Emerging artists break out | SteamboatToday.com

Emerging artists break out

Exhibition at Depot offers fresh start for some, first start for others

Margaret Hair

— Until his work found a spot on the walls of the Depot Art Center’s Emerging Artists Gallery, local painter and maintenance worker Patrick McCannon never had written an artist’s statement.

With a lifelong love of art and without any formal training, McCannon has trouble finding words for his watercolors that start with curves or lines, colors or hues. But that’s what was required to get those works on the walls at the Depot, and McCannon is pleased with the results.

“I was a little nervous, thinking that it would be too different, but I got a good response at the opening reception,” McCannon said. “It’s not traditional Steamboat artwork; it’s not your horses and your cowboys and your skiing.”

Featured along with McCannon this month in the Depot’s back room are large oil paintings by Kathi Fresques, abstract landscapes by Liz Kuzmkowski and Western realist paintings by Debra Liljedahl.

Fresques, who recently moved to Steamboat Springs from Boulder, said the show gives her an opportunity to get reoriented with the art world after taking a few months off during her move.

“I hope to contribute a good bit to the art community here as far as volunteering, and just kind of get more involved in that community now that I’m here,” Fresques said, adding that she thinks Steamboat has taken steps to become a thriving art community.

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Debra Liljedahl also hopes to use this month’s show as a jumping off point to restart her art career, which she said has been on hold for about six years.

“I just wanted to get back in and try to get my stuff back out again and kind of start back with my career,” said Liljedahl, who hopes to get work together to submit to a gallery in Steamboat or a nearby mountain town. McCannon has been similarly motivated by the show, and he said he’s painted more frequently since it opened at the beginning of the month.

“It’s hard for me to find time (to paint), but I’m now making the time, versus just waiting to find the time,” he said.