Steamboat Springs Three years ago, Park Myers stood in an open field in Kentucky with a handful of loose-leaf graph paper. As the wind swirled around him, he let the pieces fly away and watched as they were swept over rocks and dirt before he ran around and collected every sheet he could.
Now, a bound version of those sheets serves as one of four conceptual artworks in his first Steamboat Springs art show.
Graph paper, Myers explained, is often used to visually capture the concept of space, usually using pencil lines and shapes.
But he wanted to capture the essence of that field in Kentucky, allowing the physical environment to leave a different sort of impression on the graph paper.
“That space is reconciled in all of the wrinkles,” he said, running his hand over one of the crumpled sheets Tuesday afternoon.
His show, INTER_, is displayed as a project room in the back of K. Saari Gallery this month. At First Friday Artwalk from 5 to 8 p.m., visitors to the rustic back room will be crossing the threshold of his headspace.
“I’m trying to get a hold of space as an artistic and conceptual construct,” Myers said, referring to a running theme among the four pieces. “Space … it’s not really a word anymore. It’s an experience you’re having psycho-physiologically. I want to instill a thought process that has the viewer re-evaluate how they experience space.”
Comfort in expression
Myers, 24, is the program coordinator for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. He moved to Steamboat Springs in August after he had completed art school at the Maryland Institute College of Art and spent time in New York, where he worked at galleries, interned and worked on his art. In the city, Myers didn’t feel out of place.
But he needed more space and freedom to work on his own art, free of the frenzy of the contemporary art scene in New York.
“Everything was going too fast; I was growing up too fast,” he said.
Here, he knows he’s a little different. Most noticeable, he knows, are his clothes, which align more closely with New York trends than with Steamboat style.
“It’s a sense of interest, albeit curious interest,” Myers said about the community’s reaction to him. “I’m fully aware I stand out.”
But he said the supportive nature of his friends in Steamboat have made him feel comfortable with letting people in and showing his artistic side to the community.
After a year, he felt it was time.
“I wanted to come out here and get a feel for it before I showed this side of me.”
While he was in college, he completed an installation work called “Dimensional Re-Cognition” that will also be on display at K. Saari.
In a horizontal shelf mounted on the wall, “Dimensional Re-Cognition” is fitted with four boxes of angled mirrors. With an LED projector, Myers casts a lighted element into each box.
The first box is a point, the second a line, the third a cube. But the fourth is where Myers’ interest lies. In the final box, he projects a hypercube, or tesseract, which is a way to demonstrate the existence of a fourth dimension.
“It’s theoretical in math and physics,” he explained. “We can illustrate it in 3-D, but we can’t yet see it in the fourth dimension.”
Myers wants his work to be accessible, but he knows some of the themes are esoteric and vague, often based on metaphysical, philosophical and psychological research.
Still, gallery owner Kimberley Saari said she thinks the Steamboat audience will be up to the challenge of engaging in the work.
“I think Steamboat expects this from us,” she said. “And we’ve done it on a scale that’s not overwhelming. People love to be challenged, and our visitors and locals are very sophisticated.”
Myers also said he thinks those with a desire to get into the crux of his work will not be deterred by the obscurities.
“I have faith,” he said. “I have faith these concepts can be grasped.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com