Steamboat Springs advanced art students to host artwalk show |

Steamboat Springs advanced art students to host artwalk show

Nicole Inglis

Steamboat Springs High School junior Jenny Bean lays out her artwork for an upcoming student show at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts. The show will open Friday and is the culmination of the Artist Mentoring Program.

— Spencer Noel doesn't need to look at his own artwork.

His soft pastel pieces, illustrating landscapes and sunsets with psychedelic colors, are for others to enjoy.

"I can imagine this stuff," he said. "It's already it in my head. This is for other people."

"That one has such a mellow vibe," he said, pointing to a piece depicting an orange hillside. "That's something that if you had on your wall and you saw it when you woke up every day, it would make you feel really good."

As about 20 of Noel's Steamboat Springs High School classmates laid out their artwork on the floor of the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts, many of them thought about how their work would be on display to the Steamboat community.

"It's really exciting, but it's a little nerve-wracking," said Jenny Bean, who painted a series of brightly colored reptiles.

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Haley Orton said that as an artist she's never completely satisfied with her work. But she found that she could surprise even herself.

Her theme of "inner animal" took her down a path of shaping facial features with peacock feathers or butterfly wings.

"I'm amazed at what I can produce," she said. "Sometimes, when I feel like I can't do this, I just tell myself to trust myself."

Their work will be on display to the public for a month, starting with this week's First Friday Artwalk reception.

The third annual student show will feature the works of about 20 Advanced Placement studio art students and serves as the culmination of the third year of the Artist Mentoring Program.

Throughout the year, the Center for Visual Arts has acted as the catalyst in pairing students with professional artists and organizing studio tours and gallery trips.

On Wednesday morning, the Center for Visual Arts was bustling with students and artist mentors as the class took on the task of professionally hanging the show.

Art teacher Lisa Derning said her students were getting much more than a studio art education.

"Think about the higher cognitive process of this," Derning said. "They're taking a little project they created themselves and putting it to the public for display."

"They're learning about the business aspect, the promotional and technical side of it. They're learning how to put on a show."

Because most of their work has to be submitted to the College Board for grading on their Advanced Placement exam, gallery owner Linda Laughlin helped set the students up to make a giclée print of one of their pieces. The giclées will be for sale.

On the walls, each student displays a series of about eight works hovering around a common theme.

Each student found his or her own theme and style with which to express their evolving artistic nature.

Jeff Sloan used a pointillist technique to depict cityscapes made of cereal boxes and Pop-Tarts.

Kayleigh Esswein, who said she always has had trouble with shading, confronted her weakness with block shadows and bright color accents to demonstrate the breadth of individual beliefs.

Orton said the yearlong class took her out of her comfort zone of painting horses and opened her eyes to new forms of expression.

"I learned to see things in a new way," she said.

Derning said not only was she proud of the students, they also were proud of one another, evident by their constant commentary on one another's work as they hung the show.

"They've all brought to the table themselves," Derning said.

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or e-mail

If you go

What: Advanced Placement student art show

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday during First Friday Artwalk

Where: Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts, 906 Lincoln Ave.

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