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Juanita Ainsley in ‘DISPARATE COLORS’ at SHY RABBIT

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts continues “DISPARATE COLORS” through Jan. 9, featuring a diverse selection of artwork by eight nationally recognized and emerging artists from throughout the country.

This vibrantly colorful group show is free and open to the public.

The exhibition space and arts facility is currently open winter hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, and daily by chance.

“DISPARATE COLORS” featured artists are: Juanita Ainsley, mixed media monoprints; Randy Au, ceramics; Debra Blair, paintings and mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Denise Coffee, Cozy Head velvet tie-caps; Patrick Shia Crabb, ceramics; Karl Isberg, paintings; and Shaun Martin, mixed media.

“DISPARATE COLORS” features several skillfully-crafted, mixed-media monoprints by celebrated Colorado artist Juanita Ainsley.

These highly original prints consist of layers of text and imagery, incorporating a variety of different media, and often taking Ainsley as many as 40 to 50 hours to complete.

“For years I have gone through first one approach to painting/drawing, then another and another, most for private enjoyment and that urge, that just won’t quit, to make art,” states Ainsley.

“When I began Michael Coffee’s printing workshops [at SHY RABBIT], we were asked what we wanted to get out of the experience. I wanted or hoped for a new way to go about the various approaches I have always enjoyed, something to pull it all together, with a whole new end result.

“I never anticipated how much that goal would be realized”

“These workshops and Michael’s own approach to teaching, especially his encouragement of individual expression, risk and difference, has opened doors for me.”

Ainsley has found that many of her old approaches compete for expression with the new ones, all at the same time, “like creatures being released from confinement, not waiting for permission.

“My job and challenge is to keep havoc at bay.”

Ainsley mocks up much of what ends up on the paper, “just to see where there will be affinity versus what will lead to a fight. I am finding unexpected compatibility between disparate elements. Not only do they often tolerate the proximity to one another but they enhance one another by contrast (if I am careful).

“These pieces are entertaining to make and, I hope, to view as well.”

Ainsley’s work has been shown in several prestigious exhibitions, including the Paper & Clay 2 Invitational at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts.

Ainsley holds a doctorate in child psychology, and operates her own practice in southwest Colorado.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio and Workshops is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of US 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 www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766. For more information on this exhibition, visit www.shyrabbit.com/Exhibits.html.