The ‘Wild Women’ are back in Glenwood |

The ‘Wild Women’ are back in Glenwood

Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” What makes a wild woman?

“There’s no rules,” answered Bobbie Van Meter.

“It’s being totally free to express yourself in any way you want to,” said Annette Thompson.

“It’s a delicious state of being,” added Linda Drake.

No wonder they put on such a mean art show.

Tonight, for the ninth-straight year, the “Wild Women” exhibit will open at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. The showing, which runs all through summer, is traditionally the center’s most popular. Its opening gala is by far the best attended of the of the year. This time around, it features the work of 12 local ladies. So many of these artists promised the same scene at tonight’s fiesta: wacky costumes, wigs, tons of food and fun.

When asked about the soul of the show, their answers were a bit more varied.

It was a few days before the opening, and Van Meter, a mosaic artist, was hanging her iridescent, glass mandalas near a window at the art center. Nearby, her gourd bowls were waiting to be placed.

“This is art from the heart,” she said. “It really is.”

She says her pieces revolve around inner calm. They’re about quieting “mind chatter,” about connecting with natural or recycled materials. They’re anything the viewer wants them to be. Like the rest of work on display, hers is “out of the box,” she explained, promising no inhibition.

“Whatever is inside of us, that’s what we do,” she said.

Drake was finding a spot for her folksy work on an empty piece of wall. Bright and cheery, her paintings are collaged and layered on canvases and fan blades. She called the exhibit a nice break from the “same-old, same-old” some art centers care to display. Like Van Meter, she’s been in the show since its beginning. Back then, center executive director Gayle Mortell and artist Wewer Keohane were looking to start something new.

Drake sounded truly happy they had.

“It was just fun to be able to come to a place and energize women to really go for it,” she said, eyes shining and excited.

Though they don’t plan a theme every year, one tends to emerge. In shows past, it’s been shoes, dolls, bowling balls. This year, so many of the pieces are bursting with color. Janet Nelson’s tuna sculpture is

a kaleidoscope of hues and bottle caps. Annette Thompson’s rustic, painted portraits are vibrant and popping. Kathy Honea’s bovine-inspired, 3-D collages are black, with striking streaks of red throughout. The list goes on.

And it’s all very “advant-guard,” explained Drake.

As her group of adventurous females would probably agree, it’s all very important, too.

Four-year “Wild” veterans Nicole Levesque and Terry Muldoon thought so. The pair were in the back the center and finishing up their pieces, last-minute style. Muldoon’s collaged sculptures and “found object jewelry” were drying. Levesque’s mixed media paintings were still awaiting a few last strokes. Muldoon called the show a celebration of women artists. Levesque called themselves “lucky girls” for being part of it. Name an art form, she concluded, and women have been excluded from its history. But that can change, she stressed.

Maybe all it takes is a few fierce females to buck the trend.

After all, to quote Muldoon, “Being a wild woman means coloring outside the lines.”

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

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