Art student Alec Schaffer hangs his work at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts in downtown Steamboat earlier this week. Schaffer’s work will be featured as part of an exhibit by the Steamboat Springs High School AP art class, which is slated to open Friday and run for the next month.

Photo by John F. Russell

Art student Alec Schaffer hangs his work at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts in downtown Steamboat earlier this week. Schaffer’s work will be featured as part of an exhibit by the Steamboat Springs High School AP art class, which is slated to open Friday and run for the next month.

Steamboat students to debut work during First Friday Artwalk

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Local artist Jan Maret Willman helps Kelly Earnst display her artwork for the Steamboat Springs High School's AP art class exhibition, which is slated to open at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts in downtown Steamboat on Friday. Willman has been mentoring the high school students in the class.

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Art student Alex Repollo lays out her work at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts in downtown Steamboat earlier this week. Repollo's work will be featured as part of an exhibit by the Steamboat Springs High School AP Art class.

— Inside Asher Rohde’s head lives a janitor. He’s old, surly and never says anything nice. Rohde pictures his janitor cleaning up all the trash in his mind and throwing it out.

“He’s my personal voice of reason,” Rohde said, pointing out how he illustrated the character in one of his cartoon-esque drawings.

Rohde is a student at Steamboat Springs High School, and along with the rest of his AP art class is showing artwork — like the janitor drawing — this month at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts. The students’ show opens during First Friday Artwalk with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

The AP Student Art Show is the culmination of the fourth year of the Artist Mentoring Program run through the Center for Visual Arts. Throughout the year, the class visited the studios of local professional artists and hosted visits from artist mentors who helped the students hone their skills.

Center for Visual Arts executive director Linda Laughlin said she’s seen the program grow since its pilot year.

“I think it’s important that the community sees that art is an important part of the curriculum, that it’s really amazing work and that, in my opinion, it’s indispensable,” Laughlin said. “This is putting a face on the value of art.”

AP art teacher Lisa Derning said every class that comes through the program is different.

“What I saw this year that was so amazing was how they explored and tried abstraction,” she said Tuesday as her students hung their pieces. “Subject drives usually for high school students, so I was proud. They experimented and took risks, and they were receptive to other ideas.”

This year’s class ranged in style and themes from the abstract to the mathematical. One student drew a series of Labrador puppy portraits, and another explored totems by placing animal features on human forms.

Derning said the process of hanging a show, writing an artist statement and presenting work to the community can be nerve-wracking, but it’s good practice for those who want to pursue art as a profession.

Some of the students say they plan to study art after high school. But not Asher Rohde.

“I’m actually going into engineering,” Rohde said with a laugh. “But I want to keep cartooning. It’s so much fun. It feels wrong to do something that I love so much for a living.”

First Friday Artwalk listings

❱❱ Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat, 1009 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4744

Presenting “FACES.” Gallery artists are showing their interpretation of faces in different ways and mediums. In the Small Works Room: Mary Levingston’s watercolor class student art show.

❱❱ artWorks, The Victoria Building, 941 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-7596

Come celebrate spring and support the local craftspeople who have made this town what it is. Complimentary wine, beer and appetizers.

❱❱ Body Grafffix, 837 Lincoln Ave., #1, 970-879-6807

In the words of artist Lee Brice, “Be your best friend, tell the truth, and overuse ‘I love you.’ These small commands are what I live by and what highly inspire my artistic creations every day. With my use of color and ability to create several different textures, I believe art can change people. This passionate belief of mine can be viewed in the drawings, paintings, and sculptures I have created and will continue to create.”

❱❱ Colorado Group Realty, 509 Lincoln Ave., 970-875-2917

Artist and photographer Jim Gmeiner features his new mixed media works on canvas as an addition to his landscape, nature and eclectic fine art images. Gmeiner makes innovative use of his photography talents, darkroom techniques and artistic hand as he creates a portfolio of unique, emotive mixed-media works.

❱❱ Creekside Cafe & Grill, 131 11th St., 970-879-4925

In photographing nature’s varied landscapes, Don Schwartz seeks to capture a moment in time that becomes a timeless moment. The photographs on display capture slices of Steamboat Springs along with landscapes and animals encountered during recent travels.

❱❱ Harwigs/L’apogee, 911 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-1919

Dasques McCann was born and raised in Illinois but has lived in Steamboat for the past 13 years to satisfy his love for skiing and biking. One winter, upon purchasing a new condo, he found himself consumed by the bareness of the white walls in his new home. As the snow began to fall, his inner artist called for the return of color in his life. Since then, he has continued to express himself through painting with bright and bold colors.

❱❱ K. Saari Gallery, 837 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-0188

K. Saari Gallery hosts a Gallery Group Show featuring work from represented gallery artists in all mediums.

❱❱ Mangelsen-Images of Nature, 730 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-1822

Thomas D. Mangelsen long has been recognized as one of the world’s premier nature photographers. He recently was named 2011 Conservation Photographer of the Year.

❱❱ Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 68 Ninth St., 970-879-6830

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore features the work of Karen Gordon Schulman and participants of her recent Focus Adventures’ iPhoneography workshop: Carlos Canseco, Jane Canseco, Gloria Pereyra, Chenza Lazof, Jennifer Holdeman, Bruce Holdeman, Tim Hannon, Lizzie Larock, Dave Labossiere and Joel Schulman. The eclectic imagery on display is representative of each artist’s individual interests and personal expression as created with the iPhone.

❱❱ Sleeping Giant Gallery, 601 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-7143

Local and regional landscape, wildlife, and Western images by resident photographer Don Tudor and Raku stoneware and porcelain by Brown Cannon.

❱❱ Steamboat Art Museum, 807 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-1755

“Quang Ho: A Retrospective.” On exhibit is the work of Denver-based artist Quang Ho, who paints mostly in oils and occasionally watercolor and pastels. Ho’s subject matter includes still life, landscapes, interiors and figuratives. www.steamboatartmuseum.org.

❱❱ Steamboat Springs Arts Council at the Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St., 970-879-9008

Presenting the Routt County Youth Art Show, celebrating youth art from Routt County schools featuring art in all media ranging from elementary to high school ages.

❱❱ Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts, 906 Lincoln Ave., 970-846-5970

Presenting the annual AP Student Art Show, showcasing the work of 15 Advanced Placement art students from Steamboat Springs High School. The show is the culmination of the Center’s 2011-12 Artist Mentoring Program supporting youth art education. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. www.steamboatartcenter.com.

❱❱ Wild Horse Gallery, 802 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-5515

Wild Horse Gallery will feature bronze trout sculptures by wildlife sculptor John Kobald, of Meeker. www.wildhorsegallery.com

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

Urbane presents its fourth annual Skate Deck Art Show. Join us for a fun night of eclectic work done by Colorado artists all on skateboards.

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