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A new exhibit in the Summit County Commons showcases local artists, with a free opening May 21
Leslie Walker, Art Forum Program Assistant
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Art Forum is unveiling a new exhibit at the Summit County Commons, showcasing the work of local artists. “Families” kicks off with an opening from 4-6 p.m., Sunday, May 21, in the Art Forum display space, located on the building’s upper level, adjacent to the Summit County Library in Frisco.
“The concept of ‘family’ can describe so many types of important relationships in our lives,” Art Forum Program Assisant Leslie Walker said. “It serves as a framework for our connections with relatives, animal companions, friends, coworkers and more. This exhibit gives us the opportunity to see artists’ interpretations of what it means to be a family, and it provides windows into the lives of real Summit County families.”
“Families” will be on display in the Summit County Commons through September. Sunday’s opening is free to the public, and featured artists will be present to discuss their work. Silverthorne resident and author Karin Mitchell will read from her entertaining and insightful memoir, “Stop Licking That.” The event will also include light refreshments. All ages are welcome.
Karin Mitchell’s humorous memoir “Stop Licking That” illustrates the universal struggles of parenting and “how hard it is to get your kids to stop licking things and how frustratingly funny parenting can truly be.” According to Mitchell, “The book is really about the idea of control and knowing when to let go and thinking to myself how much do I laugh about this, and how much should I cry about that.”
Artists featured in “Families” include Alisa Messeroff, Corky Woodring, Cecelia Eidemiller, Susan Simon, Dinah Langsjoen, Matt Lit, Michelle Woods, Len Szmurlo, Bill Linfield, Jeremy Greene, Kathy Wahler, Adolph Zimmerman and Art Forum scholarship winners Ella PieCoup and Samantha Buer. Also on display is the toy collection of Georgia Kraatz.
Alisa Messeroff is an award-winning photographer based in Breckenridge, who specializes in maternity, newborns, children’s milestones, families and couples. Her collection “Real Life Parenting” strays from the traditional family portraits to showcase real-life scenarios. She photographs families in their homes doing normal daily activities. “Whatever happens happens, and I am there to capture it. I know everyone loves the picture-perfect moments, but it’s good to have fun. Life gets in the way, and I like to show that,” Messeroff said. “Life is hectic. Life is real, especially when you have kids.”
Heeney resident Corky Woodring is a self-taught artist who creates his found-object art using meditation and visualization. His artwork has been inspired through walking, part of his mental health therapy. “Currently, I am trying to find a balance between the mother earth, father sky, and the Creator, so I can share what our eyes don’t see and maybe find a new color.”
Charcoal, pastel and oil painter Cecelia Eidemiller is known as the “fastest draw in the West” for her popular five-minute portraits. The Breckenridge resident is also a prolific landscape artist.
Susan Simon works with mixed media, acrylic and oil glazes to depict what she calls “partly truth and partly fiction,” including relationships that aren’t tied by blood, but rather, what she describes as “those unusual alliances we cultivate and cherish over the years that can also be considered family.”
Watercolorist Dinah Langsjoen’s work is inspired by her 4-month-old son. A self taught watercolorist, her inspiration to decorate his nursery with her own art came through financial challenges partly associated with high child care costs. Her paintings feature a wide variety of animals, including a chameleon, fox and walrus.
Having photographed people for many years as a photojournalist, Matt Lit is displaying his family portrait photography. “I started doing a lot of multigenerational family reunions, and that was really quite fascinating for me. I got to meet some wonderful people along the way and create some really wonderful images,” Lit said.
Michelle Woods is an artist and mother. She is a ceramics instructor at Colorado Mountain College and has been a birth doula for the past five years. She creates belly casts for expecting mothers. “The life experience of that moment is a gift, in many different ways, for a mother and child.”
Woodcutter Len Szmurlo creates intricate work by drawing up patterns and using a scroll saw to cut his designs. Szmurlo started out with woodcutting by making pieces for his family; he then moved on to portraits and landscapes. “I’m a new grandfather, and I’ve done a couple pieces for my new grandson. My family is growing, and that means a lot to me.”
Bill Linfield started with photographic film 40 years ago. He is exhibiting three large canvases portraying wildlife families, including ducks, moose and red tail hawks. “I think this theme of family is appropriate now for many reasons. This is the time of year when wildlife are having their families. It’s a great time to be out watching for and hopefully spotting wildlife with young ones.”
Jeremy “Jerms” Green aims to capture feelings through color. His paintings and wire sculptures are a “glimpse of time through the eyes of a survivor of a traumatic brain injury” he sustained at 16 years old.
Watercolorist Kathy Wahler is a member of Women of Watercolor. “I express my love of family by painting them with their pets, playing, skiing, horseback riding, camping and traveling.”
Art Forum scholarship winner Ella PieCoup is exhibiting a portrait of her parents, which she has recreated with copic markers, and a charcoal portrait of her close friend. “I tried to capture her emotions,” PieCoup said. “Emotion is the main thing that comes through in my art.” She typically uses graphite and charcoal and sticks to black and white. To her, “the subjects are more important than the colors.”
Art Forum scholarship winner Samantha Buer’s work includes mixed media and paintings. She intends to become an art teacher. “I really want to be able to nurture all ages of kids to be able to express themselves and to help them understand the value of art in today’s society.”
Silverthorne resident Adolph Zimmerman is a painter and bronze sculptor. “I want to capture a moment in time with a sense of humor. I like to see people smile when they view my work.”
The Art Forum features three four-month-long shows each year, highlighting works of art by community members.