Kaleidoscope spans variety of works from area artists

Juried show is annual community exhibit held in college gallery


Straight ahead to the right as a visitor walks into Kaleidoscope: A Juried Community Exhibition at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at Arapahoe Community College is the winning entry: “The Human Condition” by Pam Schmidt — a life-sized mannikin, covered with precisely stitched-together, highly polished pieces of brown leather. The browns vary a bit in hue, but the overall effect is stylish and surprising — perhaps suggestive of a quilter’s pattern. As a coating for a woman’s figure, the craftsmanship is impressive and makes one contemplate a story — or message.

Just to the left of Schmidt’s piece hangs Forest Plesko’s “Street Art,” a striking photo of manhole covers that also suggested quilts to this viewer. (Thoughtful installation.) It won an Honorable Mention.

The annual community exhibit was started a number of years ago by a group of community artists, and has grown under the support of ACC gallery director Trish Sangelo, offering a pleasing collection of artworks in a variety of techniques.

This year’s juror was Mary Williams, a Castle Rock artist and gallery owner.

In the fiber arts realm are a couple of works in felted wool and silk by Gayla Ruckhaus: “Prickly Pear” and “Mulholland Trail.” Interesting textures lead one to developing itchy fingers — wanting to touch! They are akin to metal or wood relief sculptures, with a third dimension.

Second Place choice by Williams is Michelle Lamb’s intricate assemblage, “Cygnus,” displayed on a pedestal with other pieces of her mixed-media work. The swan-like piece is made of a remarkable assortment of objects, rescued from old typewriters and other mechanical items. (Lamb’s studio is an amazing spot.)

There is a group of clay monoprints by Linda Schmale. “Leaf Series # 1” took Third Place and speaks of another way for a potter to express herself, bridging the wall between craft and fine art — a wall that barely exists these days, but was once an issue. Schmale also has conventional ceramic pieces, exhibited on pedestals in the center of the gallery.

Gallery walls offer framed works that include a range of paintings and drawings, including the Honorable Mention mixed-media landscape “History,” by longtime area teacher and painter Bobbi Shupe. The subject is a weathered old farm, skillfully executed in subdued colors.

Carol Broere’s Raku ceramic works are displayed on the wall: “Tree of Life” is a sculptural piece with the earthy metallic sheen that is achieved with Raku firing. Held together in it are a tree and a collection of small birds. You can almost hear them twittering.

Another Honorable Mention was awarded to Daren Gilbert’s oil painting, “Puako # 110 1/2,” which illustrates yet another way to project one’s thinking …

Gail Firmin’s watercolor, “Girasole,” also has an Honorable Mention ribbon.


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