Steamboat Springs High School graduate Rashelle Stetman, who is studying art education in Denver, will display her work at Deluxe Tattoo in downtown Steamboat Springs. The show opens Friday, during First Friday Artwalk.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School graduate Rashelle Stetman, who is studying art education in Denver, will display her work at Deluxe Tattoo in downtown Steamboat Springs. The show opens Friday, during First Friday Artwalk.

Steamboat grad Rashelle Stetman grows up through her art

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Steamboat Springs High School graduate Rashelle Stetman, who is studying art education in Denver, will display her work at Deluxe Tattoo in downtown Steamboat Springs. The show opens Friday during First Friday Artwalk.

— Rashelle Stetman, a 2010 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, didn’t know which path to follow.

She could have gone in the cosmetology direction, but when the opportunity came up to pursue her childhood love of drawing at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, she gravitated toward it.

And as she now knows, it was the right path.

Art school has “changed me as a person,” she said. “I feel so much more comfortable with who I am, spending all this time working on pieces and being with other artists.”

The fruits of her intensive art education at RMCAD are now display at Deluxe Tattoo in Steamboat Springs in a 10-piece art show.

The collection of graphite portraits, detailed pen and ink drawings and mixed-media pieces is on display for the month of March and opens during First Friday Artwalk from 5 to 8 p.m.

The petite 20-year-old has a bob of fiery red hair and an enthusiasm that goes beyond the making of her work. She wants to share it, explain it and teach it.

Her focus of study is art education, and she hopes to teach primary school art like her mentor, local art teacher Erin Kreis.

“She’s my biggest inspiration,” Stetman said. “Every time I would go intern with her, I just had the greatest feeling.”

Stetman’s first show of work, also at the tattoo shop last summer, was colorful, psychedelic and free. But her line of study has her immersed in technique, and she’s now honed in on detail work and meticulous shading.

“I think if you’re driven enough, you want to excel in what you love,” she said.

She has a thick callous on one of her drawing fingers from the long hours she put into preparing the show for hanging.

One of the drawings, a tattoo-inspired surrealistic piece, took her 25 hours, and she spent 12 hours just getting the shading right on a cowboy’s arm for another piece.

“It gives you more of an opportunity to include details,” Stetman said about working with two-toned palettes. “I do smaller pieces, I just spend so much time on them. I like that everyone can take what details they want from it.”

On the inside of her right upper arm are tattooed words she takes to heart in her life and artwork: “Make every day your masterpiece."

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

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