RED Contemporary Gallery opens for winter season with new artists | SteamboatToday.com

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RED Contemporary Gallery opens for winter season with new artists

— All seven artists featured at RED Contemporary Gallery for its season opening exhibit have something in common, but it's not a brushstroke, style or medium.

Pat Walsh's impressionistic landscapes, Susan Schiesser's gleeful abstractions and Diane Cionni's thoughtful botanical works have all been honed and polished at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass.

"It's a very powerful thing to go over there," said Walsh, who has been attending workshops there for a decade. "It changes you in ways. It's a very deep experience."

Walsh, who with Schiesser owns Red Contemporary Gallery, will launch the gallery's third year with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Featured along with the three local artists is Jonah Skurky-Thomas, Cionni's son who lives in Durango and creates intricate ceramic carvings.

In addition, Jane Voorhees' works on handmade gold leaf paper, Elizabeth Rowley's colorful abstract paintings and Marjorie Mau's minimalist still life works will be on display.

All of the artists have at some point in their careers studied with world-famous artists and wandered the scenic campus of the Anderson Ranch.

"It's like the quintessential dream classroom setting for an artist," Schiesser said, comparing the two-week intensive summer sessions to "art boot camp."

Cionni said she's made some of her best friends at the Ranch, which she's been attending for 18 years. She even had the opportunity to go there with her son.

"It's one of the most special things in my life," she said about sharing her passion for art with her son at the Ranch and through the show at RED. "He has great ideas."

The link that binds the Anderson Ranch artists makes for a special opening, one that Walsh said is about "more than a party."

But it's still an art reception, and guests will be able to enjoy music from Rijn Van Maher, a wine tasting from Ski Town Wine & Spirits and appetizers from Local Flavor.

Walsh and Schiesser also are in the process of hanging new works from a host of familiar local and regional artists that fill the rest of the gallery space.

And the Anderson Ranch alumni aren't the only artists evolving in their work and forging in new directions.

"We're all trying to reinvent a little bit," Walsh said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 907-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com