SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts opens “DIALOGUES” with an artists’ reception on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 5-8 p.m.

This eclectic exhibition runs Oct. 4-Nov. 15, and features works that suggest an exchange of ideas and opinions.

“DIALOGUES” features figurative ceramic sculptures by Carrianne Hendrickson, New York; colorful abstract paintings by Marcie Paper, New York; elegant ceramic sculptures by Jeff Pender, North Carolina; and thoughtful figurative paintings by Christopher St. John, New Mexico.

Also showing — a collaborative “DIALOGUES” project by Debra Blair, New Mexico, and Marti Bledsoe, Colorado, in the SHY RABBIT print studio gallery.

Whether abstract, figurative, or purely sculptural, the paintings and ceramics selected for inclusion in “DIALOGUES” contain a conversational element special to each piece. They were chosen for their ability to speak in unique ways to and with the viewer, sometimes subtly but often overtly.

These works suggest an exchange of ideas and opinions. They hint at a conversation held privately between the artwork and its maker. They announce the internal dialogue taking place between the figures in the paintings or on the ceramics. They have a narrative quality, obvious or hidden, that tells a story to be interpreted differently by each viewer interacting with the work. Abstract compositions contain a musical or lyrical element, suggestive of a conversation.

“DIALOGUES” includes the meticulously crafted work of North Carolina ceramist, Jeff Pender. Pender’s work was recently featured in the May 2008 issue of Ceramics Monthly, and is currently on display in the Transamerica building in Charlotte, N.C., sponsored by the McColl Center for Visual Art.

Pender seeks to convey a sense of mystery and to invite discovery through his work.

“Mystery is the enigmatic quality or character of something not understood”, Pender states. “It stands as the launching pad for the imagination, and is the reason why we desire to discover … things … about the world around us.  As a child I explored the woods behind my house searching under every log and every rock, looking for the unknown, the strange, the weird not knowing what I would find.”

Pender believes that searching for the unknown offers us the opportunity to explore and probe for new knowledge and insights.  He feels that it is through the ritual of personal discovery that we gain an intimate knowledge of our selves and our world. 

“I admit to entertaining an underlying romantic notion concerning the connection between art, ritual and mystery and I am continuously fascinated by the endless possibilities of the future, Pender continues.  “I seek the bridge between what was and what will be, between stories told and one yet to be written, between past and future.”

Pender received his bachelor of fine art degree in ceramic art, Cum Laude, from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He continued to do post bachelor work in ceramics at Ohio University at Athens, and received his master of fine art degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Pender’s work has been included in numerous group and solo shows, including the Baltimore Fine Craft Show, sponsored by the American Craft Council, Baltimore, Maryland; the Art of Fine Craft National Juried Exhibition, University Place Art Center, Lincoln, Nebraska; and the Concordia Continental: First Biennial Juried Ceramics Competition, Concordia University, St. Paul, Minneapolis.

Pender has also been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, grants, and commissions, including a commission for the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina; and a Regional Artists Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, North Carolina.

SHY RABBIT gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard  The 4,000 square-foot arts facility houses a ceramic studio and fine art gallery, two mixed-media workshops, and two large exhibition spaces.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit or call 731-2766. For more information on “DIALOGUES,” visit