Local artists Ben Rock, right, and Elise Halpin will display their work at Urbane during First Friday Artwalk tonight and throughout February.

Photo by John F. Russell

Local artists Ben Rock, right, and Elise Halpin will display their work at Urbane during First Friday Artwalk tonight and throughout February.

2 young artists with an edge featured at Urbane throughout February

Show will debut during First Friday Artwalk

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Artist Elise Halpin will display her work at Urbane in downtown Steamboat Springs.

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Artist Ben Rock will display his work at Urbane.

— The artwork on display at Urbane during February is just how the alternative clothing store likes it: a little frenzied and wild, somewhat scandalous, artistically sound and a Steamboat Springs brand of edgy.

Tonight during First Friday Artwalk, the store will debut the artwork of two young local artists of dichotomous styles, perfectly suited to their young, independent lives and for an alternative art venue.

From 5 to 8 p.m. at the store, listen to the beats of DJ Theory, drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and peruse the digital prints and acrylic-on-canvas work of former New Yorker Elise Halpin and the thoughtful, intricate ink-and-paper drawings of Jackson, Wyo., native and outdoorsman Ben Rock.

Urbane co-owner Melissa LeBlanc said she is looking for something “a little different” in her artists.

“We offer a place that shows things you wouldn’t get in a regular gallery,” she said. “We want to represent that populous of people out there making artwork, if it’s interesting and a little provocative.”

Urban style shows

Halpin’s fast-paced, urban personality shows through in her designs, which evolved from her life on Long Island as a teenager, where she fell in love with graffiti art.

“It was me and my girls, and we’d go into the city and go write,” she said. “It was all about fun.

“It’s the danger appeal, I have to say.”

On Tuesday, the graphic designer, who works as a part-time temp for the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s composing department, was dancing around Urbane as she unpacked her work and discussed with LeBlanc where to hang each piece.

“I’m really vibrant, and I like attention,” she said with a shrug.

Her paintings on canvas channel that vibrancy, featuring dimensional elements and blocks of bright colors. Graffiti-like accents show up alongside elements such as flowers.

She crafts her digital prints from her own photographs and artwork in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Her passion for the digitized look is offset by the frames for her prints, which she makes with spray paint, sometimes just slinging paint to splatter on the work as she rocks out to dubstep music.

“My mother’s come to accept me because I’m quite wild,” Halpin said. “I was never a straight-A student. Well, now I am because I’m in art school.”

‘Sheer contrast’

Rock, who is Halpin’s roommate, also has been doodling since he was young, but he stayed true to good old pen and paper, forging detailed drawings. From sunbursts to plants to snowboarders flying through the air, Rock said the use of pen allows him to play with negative space.

“I like the sheer contrast,” he said. “I like dealing with positive and negative space and finding balance in the composition. I just like the simplicity of black and white.”

After growing up in the shadow of his mother’s fine art, Rock said he recently decided he wanted to buckle down and pursue his art at the main artery in his life.

“I’ve been snowboarding and ski town living-it and going to school, but now I’m getting serious, and having this show is really inspiring. It’s a big step.”

Galleries and museums

❱❱ Artists’ Gallery Of Steamboat

1009 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4744

Bonnie McGee’s oil paintings capture why we live where we live. Jim Gmeiner’s expressive photography spans from landscape to eclectic. Portrait photography from Joseph Cosby, capturing images of the soul.

❱❱ Images Of Nature

730 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-1822

Powerful nature photography from world-renowned Thomas Mangelsen.

❱❱ K. Saari Gallery

837 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-0188

Presents artist Ann B. Murphy in a solo show, “Hard Matter,” an installation of 28 sculptures and eight corresponding drawings. Beer, wine and refreshments.

❱❱ Steamboat Art Museum

807 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-1755

Opening its winter exhibit “Western Paintings by Jim Norton, Cowboy Artist,” the museum gift shop will offer 10 percent off any item in the shop. Wine and refreshments.

❱❱ Steamboat Springs Center For Visual Arts

906 Lincoln Ave., 970-846-5970

“Places of the Heart” show opening tonight and will be on display through Feb. 28. Watch the Artwalk scene painted live through the center’s Lincoln Avenue-facing window. Complimentary wine and appetizers.

Alternative Venues

❱❱ All That Jazz

635 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4422

Local jewelry artist Julia Alisa will be on site with her fabulous feather earrings and applying feather hair extensions. One-of-a-kind jewelry using feathers, shells, bone and the finest metals.

❱❱ Colorado Group Realty

509 Lincoln Ave., 970-875-2917

“Found and Eccentric Abstractions” by Jan Maret Willman features recent works of Willman’s captivating and dramatic modern art.

❱❱ Comb Goddess

1104 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-0606

Photography by Tracy DelliQuadri, owner of Little Bear Child Care, portraying her love for children. Refreshments.

❱❱ Creekside Cafe

131 11th St., 970-879-4925

Glenna Clark Olmsted paints brilliant colored oil and watercolor landscapes of the Steamboat area landscape and scenes from her travels around the world. Refreshments.

❱❱ East West Frame Shop

The alley at Eighth Street next door to Cantina, 970-879-5225

Horse art and scenes by Michelle Ideus, original jewelry designs, encaustics and sculpted paintings by Cherie Duty and exotic wood hand-carved bowls by Roger Ross. Refreshments.

❱❱ Harwigs/L’apogee

911 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-1919

Jim Steinberg will show scenic photos of the natural world of Colorado and all over the globe.

❱❱ High Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty

708 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-8101

Glenna Clark Olmsted paints brilliant colored oil and watercolor landscapes of the Steamboat area landscape and scenes from her travels around the world. Refreshments.

❱❱ Olympian sales office

Fifth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street, 970-879-8100

Photography of Frederick Hodder, member of the Royal Photographic Society and shown in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Featuring Western scenery and subjects of the Yampa Valley.

❱❱ Spill the Beans

1051 13th St., across the tracks from the Depot Art Center, 970- 879-7846

The bright colors of Michelle Ideus’ acrylic mixed media work will be on display. Enjoy complimentary coffee and treats and hear the tunes of local musician Jim Walters.

❱❱ Urbane

703 Lincoln Ave., Suite B101, 970-879-9169

Ben Rock and Elise Halpin’s work offers a diverse collection of pen and ink, graphics and acrylics.

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

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