SHY RABBIT announces ‘The Contemporary Photograph’

SHY RABBIT announces the presentation of “The Contemporary Photograph: A National Juried Exhibition,” May 2-June 6. Juried by D. Michael Coffee, creative director of SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts.

An artists’ reception will be held for of this long awaited group exhibition on Saturday, May 2, from 5-8 p.m. Several of the photographers and artists will be in attendance. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Coffee has over 30 years of combined experience in architecture, ceramics, painting, photography, and fine art printmaking, and currently works as a professional artist and arts educator.

Coffee’s high-fired ceramics and monoprints are included in nearly 250 prestigious public and private collections throughout the world, including the Vance Kirkland Museum, Denver, Colo.: the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), Pomona, Calif.; the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS); Santa Monica, Calif.; and the Dee Roy and Mary M. Jones Collection, Pomona, Calif.; among others.

As co-founder and creative director of SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts, Coffee has been responsible for organizing, curating and installing over 20 fine art exhibitions over the course of the last five years.

Coffee is credited with transforming SHY RABBIT into the region’s most important and innovative contemporary arts space through the high level and broad range of the contemporary work and educational programs presented.

For more information on SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts, visit

Coffee has had a longstanding interest in all forms of photographic imagery dating back to the early 1970s, and has been interested in presenting a contemporary photography exhibit at SHY RABBIT since its inception in 2004.

He was prompted to initiate this exhibit as the result of a renewed interest in photography and a desire to promote it as a viable contemporary art form.

The broad theme suggested by “The Contemporary Photograph” was intended to maximize the range of contemporary expression that was submitted. An open call was announced earlier in the year to all photographers and artists using light’s radiant energy in order to create images on various capture media, resulting in 2-D, 3-D and/or mixed media work.

“Given the broad theme,” Coffee stated,in his juror’s judging and selection criteria, as found in the show prospectus, “I will select those submissions that demonstrate a non-conventional approach to the photographic process or that utilize conventional techniques to create truly unique and original work.

“I will also select submissions that show a desire to create to the threshold,” Coffee continued, “that are most compelling, interesting, and/or well executed, and that are appropriately and/or professionally presented; original in style, and are contemporary in feel or tone.

“I will also be looking for enough work in two- and three-dimensional mediums to allow for an interesting, varied and balanced installation, in keeping with the high level and broad range of contemporary work that SHY RABBIT has presented in the past.

“Finally, I will be selecting three artists from this exhibition who will be invited to show an expanded body of their work in a special exhibition at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts in mid to late 2010.”

From the nearly 300 submissions that were received, Coffee selected 75 submissions from 33 artists and photographers artists residing in: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and British Columbia for inclusion in ‘The Contemporary Photograph.”

“It is my hope that this exhibition will open the door to new concepts of how a photograph is created and that it will expand commonly held perceptions of what photography can be,” Coffee concluded.

SHY RABBIT Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday through Wednesday, by appointment or chance.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of US 160, off of North Pagosa Blvd.  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 exhibitions, visit