- Friday, August 3, 2007, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, 1009 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs The beauty of Routt County is evident in the artwork that's part of tonight's opening reception at The Artists' Gallery of Steamboat. The sense of community behind it isn't as clear.
"I've really improved since joining the gallery," said painter Mike Tait, one of the three artists featured in the new exhibit. "All these other talented artists help inspire and give just great ideas."
Joining Tait in August's "Canvas, Clay & Fiber" show are ceramics artist Barb Gregoire and textile artist Sue Gallion. All three moved to Steamboat about 10 years ago, and each has been part of The Artists' Gallery of Steamboat since it opened last fall.
Tait moved here from Florida, where he ran a house painting business. Tait decided to continue his painting - but this time on canvas.
"I saw the beauty of the area and knew I had to learn how to paint," Tait said. "Once I started, it felt like I'd been painting for years."
Tait enjoys working with a variety of subject areas. His work in "Canvas, Clay & Fiber" includes landscapes and portraits.
"I get bored doing one thing," Tait said. "I like landscapes, but I really love a challenge."
Tait's work features familiar scenes to Steamboat locals, with shots from the recent Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, the Yampa River and Routt County ranches.
"I wanted to be able to paint anything and everything," Tait said.
Ceramics artist Barb Gregoire uses sticks and minerals from the area in her pottery.
"I want people to giggle when they pick up my pieces," Gregoire said. "I try to make it come alive with texture."
Gregoire uses a pottery wheel to create a basic shape for her pieces, then manipulates the clay to add movement and texture. Of the 50 pieces in "Canvas, Clay & Fiber," Gregoire created most of them in the past few months.
"They're literally hot off the kiln," Gregoire said. Gregoire, who makes her own glazes, uses various firing techniques to create earth-toned tea sets, vases and bowls.
"It's been very exciting," Gregoire said. "Since signing up for the show a year ago, it's been in the back of my mind ever since."
Gallion combines paints, fabrics and dye to create quilted landscapes of recognizable Steamboat scenes, some off the back porch of her home. Gallion uses textiles to produce an abstract effect.
"I've worked with fabrics my entire life," Gallion said. "I love the way you can cerate different textures and different dimensions."
Hand-dyed cloth provides the basis for most of Gallion's work, whether as the background for an embellished quilt or in woolen hooked rugs and pillows.
"It's important I'm not locked into one medium," Gallion said, who also paints acrylics, oils and watercolors as well as dabbling with ceramics.
"It's really a mood thing," she said. "And when I'm doing one project, I can't help but think about the next."
Tait, Gregoire and Gallion's first show at The Artists' Gallery focuses on the familiar scenes and colors of Routt County.
"I've been so inspired and encouraged by other artists," Gallion said. "That's more important than the art working together - the artists working together."