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Closing Reception Saturday, February 19, 5-6:30PM
Public Viewing Days: 12-6 PM
Saturday, January 22
Wednesday, January 26 Thursday, January 27 Cancelled, sorry for any inconvenience Sunday, January 30 Cancelled, sorry for any inconvenience
Friday, February 4
Sunday, February 6
Wednesday, February 9
Saturday, February 12
Wednesday, February 16
Friday, February 18
Delicate Balance pairs Colorado artists Robin Hextrum and Ajean Ryan, sharing their unique perspectives of the traditional art forms of still life and landscape. Both play with organic elements and geometric shapes to express themselves. The artwork explores duality through our place in the environment and the functions of ornamentation in nature.
Artist Bios: Robin Hextrum is a contemporary oil painter who lives and works in the Denver area. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California, she completed a double major in Fine Art and Neuroscience. She then studied at Laguna College of Art and Design where she received her MFA in painting. Hextrum completed a second master’s degree in Modern and Contemporary Art History at University of California, Riverside. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Regis University. Hextrum is the recipient of grants from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and The Stobart Foundation. Ajean Ryan received her BA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting from University of California, Los Angeles, and then went to receive her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at University of California, Berkeley. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, galleries as well as non-profit spaces. Ryan has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Creative Capital Workshop Grant. She is an Associate Professor of Drawing at Colorado State University and currently lives in Loveland, Colorado.
Artist Statements: Robin Hextrum—My work derives inspiration from recent environmental upheavals. Drawing heavily from 17th century Dutch vanitas, still life masterpieces that were a reminder of our brief existence on this planet. My works embody a contemporary version of the theme. Flowers symbolize beauty and the transience of human life within the vanitas genre. These works take the extravagance of the 17th century still lives to an extreme by enlarging the scale and adding bold and vibrant colors. These works ask viewers to consider the mortality of our planet.
Other of my paintings explore the tension between natural and constructed worlds by contrasting organic and geometric elements. The combination of animal imagery with abstract shapes and unusual colors alludes to the dire state of our natural environment and the necessity for animals to adapt to a new climate. Caught up in swirls of abstract marks and unnatural colors, nature pushes forward to combat toxic surroundings. My paintings also explore the dividing lines between representation and abstraction using various degrees of resolution and construction of illusionistic space. Crude drawings sit beside polished and rendered imagery, creating a jarring and even theatrical quality, and further developing the sense of tension. Formal and conceptual juxtapositions develop into new possibilities for interpretation and reflection about our place in a vulnerable ecosystem.
Ajean Ryan—My work re‐interprets landscapes, both as pictorial spaces and as a genre within the history of the visual arts. I embrace ornamentation and beauty as it addresses themes about the feminine, but I present the embellishments as both functional and obfuscating. Detail and ornamentation in my work allow me to obscure and conceal subversive and hidden motifs and images.
Some scholars have described ornamentation in disparaging terms, as a tactic to hide truth behind the gilt and shine. But ornamentation appears in the natural landscapes that I’ve known all my life, in the striking patterns of birds, insects, flowers, and plants. Ornamentation is deeply functional—even though it does obscure what the thing really is. Organisms decorate and embellish themselves so that a species will continue to exist, and the sum of so much misrepresentation can make for stunning visual ecologies.