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SHY RABBIT holds Saturday open house, reception for ‘INK’

SHY RABBIT is pleased to open its prestigious “INK” Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1, with an open house/artists’ reception from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The public is welcome at no charge. Light refreshments will be served throughout the day.

This highly anticipated group exhibit continues through Sunday, Nov. 6, featuring 87 original works of art by a select group of advanced Printmaking without a Press participants, invited for exhibition by SHY RABBIT workshop instructor D. Michael Coffee.

The featured artists are: Juanita Ainsley, Colo.; Sandy Applegate, Colo.; Debra Blair, N.M.; Marti Bledsoe, Texas; Lal Echterhoff, Colo.; Ruth Fiege, Colo.; Gail Hershey, Colo.; and Maureen May, Colo.

The “INK” Invitational artists were selected for their thoughtful approach to the printmaking process, and for the unexpected and unusual method they incorporated while creating their original prints and mixed media works.

Several of the artists will be in attendance to greet visitors and to answer any questions that they may have.

Please stop by to meet them and to learn more about their highly creative works of art.

Printmaking without a Press utilizes a unique hand-pressed printmaking process called “Reductive Ink”™ designed and developed by Coffee over 25 years ago.

Since being introduced to the public in 2007 as part of the WORK-shops@SHY RABBIT Program, Printmaking without a Press has developed into one of SHY RABBIT’s most popular and regularly attended workshops, drawing in participants from throughout the country, while attracting widespread attention and notoriety.

Coffee is continuously surprised and impressed by the quality and creativity of the work that is produced during the printmaking workshops, and believes that the crossover of different mediums lends itself to even wider ranging results.

Featured artist Ruth Fiege is a perfect example of this, as she presents three distinctively different series of work in “INK.”

Each series integrates the reductive-ink process is some fashion, whether as straightforward monoprints, or as subtle backgrounds for her assemblage boxes.

Fiege’s diagram series was created based on her love for letters and numbers.

“I wanted to create a complex layering of pattern and color in which recognizable elements blended to create background,” she states.

Simple forms were then placed on top of the patterns and labeled using stamped letters or numbers.

Fiege’s intent is to draw the viewer in for a closer look and an attempt at intellectualizing something that, in reality, makes no sense.

“In this action, I have hopefully also made the viewer notice the intricacies of the design, pattern, composition, and color in the pieces.”

Fiege’s photo series is a play on the “wall of photos” that is present in one or more of the family homes that she (and her family) frequent. Her goal was to recreate the family photo wall, but with a twist.

Playing with abstraction, Fiege lets the figures dome through or recede into the background pattern, intentionally leaving out details, and retaining only the ones needed to allow the figure or figures to be recognized.

Assemblage boxes have been a passion of Fiege’s for over 15 years, and were initially used as a shelter for her many treasures. Dissatisfied with the lack of complexity in design in her early boxes, she began experimenting with using printed papers and ephemera as design elements, creating puzzles of sorts by combining objects, colors and patterns that work together.

By incorporating one or more of her own original monoprints, Fiege was able to create her own patterns and color scheme in the series of boxes on display in “INK.”

The objects contained in the boxes are still from her personal collection.

“I am drawn to things that show age and patina from the hands of the previous owners. I think that somehow putting these objects in boxes protects them and makes them feel sacred,” Fiege concludes.

Additional information about featured artists will appear in future PREVIEW articles.

SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts is located at 333 Bastille Drive; two blocks north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard, west of the City Market complex.

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

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

SHY RABBIT is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at no charge, and evenings by appointment. Ample parking is available in front of the building.

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