Three on the road | SteamboatToday.com

Three on the road

Graduating students' art show represents personal growth

Allison Plean

The pieces of artwork hanging in Monson Hall represent the personal experiences of three graduating Colorado Mountain College art students.

Andrea Benavente’s printed images and pastels have served as therapy for her to chase away her demons.

Rachel Radetsky’s experimentation with mixed media represents her growth and change during the past three years.

Tripp Talley’s oil paintings have given him the power to go ahead with the life he has chosen.

Art is a way to express raw feelings for Benavente. “If I am going to suffer all of this pain, something good should come out of it,” she said. “It’s about taking the bad stuff inside of me and making it beautiful.”

Her artwork represents the drama of life because conflict creates inspiration, Benavente said. “If you put your soul into it, people are attracted to that.”

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Before coming to CMC she did not have the courage to create art. Benavente came from a family of business people who attended Harvard, Berkley and Stanford. “Telling my parents that I was going into art was a revelation of who I am,” Benavente said.

Her work at CMC has been functional as well as cleansing. “My blood is on the paper,” Benavente said. “When I finish the piece, I’m ready to let it go. It served its purpose.”

Radetsky is more attached to her pieces in the show. “They represent personal experiences of where I am and where I’ve grown,” she said. “It’s all pretty personal. I’m not quite ready to let it go.”

Her artwork encompasses batik, sculpture, watercolor, charcoal drawings and fiber arts. CMC has provided a supportive environment for each student to explore an artistic path. “We all have our own distinct style and color palette we work with a lot,” Radetsky said. “It’s nice to see a body of work that represents the time we’ve been here.”

She has spent the past year preparing her portfolio for applications to art schools. She will attend the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in the fall to study art education with a minor in arts.

“I want to inspire other people to be creative and use what they have,” Radetsky said. “That’s why I’m going into the field.”

Radetsky has learned more at CMC than just the mechanics of art. “A skill you need as an artist is to be able to critique objectively and be critiqued,” Radetsky said. “Sometimes, the part of the piece that you hate is your best part.”

Talley tries not to mull over what he likes and dislikes about his work and welcomes the reactions from others. “I like negative feedback as much as the positive,” he said. “It is funny to watch somebody who very visibly doesn’t like your work, but can look at it objectively.”

Talley’s inspiration stems from the interaction between people and their surroundings. “I like to focus on what the human mind takes from paintings,” Talley said. “No two people see the same thing in one painting.”

Living in Steamboat has been very grounding for him. “It’s almost surreal. The peace of the city has expanded my mind to what I’m capable of doing,” Talley said.

All three students have experienced a sense of accomplishment by hanging their artwork on the walls in their first art show. Each piece is an expression of what they’ve learned about themselves and what they plan to take with them on the road.

Key points “Three on the Road” art exhibit

When: Today through May 5

Where: Monson Gallery in Monson Hall, Room 200 at Colorado Mountain College

Cost: Free

Call: 870-4444