Kimberly Saari will host an opening reception for artist Rob Williams from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts, 690 Marketplace Plaza, Suite 1.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Kimberly Saari will host an opening reception for artist Rob Williams from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts, 690 Marketplace Plaza, Suite 1.

Collection of Rob Williams’ work opens Friday at K. Saari Gallery

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If you go

What: Opening reception for “Aspen Canticles,” new work by Rob Williams

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts, 690 Marketplace Plaza, Suite 1

Cost: Free

Call: 870-0188

— Artist Rob Williams likes to follow a natural theme.

For the past few years, that has meant a focus on floral images that draw on his ever-evolving set of techniques. In a new series of multimedia work on wood panels, Williams has gone in a different direction, playing with lines and colors in his depictions of aspen trees.

A collection of that work, “Aspen Canticles,” opens with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts. The show will be on display through May 15.

The acrylic works on wood panels offer a departure from the materials Williams had been using. He’d previously worked mostly with oil paint and a thick, glossy resin in his floral pieces.

“It’s just a completely different body of work than I’m used to doing,” Williams said.

“Aspen Canticles” plays to what Williams called an “affinity to line,” using the straight shapes of aspens to cut vertical planes across the work. The series sticks closely to a natural, botanical theme Williams has favored for years.

“I feel close to nature — I feel weird saying that, but to me it’s the most natural and untouched thing,” Williams said.

Happy with where he’s gotten in life and pleased with the decision to create art full time, Williams said he hopes to share his happiness with people through his pieces.

“My work is all about appreciating the small things in life, the little things. To me, nature is just that. … You see it every day, but people, they just walk by it, they don’t pay attention,” Williams said.

K. Saari Gallery owner Kimberly Saari said the work offers several breaks from what Steamboat residents might have seen from Williams in the past. A former Steamboat resident, Williams lived here for 13 years before moving to Windsor.

“I think people are going to be really surprised because the figurative aspens, they’re just amazing. … He’s one of my favorite artists to work with and he always delivers,” Saari said.

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