as a preschool child. I tried to not do art for a career, but eventually it seemed like the most important work I could do. My goal for many years was to find a way to pursue art full time. I now work on my art every day. What do you do in your free time? I travel and study the local art. I like most live music events and really enjoy reggae festivals. I love birds, dogs, walking, swimming and snorkeling. What’s your favorite medium? For now, acrylics provide the most freedom of expression. Who’s your favorite artist? Stuart Davis What or who is your biggest influence? The art materials have a great influence and I consider them to be my teachers.The Post Independent is asking accomplished artists to participate in “Eye on the Artists” by providing clear, descriptive, and fun explanations about what makes them tick as artists, including experiences in their field, hobbies and inspirations. Return completed forms to April Clark, at aclark@postindependent.com, 945-4487 (fax), or 2014 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.


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