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‘INK’ Invitational at SHY RABBIT continues to draw crowds

The “INK” Invitational group show at SHY RABBIT continues to attract local and out-of-town visitors who have consistently been impressed by the wide range of work on display along with the high level of creativity and quality.

This 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 professional artist and SHY RABBIT workshop instructor D. Michael Coffee.

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

The “INK” Invitational featured 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.

“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 cross-over of different mediums lends itself to even wider ranging results.

This week’s featured artist, Debra Blair, displays her “Broken Grid Series” in the “INK” Invitational.

Blair has been exploring the grid as a metaphor for several years.

“In so many ways, we have organized our communities, information, and infrastructure using grids,”she states.

The grids in Blair’s work are layered, loosely constructed, organic in form and are also missing connecting points.

“My artwork can be seen as aerial views, maps, diagrams of circuits, or the layers of infrastructure in our communities such as roads, pipelines, waterlines, power-lines, cables, bridges and waterways.”

Some of the grids in Blair’s work are crisp, while others appear to be abandoned to decay, thus relating to the grids in our society, as some are new while others are frayed, aging, corroded, and in some cases have failed. 

“These physical grids are not unlike our connections with each other. It takes time and investment to keep our connections strong and healthy.

“Time will take it’s toll on relationships and infrastructure that are neglected or abandoned.

“The abandonement and decay of built things over time can be ugly and dangerous, but it can also create beauty and mystery.

“These are the contradictions I try to show in my work,” she concludes.

Blair worked with embroidery floss, ink on paper and ink on plexiglass for the works in the “INK” Invitational, and selected these materials in order to represent layered grids.

She allowed the ink to dry in between applications so that each layer retained its character as fully as possible.

To represent hidden layers of infrastructure that are often buried, Blair added extra supports by sewing on an additional layer of paper or by stacking layers of plexiglass.

By doing so, Blair hopes to remind the viewer that there are things unseen in the world and people around us.

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.

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.

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

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