ART COLLECTING 101

Featuring local artists Drew Austin, Angela Beloian, Thomas Evans (Detour), Brian Fouhy, Ashley Frazier, Lucia Francis, Robyn Francis, Anna Hultin, Android Jones, Suchitra Mattai, Kamla Presswalla & Liz Quan.

NOVEMBER 8 – DECEMBER 3, 2017

CURATOR NOTES

This exhibition is intended to be an entry point for those interested in contemporary art collecting, but are not sure where to start. By curating a collection of accessible works, my hope is to inspire new and seasoned collectors alike. The work included points to the expanding variety of mediums, styles and types of artwork available and highlights a small sample of the incredible diversity of work being produced in our area. This eclectic grouping includes captivating small works on paper, rare porcelain curiosities, unique weavings, cutting edge embroidery techniques and fresh mixed media work as well as bold paintings, contemporary collage, dynamic sculptures and accessible prints.

Purchasing an original piece of art is not only a truly unique gift, but it is a purchase that comes back to you through expanding arts and culture in our community. When you support local artists, you support imagination and curiosity. Consider the education, perspective and emotion that an artist puts into a piece of work. Then consider how incredible it is that you can purchase a tiny piece of that to share with your friends and family for years to come.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

RETRATOS DE LOS MUERTOS

Featuring Travis Hetman 

OCTOBER 11 – NOVEMBER 5, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

This body of work sets out to explore the under-the-surface realities of who we really are. Space explodes from random shoulders and bright colors scatter throughout in order to deconstruct and perhaps even playfully attack the powerful notion that we are an ego locked up in a bag of bones, quite separate from the external world. A more interconnected concept of identity might begin to shine throughout these works. Much like gazing upon the stars on a cloudless night though, one might find oneself with more questions than answers and I think that’s where the fun begins! Reflecting on ultimate purpose, identity, death and the like is a very heavy game. When navigating between meaning and meaninglessness though, there is also always plenty of room for a chuckle at the absurdity and beauty of it all.

CURATOR NOTES

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gathering family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed. Altars are created to invite souls of the deceased to come back for a visit and often feature photos of the deceased.

Retratos de los Muertos (portraits of the dead) features portraits of those remembered and those forgotten. The exhibition honors the spiritual journey our loved ones have taken and questions the impact of memories.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

ARTIST OCCUPIED SOUTH GALLERY

Stephanie Hilvitz & Paula Fitzgerald

August 31 – November 5, 2017

SOUTH GALLERY RESIDENCE

Over a period of nine weeks, our resident artists will bring together artists and community members to work collaboratively on pieces for the second annual Dia de los Muertos Gigante Procession. Using the South Gallery as a studio, they will build hand painted puppets (gigantes) with cloth costumes including paper mache head, torso and decorated framework structure.

LIZ MILLER

Acrimonious Efflorescence 

AUGUST 31 – OCTOBER 7, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

My mixed media installations are elaborate, abstract fictions that incorporate fragments of reality. The elegant, lacy silhouettes of imagery from sources such as firearms, killer bees, and deadly plants are spliced with imagined forms to create sculptural interludes that are absurd, menacing, and poetic. Pattern and tactility confuse and complicate identification, camouflaging recognizable forms and evoking recognition when applied to non-objective forms. The tensions between fact/fiction and dimensionality/flatness are endlessly fascinating to me, playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion, while conflating fantasy and fiction.

Acrimonious Efflorescence creates a complex, multilayered topography within Firehouse Art Center. Utilizing a diverse range of materials– including sensuous gold corduroy, stiffened felt, and brightly colored rope–the installation creates a dreamscape both seductive and sinister. Abstract forms weave through the space, suggesting an alternate reality, refuted in turn by the forms’ insistent materiality. Silhouettes, magical and mysterious from a distance, reveal themselves as banal on closer inspection, creating a tension between our longing for fantasy and our ultimate recognition of fact.

CURATOR NOTES

I am thrilled to introduce Longmont to Minnesota based artist Liz Miller. For years we have dreamed of bringing in a national artist who’s work would take up the entire gallery and create a completely immersive experience. Luckily for us Liz was intrigued by our space and able to ship most of her materials with ease. Her incredible shapes, textures and colors have transformed our space into a forest of allure and wonder. Bursts of light and energy fill the sky, steady platforms tumble into organized chaos, pinnacles of nobility stretch beyond view while shapes and shadows fall at your feet. Meander through, around and under her work, look from all angles and soak up the innovative utopia. It is the closest I’ve come to walking through an artists imagination.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org

JESSICA FORRESTAL

Artist in Residence Exhibition 

AUGUST 3-25, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

Banal objects drift unnoticeably in and out of American consumer culture. User manuals and deconstructed parts refer to the consumer ritual that promises functionality and life improvement. Mimicking the ways in which we encounter these objects, I construct large hand-drawn diagrams. Intensive labor and crafting is essential to my creative process as I challenge concepts of quality, disposability and time. Using this format of production, objects are reimagined and recontextualized as artworks that challenge the economy of the art object.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

MODERN AMERICA

Libby Barbee, Justin Beard, Adán De La Garza, Clay Hawkley, Jennifer Ivanovic, Cindy Sepucha and Mario Zoots 

JUNE 29-JULY 30, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

Curator Jessica Kooiman Parker asked 7 artists to respond to life in Modern America. Artists include Libby Barbee, Justin Beard, Adán De La Garza, Clay Hawkley, Jennifer Ivanovic, Cindy Sepucha and Mario Zoots.

The Firehouse Art Center is pleased to announce Modern America, an unabashed political and social commentary from the hearts and minds of local artists. Our political landscape is volatile and more often than not it is hard for artists to produce political work, for any number of reasons. This exhibition provides a chance for artists to scream at the top of their lungs or to quietly reflect on an issue or issues they feel passionate about.

Kooiman Parker encouraged artists to use their creative practice to process authentic reactions to modern times and to channel that energy into new work. By encouraging work of this subject matter, the artist becomes a sincere reflection of our society and the issues we face. Stemming from frustration and feeling powerless, Kooiman Parker embarked on a mission to give artists an opportunity to create political work. Art that doesn’t hesitate to slap you in the face with tough facts and information. Art that inspires you to literally take to the streets. Ugly art for an ugly world.

Since the beginning of time art has been a reflection of society. The pyramids reflected Egyptian culture just as street art in LA reflected a tenacious subculture. Today, many of us are struggling to comprehend the news we are subjected to. We have become numb to so many things; personal data gathering and surveillance, environmental catastrophes, extreme income gaps, political misuse of power, and the list goes on. Fortunately for us contemporary artists are able to unpack all of this information, filter it through their creative practice and present it to the world as a mirror to the chaos. Ideally, we stop, think and change. It’s an important role for artists to play and it is equally important to offer the opportunity for them to create work in this vein. Artist are essentially a way to ‘check’ audiences and document our society.

Artists were asked the following questions: Do you believe in something enough that you are willing to fight for it? What do you stand for? What are you embarrassed of? Their responses are as varied as our society at large; from fossil fuels and feminism to housing issues and TSA pat-downs.

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

JENNIFER PETTUS

Plot Twist 

May 24-June 25, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The complication of life inspires me to use complicated combinations of materials and methods in my work. I create three dimensional shadowboxes, free form assemblages, and installations that defy categorization with calculated hodgepodge. I spend a lot of time “making the stuff to make the stuff,” re-purposing second-hand and throw-away materials with techniques like knitting, knotting, stitching, wrapping, staining, poking, gluing, and smashing. I use excessive texturing in conjunction with vibrant colors and curious objects to create a visual pull, asking the viewer to come closer than they might otherwise to a work of art. My hope is to use this material mishmash to keep the viewer engaged with clues to a certain complexity behind the familiar.

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. The “plot twist” by definition is a tool for defying expectations. I am interested in its translation into a visual language. For a long time I have been fascinated with the ability of theater to bring people together in a shared, extraordinary, emotional experience. Live theater (but also amusements parks, carnivals, and even museums) give us a sense of the fantastic, pulling us out of our everyday existence to tell a story. Visual cues via props and costumes are vital to the illusion. They are replications designed to drive the plot forward or define a character. In conjunction with dialogue, they allow us to sensually inhabit a temporal world. We comprehend the story, in large part, through the interconnection of visual and verbal breadcrumbs. This work defies expectations by disconnecting the breadcrumbs with unexpected combinations of materials and techniques. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

jenniferpettus.com

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008

MIDNIGHT POTATO MUSEUM

Dustin Holland, Connor Magyar, Jared Romero, Madi Chamberlain, Janelle Fine, Nick Holland, Alex White, Bradley Books, & Maggie Shearon

May 3-21, 2017

POTATO STATEMENT

We ate potatoes every night of the last week of 2016. In that week, we found ourselves staring into frying pans to admire the shapes and sounds before us. Sizzling in an almost exultant and decidedly final sort of dance. A baking potato will swell ever so slightly as it heats in the oven before falling into itself. A French fry will giggle and gasp in oil. A potato chip will leave maps in grease stains on the bottoms of innumerable paper plates. We want to take the incidental art of our favorite starchy nightshade and give it some agency. We want to see how beautiful the potato can be when it’s trying.
-Dustin Holland and Connor Magyar

ANNUAL JURIED HIGH SCHOOL SHOW

Niwot, Lyons, Longmont, Silver Creek, Skyline, Eerie, APEX and Frederick High Schools 

May 3-21, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

Since 2013, the Firehouse Art Center has supported local student artists with an annual Juried High School Exhibition. Each year student artists are selected with media ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and jewelry. This year we partnered with Arts Longmont and selected work from the St Vrain Valley District Art Show.

FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Juried Exhibition
Reconstructing the Past

APRIL 12-30, 2017

FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

JURIED EXHIBITION 

The Art Program from Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus are hosting their first juried and competitive student art exhibition at the Firehouse Art Center this spring. “We are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to partner with this fine Longmont institution of art in showcasing the hard work and creativity our students put forth in the creation of art projects throughout the year in our studio art classes,” John Cross, lead faculty for the program. “We realize that offering our students the opportunity to display their work in a professional setting is an important step on their path toward becoming artists. The students are excited about the possibility of awards of recognition and the opportunity to see their work on display and share their efforts with the public.”

 

RECONSTRUCTING THE PAST

Students in women’s history, women’s studies, and art classes at Front Range Community College learned the stories of immigrant women living in the Boulder County area and turned those stories into a multimedia exhibition. The students at the Boulder County Campus worked under the direction of Professors Catlyn Keenan, Women’s Sexuality, Mary Ann Grim, Women in U.S. History, and Jay Schaffer, Digital Photography, to produce an interdisciplinary service-learning project called Reconstructing the Past.

Teams of students interviewed immigrant residents about their lives and the history experienced though living and participating in multiple cultural contexts. Women’s studies and history students wrote narratives, and photography students created portraits that honor and commemorate the women’s lives.

ANDY MANN

Month of Photography

MARCH 5 – APRIL 9, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO

Andy’s work is helping tell the story of our rapidly changing planet through conservation-focused marine expeditions. Though his roots are deeply bound in the rock climbing world, where he started as Senior Photographer for Climbing Magazine, his focus has moved back to the sea where he once studied marine biology in college. He is fond, not fearful of sharks and reports they are as curious about him as he is of them. The resulting photos are remarkably memorable and vital. The expeditions to research and study these magnificent fish are now essential for their preservation.

Andy has recently aligned with Sea Legacy and National Geographic to document the last wild places and streamline their protection. He has worked effortlessly on all 7 continents as a visual storyteller and is just as involved in the political processes of protection as he is in capturing the stories in the field.

His latest journey is a thirty five day mission to Antarctica for National Geographic Magazine, returning just in time for the opening of the exhibition. Andy’s work will tell the story of human impact on this precious natural area – specifically the impact of krill fishing on the region’s wildlife, which includes orca whales, seals, and penguins.

Exploring and photographing our planet’s last wild places aligns perfectly with Andy’s love of adventure and conservation values. His still photos remind us of the magic of a captured moment and how the emotion of an image can touch our spirit. Naming Greenland as his favorite place “where the mountains and sea collide,” Andy relishes time spent in sparsely populated, nearly untouched, wild locations.

Andy lives in Niwot with his wife, Orien, and 18-month old daughter, Josie.

LINDSEY MARIE KARNUTH & BRANDON JAMES: Light to Darkness

MAR 8 – APR 9, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

Artistically these two local fine artists philosophies are on opposite ends of the spectrum. She is light. He is darkness. This collision of opposing perspectives from full to empty, light to dark, both artists chose to focus on their strengths. Taking Brandon James’s photography Lindsey Marie Karnuth stitched thread through and drew over each print. Each artist is represented individually to harmonize together.

This series sends a powerful message. Art is a perception of what you feel not what you see. All perspectives are welcome. Do you choose to see the dark or the light? In our modern world of instant gratification they remind us to slow down. Compelled to examine the details the artists invite you to form your own conclusion. For it is not their intention to persuade you, it is none of their business. It’s what the artwork says to you that speaks volumes. They love you enough to let you be free to decide and encourage curiosity. Let go of your fear that no one will love or understand you if your perspective varies.

KATHY HALL: Artist Member of the Year

FEB 8 – MAR 5, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

I have always described myself as a doodler and a dabbler, but my childhood love of art was largely put aside for the 35 years I spent raising my sons and fulfilling the demands of a career as a counselor and casework supervisor in the Illinois Department of Corrections. I sustained my creative leanings with a bit of doodling, sewing and writing when I could fit it in. Retirement in 2008 allowed time and opportunity to fuel the growing passions for all things art.

Since then, I’ve experimented with many things but have taken a particular interest in creating original, one of a kind art dolls utilizing polymer, paper and epoxy clay, wire, sticks, foil, yarn, beads, fabric and found objects. I delight in bold features, colors and expressions and am often surprised by the faces and figures which emerge from somewhere deep within. Over the last year or so, I’ve also been interested in creating colorful collages using hand painted papers. Birds are a favorite subject. I’ve been experimenting with painting and hope to get back to an old favorite – metal working/jewelry making this year. I plan to offer some classes in doll making as well.

A move to beautiful Colorado in December 2014 to be near family and allow me to be “Gramma Kat” to my wonderful grandchildren has turned out to be an exciting adventure and I am thrilled also to have found such a warm, welcoming and encouraging home in the Longmont Arts Community. I love volunteering with The Firehouse Art Center and Arts Longmont and being a member of the eclectic Kay Carol and Priscilla Co-Op Gallery and Art Bar. I participate in the Firehouse poetry groups and the new “Word Wednesday” at KCP. I was fortunate to create dolls for the FRESH event the last two years and am eager for other projects and collaborations.

There are not enough hours in the day to delve into all of the rich opportunities that Longmont has to offer. My own art dolls and collections of paintings by friends and others have taken over every room of my home in dizzying splashes of color. A jar of disembodied heads waits by the TV. Eyes wink and watch from every nook and cranny. Medicine dolls stand guard. My basement studio contains a chaotic mix of materials, paint and overflowing bins of fabric, yarn and miscellaneous bits, keeping me mostly prepared for middle of the night whims and inspirations.

I call my house/home/studio “hilARiTas” in the spirit of the Roman goddess of rejoicing and good humor. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence that “ART” is hidden in her name. I hope that this air of affirmation and celebration lights my work and brings a smile to the hearts of those who experience it.

JULIE PUMA: Urgent Importance

FEB 8 – MAR 5, 2017

ARTIST STATEMENT

My current work explores themes of technology and communication in an attempt to examine the possibilities and limitations of communication in the 21st century. The rise of the use of technological devices, immediacy of communications and options of how to communicate pose many questions:

• Have we become an urgent society and have we confused important communications with urgent communications?
• Are there chemical changes in the brain as a result of too much “screen time”?
• Are we creating addictions to technology?
• Has technology altered our sense of self within the context of our intimate relationships?

I am producing a large body of work that consists of both paintings and drawings. These paintings and drawings are collaborations between others; as we exchange photographs via Snap chat or we engage in Apple Face Time interactions. Messages exchanged via the above digital communications travel through our brain and memory very quickly. By painting and drawing images of technology I am slowing down the process allowing the viewer to contemplate technology in a different context.

I was born in Brooklyn New York and when I was six months old, my parents moved to a small Village in England, where I lived until I was fourteen. Currently I live in Denver. I received my undergraduate from Western Illinois University; My first Masters is in art therapy from The School of The Art Institute in Chicago, and my second masters of fine art in visual art from Vermont College of Fine art. I worked as an art therapist for about twelve years, before deciding to retrieve the second masters in Fine Art. I am full time faculty in the Foundations department at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver.

PROCESS AND BACKGROUND

Brought as a baby to England by well-traveled parents, Julie Puma spent her first fourteen years there with summers spent in her native Brooklyn. Her earliest memory of art is at age five when her mother gave her a set of oil paints which she used to paint a flower on a Styrofoam meat package. Only a year later her mother would pass away from breast cancer. Her father remarried and his work with IBM moved Julie, her sister, and the new family back to the United States where they settled in the Chicago area. An interest in art wasn’t apparent in high school, but after graduating from Western Illinois State University, Julie went on to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to achieve a Masters of Art in Art Therapy. Her passion for painting was kindled as she taught art therapy while experiencing its healing powers for herself and deepening her own creative talent.

Julie made her way to Colorado to care for her sister who was also afflicted with breast cancer. Here she met her husband, gave birth to a daughter, and continued to refine and cultivate her artistic growth. Fueled by her family tragedies, Julie’s painting and art evolved as a means for greater communication and exploration of social and political themes. She earned a second Master’s degree in Fine Art in Visual Art with the Vermont College of Fine Art. Currently, Julie is a full-time Faculty Member in Foundations at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. Julie’s work has been exhibited nationally and locally in several solo and collaborative shows since 1997. Prized by collectors, her drawings and paintings are personal and powerful, resonant and relevant contemporary realism.

Noticing the way in which her teen-aged daughter communicates almost completely in imagery instead of words through the popular social media platform, Snapchat, inspired Julie to give substantive form through oil paintings and drawings to those urgent, ten-second disappearing screen captures. In creating tangible, preserved art from those rapidly fleeting images, their urgency is slowed to offer closer contemplation and context.

Urgent Importance exhibits Julie’s thought provoking imagery intended to challenge our relationship to the instantaneous communications of social media platforms. Invasive social messaging from Twitter and Snapchat create an overwhelming stream of information and images that demand attention and can feed an addiction to technology’s digital world. Facetime and Skype afford users instant views of each caller to the other, altering our own sense of self through a digital screen. Julie’s drawings and paintings capture such fleeting social interactions to offer an opportunity for reflection on the meaning of this urgent barrage of imaging and messages. Her artwork provides a contemplative view of social media to craft a bridge to capture the nuance of ephemeral electronic images and messages.

Urgent Importance as an exhibit reminds the viewer that reaction to the current tsunami of images, and messages can be slowed, questioned, and while kept in the moment, offer reflection.