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Paper & Clay 3 showcases original prints by Linda and Lal Echterhoff

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts continues Paper & Clay 3 through Aug. 8, featuring a diverse selection of original ceramics and hand-pressed prints.

There is something for everyone in this wide-ranging show, whether you are a longtime collector of fine art prints and ceramics, or simply an appreciator of art, interested in enjoying a sampling of exciting new work.

The 16 artists selected for inclusion are diverse in their experience and background, hailing from Colorado, Arizona, Montana and Texas, and comprised of Northern Arizona University (NAU) educators/alumni/undergraduates, and a group of emerging and nationally recognized printmakers.

This third annual Paper & Clay invitational exhibition marks SHY RABBIT’s 25th exhibition, as the 4,000 square-foot art center enters into its seventh year of operation in Pagosa Springs.

SHY RABBIT is open to the public daily — at no charge — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and evenings by appointment.

In acknowledging the role that art educators and mentors play in shaping generations of artists, an exclusive exhibition opportunity was extended, by invitation, to a select group of artists at the discretion of ceramics instructor, Steven Schaeffer, M.F.A., of Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff.

The Clay works chosen for display include an intriguing blend of functional, sculptural and figurative ceramics produced by Schaeffer and several of NAU’s noteworthy graduate students, as well as works by prominent professional ceramic artists and art educators currently working in the field.

The ceramic artists selected for inclusion in Paper & Clay 3 are Chelsea Arndt, Tristyn H. Bustamante, James Alfred Coquia, Jack Heimerman, Jason Hess, Blake McCord, Julie Ogier, Larry Phan, Steven Schaeffer and Duncan Tweed.

In consideration of the exemplary work produced during Printmaking without a Press 1-3 WORK-shops @ SHY RABBIT, a select group of advanced printmakers were invited to participate in Paper & Clay 3 by SHY RABBIT professional artist and instructor D. Michael Coffee.

Then Paper works on display represent a commitment by these artists to the advancement of the “Reductive Ink” printmaking process, developed by Coffee over the course of the last twenty-three years.

The printmakers selected by Coffee for inclusion in Paper & Clay 3 are Sandy Applegate, Marti Bledsoe, Lal Echterhoff, Linda Echterhoff, and Maureen May.

Prior to pursuing art full-time, Pagosa Springs residents Linda and Lal Echterhoff enjoyed lengthy professional careers working in various capacities as a chemical engineer (Linda) and an industrial engineer (Lal) in the natural gas industries in Texas.

Their interest in art was evident throughout this period of time, as they studied for five years together at The Glassell School of Art, the teaching wing of The Museum of Fine Art in Houston, focusing on drawing, three-dimensional design and sculpture.

In 2005, the Echterhoffs retired from corporate America, and shortly thereafter moved to Pagosa Springs, where they set about pursuing art full time.

This new career path has proven to be very successful for both, as their 2D and 3D sculptural work has been featured in dozens of juried, group and invitational exhibitions, receiving numerous awards, and has also appeared in several noteworthy publications.

Over the past two years, Linda has enjoyed serving the Pagosa Springs arts community and its artists as president of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and as a key team member and champion of the Mural on Main Project and Pagosa Mountain Hospital’s Tree Carving Project.

“My current artistic endeavors involve the exploration of the printmaking technique of master printmaker D. Michael Coffee for creating reductive ink monoprints and monotypes without a press,” Linda states, “and creating sculptural works in bronze, ‘Sentimental Despair.’”

Linda’s Journeys series (on display in Paper & Clay 3) is a “dialogue about life’s transitional journey told through ethereal spatial scapes.”

“The formal elements depict experiences, in an ebb and flow movement, of what once was, is and will be”, Linda continues. “These elements, in interaction with one another, evoke a sense of movement, tension and calm as they seemingly float in and out of spatial planes.”

Lal draws his inspiration from the mountains and wilderness areas of the San Juans. His work reflects the forms of nature found in these surroundings.

“Art defines itself in its own language”, he states. “My work is not always representational or figurative. The significance of the work is not what it is, so much, as what reaction it causes.

“The reaction may be something that is felt, but may not be able to be expressed by other means. This is the language of art.”

The title for Lal’s current series of prints, Landscapes (on display in Paper & Clay 3), indicates that the various objects or actions are against a background that is large in scale.

“While some objects seem fairly representational, they are generally abstracted and interpretation is left to the response of the viewer,” Lal concludes.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts: Gallery, Studio & Workshops is located at 333 Bastille Drive, two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard. 

The 4,000 square-foot art center houses a fine art gallery and ceramic studio, two mixed-media workshops and rotating exhibition spaces.

SHY RABBIT presents four to six exhibitions annually, showcasing the finest in contemporary art by emerging, mid-career and nationally recognized artists from throughout the country.

SHY RABBIT’s 2010 exhibition schedule continues with: SHY RABBIT Print National 2, Sept. 4 – Oct. 31. Juror: Yuji Hiratsuka.

Workshops of all levels are also offered in ceramics, printmaking, and professional artist development, instructed by professional artist and SHY RABBIT Creative Director D. Michael Coffee. For more information on Coffee, visit www.dmcarts.com.

For more information on SHY RABBIT, visit www.shyrabbit.com or call 731-2766.

For more information on exhibitions, visit www.shyrabbit.com/Exhibits.html.