Katy Vaughn, from left, Maureen McQuillin, Shelly Bisbee and Kimberly Saari stand in front of the mixed media that will be used for the cover of the Yampa Valley Arts & Gallery Guide, which comes out Friday.

Photo by John F. Russell

Katy Vaughn, from left, Maureen McQuillin, Shelly Bisbee and Kimberly Saari stand in front of the mixed media that will be used for the cover of the Yampa Valley Arts & Gallery Guide, which comes out Friday.

Arts & Gallery Guide comes out today

Rob Williams' summery cover image featured at Vertical Arts opening event

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If you go

What: Opening reception for the Yampa Valley Arts & Gallery Guide, featuring work by Rob Williams and other artists

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Vertical Arts, 690 Marketplace Plaza, Suite 1

Cost: Free; food and drinks will be offered

Call: K. Saari Gallery at 870-0188 or Vertical Arts at 871-0056

More information: Rob Williams is featured on the cover of the summer 2009 Yampa Valley Arts & Gallery Guide, published by Steamboat Magazine. His work, along with pieces by other Yampa Valley artists, will be up at Vertical Arts through the end of June. The event is presented by Steamboat Magazine, Vertical Arts, K. Saari Gallery and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, in collaboration with Tall Tulips Flower Shop and Element Print & Design.

— A jury from the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and Steamboat Magazine had a pool of more than 50 pieces of art to consider for the cover of the summer edition of the Yampa Valley Arts & Gallery Guide.

Out of the summery images submitted, work by former Steamboat resident Rob Williams came out on top. "Give Me a Reason" - a mixed media work encased in Williams' unique resin coating - is on the front of the summer 2009 gallery guide, which will be available Friday.

To celebrate that release, Steamboat Magazine, the Arts Council, K. Saari Gallery and Vertical Arts architecture will host an opening reception for Williams and several local artists from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The show features artists who have participated in the gallery guide, including Pat Walsh, Laura Wait, Susan Schiesser, Beth Banning and Susan Hover Oehme.

"I just thought it was important to bring everybody together for a group show for artists in the community," said Kimberly Saari, an event organizer and owner of K. Saari Gallery. Having the show at Vertical Arts - which has opened up the walls on its lower floor as a satellite space for Saari's downtown venue - allows for more art on the walls in Steamboat, she said.

Several of Williams' works will be on display at Vertical Arts through the end of June. Many of those pieces combine Williams' serene outlook on life with a highly physical creative process, which he described before a Steamboat Springs show in December 2008 as a volatile mix of painting, shaping, scraping and cutting, followed by hours of babysitting so his resin coating doesn't warp or bubble.

"My inspiration is the fact that I get to paint. I don't find inspiration from a vacation or a beautiful day. My inspiration is huge just from the fact that I get to paint," he said in December.

The gallery guide includes a profile of Williams along with a few editorial features, said Shelly Bisbee, associate publisher of Steamboat Magazine. There's also a map listing gallery spaces and studios and a diagram of public art found on the Yampa River Core Trail. A calendar of events for the summer and a list of local galleries fill out the booklet, which will be available at art galleries and other venues.

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