A variety of art is alive in New Castle | PostIndependent.com

A variety of art is alive in New Castle

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

New Castle is lucky to have many talented artists in its midst, as well as citizens who appreciate the arts and make that artwork available for others.

Mark Lemon is currently exhibiting his oil paintings at Patti’s Main St. Coffee House in beautiful downtown New Castle. His subjects range from landscapes of the west, to figures of an old farmer against a truck, to an Indian or a contemporary young woman.

Lemon has been a resident of the Vail Valley since 1978, and was a founding member of the Plaza Gallery in Vail. He has been making the trip to “paint with the ladies” at OZ, The Artists’ Workshop for several years.

Lemon is currently away on a plein air painting excursion. Plein air is a French term for “in the open air.” Artists paint outdoors in picturesque areas and the public is encouraged to become engaged in the painting process.

Lemon has won many prestigious awards such as the Award of Excellence at the Englewood National Juried Exhibit in Englewood, Colorado in 2009; Honorable Mention at the Plein Air Art Competition at the One Hundred Years of Utah Parks in 2008; winner of the “Bells and Butterflies” Plein air competition at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail in 2008; winner of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Greeting Card Competition in 2007; winner of the Jack Roberts Memorial Award for Excellence in Portraying Western Life at the 44th annual Springs Fall Art Festival in 2006; and winner of the Grand Champion Dan LeVan Trophy at the Glenwood Springs Fall Art Festival in 2005.

He began drawing and building things at an early age. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses, constructs and re-constructs his subjects until he achieves his goals. He believes the painting process is a natural extension of this practice. He begins with a clear concept and then solves the problems of design, color harmony, etc., to create a pleasing result.

The artist is not afraid of showing his emotions in his work. He chooses his subjects and depicts their history and what shaped their current spirit to make a powerful statement. He wants his work to be calming and comfortable, yet visually dynamic and uplifting.

Lemon’s art teachers include the prestigious Joe Abbrescia, Dean Bowlby, Bob Froese, William Scott Jennings and Daniel Sprick.

Check out Mark Lemon’s artistry now until the end of September at Patti’s Main Street Coffee House.

Another art medium to enjoy are the beautiful banners of photographs of local scenes taken by photographers Scott Pope, Gary Hoof and Suzie Romig, which are now hanging on Main Street in Historic Old Town. Take some time to appreciate these outstanding local photographers. This artwork is made possible by the Arts in Public Places effort of the town of New Castle.

Wewer Keohane, a blue-ribbon gallery artist and author from Cattle Creek, will install a compostable sculpture in the Smart Scape garden on Main Street between Second and Third streets in the next week or two. Wewer’s gift to New Castle will be a biodegradable book tree.

Many years ago, Wewer was inspired to make book trees from books which would be otherwise sent to the landfill. She plants rebar into the earth, then drills holes in the old books and places them on the rebar to make “trees.” The books deteriorate over the years and turn into compost. Birds and chipmunks make little nests in them.

“Sometimes the weight of the snow makes them bend,” she said. “I have a little forest of them at home, and most of them have collapsed after ten years or so. The color from the books eventually fades. As they condense, I can add books or let them be. I feel it gives the books dignity to be made into art instead of being crushed at the dump.”

Hooray for Wewer. Who wants to see any book go to the dump?

Kay Vasilakis’ “New Castle News” column appears every other Thursday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. To contact her with a local positive inspiration or event, please call 618-6689 or e-mail kayvasilakis@yahoo.com.

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