Photographer Judy Jones is surrounded by images of mustangs in their natural setting. Jones, who is featured this month at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, printed most of her work on a satiny material for this showing.

Photo by John F. Russell

Photographer Judy Jones is surrounded by images of mustangs in their natural setting. Jones, who is featured this month at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, printed most of her work on a satiny material for this showing.

Display features work from the wild

Exhibit of photography, paintings, sculpture opens Friday at Artists' Gallery

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If you go

What: Opening reception for Judy Jones (photography), Matt Graves (woodworking) and Joyce Lee Petersen (paintings)

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, part of First Friday Artwalk

Where: Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, 1009 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: Free

Call: 879-4744

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Sculptor Matt Graves will be featured this month at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat. The Steamboat Springs native has developed a strong following with his unique woodwork.

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Artist Joyce Lee Peterson holds one of her paintings at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat Monday morning. Peterson is one of three artists who are being featured this month at the artist-owned gallery.

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Photographer Judy Jones stands in front images of mustangs in their natural setting. Jones, who is featured this month at the Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, printed most of her work on satin for this showing.

— Photographer Judy Jones has been chasing horses for three years for her latest series of work.

Focusing on mustangs for their freedom, Jones found the animals in Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and New Mexico, and captured them running, resting and nuzzling.

Photos from her search are on display through September at Artists' Gallery of Steamboat. The show - which also features paintings by Joyce Lee Petersen and abstract woodwork by Matt Graves - opens with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. The event is part of First Friday Artwalk.

"The mustangs, they're not pretty in a lot of cases," Jones said, describing the frequent wounds and markings she found on the horses. "I had to look far and wide for the pretty ones." By slowly introducing herself to each herd, Jones was able to get close enough to photograph the animals without startling them.

"They just looked at me with curiosity. They didn't seem terrified," she said.

Joel Schulman, of PhotoGraphicsArt, suggested printing the photos on a satiny material; four of those prints are hanging from the gallery ceiling for the September show and are featured with several more mustang photos.

Also hanging from the Artists' Gallery ceiling is a wooden fish sculpture. It's the second piece of its kind by Matt Graves, a Routt County native who makes furniture and crafts art from beetle-kill pine and aspen trees.

For the fish, Graves carved a head and fins out of aspen, then carefully twisted long, thin pieces of the wood to form the sculpture's curved body, he said. Graves' portion of the gallery's September featured artists show also includes a medium-sized abstract sculpture and a chair made of beetle-kill pine.

Sticking to the show's theme of earthy images, Craig-based painter Joyce Lee Petersen called on her years living in the Southwest for a series of vividly colored water-media paintings.

"I've always been attracted to the Southwestern culture, and I like the spirit. : You can feel the ancients there," Petersen said. Several of the works include images of ancient people, she said. The subject for each painting is taken from Petersen's imagination - with about seven decades of art experience, she doesn't use source material, she said.

Jones, Graves and Petersen are featured at Artists' Gallery through the end of September. Look for a complete listing of First Friday Artwalk events in the Explore Steamboat section in Friday's Steamboat Today.

- To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail mhair@steamboatpilot.com.

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