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SSAC exhibit features more than 80 local artists

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— Sharon Pace started a 38-by-38-inch oil painting a couple years ago and set it aside because she wasn't satisfied with it.

Re-inspired this spring by things she saw while hiking, Pace finished the painting and submitted it to the Steamboat Springs Arts Council's Artist Member Exhibit, which opens today at the Depot Art Center.

"I was inspired by the granite I saw hiking up Fish Creek Falls and the way colors are layered through rocks," Pace said. "I'm also inspired by the shapes and forms you see in nature, but my colors are much more vivid and brighter than what you would see."

Pace is one of more than 80 Steamboat Springs Arts Council member artists who will show between one and three pieces during the council's largest exhibit of the year. All media will be represented, including oil, pastel and watercolor paintings, photography, sculpture, fiber, glass, ceramics, mixed media, metal, wood and printmaking designs.

"The show is open to all members as a way of thanking them for their support and is not juried, so there is no fear of rejection," Arts Council visual arts director Beth Banning said.

This year, the Arts Council will give away a $500 People's Choice Best of Show Award. People are encouraged to vote on their favorite pieces from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today. More than 150 sixth-graders also will tour the exhibit and vote for their favorite pieces.

"It is important for the community to be aware of how many artists we have in our community," Banning said. "It is very honorable to win, because it is voted on by the community."

For many artists, the show is an opportunity to exhibit some of their new work.

Keri Seals is displaying a series of recently completed prints using a new non-toxic technique called Imadon.





¤ What: Steamboat Springs Arts Council's Artists Member Exhibit¤ When: Opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m. tonight; the gallery talk is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday; and the exhibit runs through July 26¤ Where: Depot Art Center, 1003 13th St.¤ Cost: Free¤ Call: 879-9008

"It entails burning a photograph onto a Plexiglas plate," Seals said. "Then you put the film over it and develop it, which makes a plate."

Seals hasn't decided whether she wants to tell people what the photographs are of because she said it might change the way people look at her work. "There are circular patterns, but people won't be able to tell what it is," she said.

Artists such as Seals will have an opportunity to describe their work and processes during the gallery talk from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Photographer Karen Gordon Schulman will explain how she creates layers inside her camera with multiple exposures on the same frame. The process creates an abstract look.

The trypic she is submitting to the exhibit is titled "Movement" and tells the story of fall leaves blowing in the wind. She took the photograph in Utah's Zion National Park in November.

"The normal picture has been done so many times," Schulman said. "So mine was about my reaction to the subject."

Instead of trying to hold the camera still, Schulman moves the camera to paint the image when she creates a trypic.

"I move my arms and the camera however I feel at the moment -- how a painter would move the brush on the canvas," Shulman said. "You don't know what you are getting until afterward. What I see in the viewfinder is very different than the finished piece."

All of the Arts Council's members were encouraged to participate in the show. In addition to submitting artwork, members wrote the press release, hung posters and artwork for the exhibit, and more than 20 artists will provide food and tend bar at the reception.

"The exhibit is a great representation of how much creativity there is in our community and how diverse it is," Banning said. "There is no other place in town that can show so much work."

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