David Winters' abstract wood panel is part of a group exhibit at the Depot Art Center called “Summer Art.” A reception takes place from 5 to 8 today at the Depot.

Photo by Nicole Inglis

David Winters' abstract wood panel is part of a group exhibit at the Depot Art Center called “Summer Art.” A reception takes place from 5 to 8 today at the Depot.

Summer Art tradition continues this month at Depot in Steamboat

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If you go

What: Opening reception for Summer Art show

When: 5 to 8 p.m. today

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

— Facing Mount Werner at sunrise, local painter Sharon Pace was met with a view of the pink sky and two aspen trees, standing close and in stark contrast to the beetle-kill pines that dotted the horizon.

When she transferred the scene to canvas with her colorful, Western expressionist style, she blended the two trees together into the center of the image, altering the perspective.

“That’s what I was seeing, even though it wasn’t really there,” she said. “I called it ‘Fate,’ that the aspens were left and that all the other trees are dying. But I wanted to show there is still beauty left even with all the dead. It’s just the cycle of life.

“I’m just trying to accomplish those layers we all see when we look out.”

Two of Pace’s paintings will be on display this month at the Depot Art Center as a part of the Summer Art group show that features work from more than 25 local artists who are members of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.

Pace herself is on the Arts Council’s visual arts committee and said that the Summer Art group show is a member benefit that has turned into a decades-long tradition.

An opening reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Depot. There will be refreshments and appetizers and an opportunity to meet the artists behind the variety of mediums from sculptures of spider webs and woodwork to pottery, landscape and abstract paintings.

“There’s definitely a sense of environmental experience here,” Arts Council artistic director Park Myers said. “There’s a lot of place.”

On the counter in the Depot, take the time to peruse through a bound collection of the artists’ biographies and statements. Each page tells a new story, a new layer of artistic approach to the local environment.

The stories range from stories of what inspires their work to how their art has changed their lives. There are stories like Karen Schulman’s fight with breast cancer and how it opened her up to photography. Then there’s local shop teacher Johnny Walker, who claims in his brief statement that he doesn’t always do art; art occasionally does him.

There are stories from outside of Steamboat, and references to music and other forms of art as inspiration.

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council wants to continue to highlight those stories even after Summer Art comes down in a month.

Myers and Pace said Thursday’s opening will debut the full-time use of the small works room that overlooks the railroad tracks. Still without an official name, Myers said the room will be used to showcase the work of artist members throughout the year. The work of local, regional and national artists will continue to circulate through the Depot’s main room.

The baggage room will now be used only for performance art.

“We’d like to enliven the arts in Steamboat and bring in new stuff, but at the same time support the community artwork and local artists,” Myers said while standing in the sunlit artist members’ room, hung with vivid watercolors and new abstract work by Jan Maret Willman.

“This way, we can do both,” Pace said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

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