Spice of Life’ brings zest to gallery

Newness, surprise are themes of art in show ending Nov. 11


Members of the Littleton Fine Arts Guild were challenged to “consider an attitude or the element of surprise when they taste a new dish, or hear a new song, or read an inspiring story, or try a new color in a painting …” resulting in the new “Spice of Life” exhibit, which opened Oct. 12 with a reception and runs through Nov. 11 at the Depot Art Gallery, 2069 W. Powers Ave.

Genial juror Dean Buhler circulated through the reception crowd and talked with exhibiting artists about their artwork.

When you visit, be sure to look for his “Catitude,” to the right of the front door. In addition to fine painting technique, there is a sense of humor evident. Buhler’s website quotes him as saying he works on one painting at a time, “mood driven.” He speaks of the dignity he finds in living things, “deeply rooted in a desire to fulfill their nature …” He has attended numerous other artists’ classes and workshops, has a background in telecommunications prior to his painting career as well as a law JD degree and a brief period in a legal practice. He is represented by the Blue River Fine Art Gallery in Breckenridge.

Buhler chose Paul Nutting’s nostalgic painting, “Paloverde in Bloom,” with its bright yellow flowering tree, surrounding saguaro cactuses and other desert landscape with distant mountains, as winner of the Best of Show award. It offers a brief Arizona visit, beautifully rendered — one can almost smell that desert.

At the opening reception, awards were announced by the juror and guests were asked to vote for their favorites.

Stacy Roberts’ striking “Morning Light” was selected “People’s Choice.” The technique and color in this tall, vertical, abstracted landscape reminded me a bit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s relationship to the New Mexico desert where she lived and painted. I can well understand how it drew viewers’ attention and votes.

First place was awarded to David George for “Color and Smells of Flowers,” a cheerful bright garden patch, while second place went to Carol Broere’s “Colorful Forest,” a still life. Third place was awarded to Larry Goodwin’s photograph, “Sitting on Top of the World,” depicting a happy, small, perky black dog, centered in a sort of vacant landscape — with a big sky.

Four honorable mentions went to Bill Knolls, “Straw with Color” — a red autumn leaf caught in dry grass; Pat Dall, “Autumn Maize,” ears of colorful Indian corn; Kathy Meyers, “Aurora”; and Eva Kraus, a Raku-fired vase.

The exhibit includes a number of colorful small and medium-sized paintings, a selection of jewelry, ceramic pieces and unframed smaller paintings and drawings, as well as lovely artist-made notecards that are a gift in themselves …

Time to consider some holiday shopping — or that bare patch of wall that needs a touch of color. The Depot Art Gallery is a year-round source for original items you won’t find anywhere else, with exhibits that change monthly.

The gallery is housed in Littleton’s original 1891 Santa Fe Depot, which was a daily scene of excitement when the mail came in, and its adjacent caboose, which houses photographs of trains, of course. Next exhibit: “Holiday Express,” with gifts of all sorts.


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