Local artist opens ‘Quantummola’ pop-up gallery
The Aspen-based artist Michael Milota has been developing his artistic methods since childhood, when he first learned about the traditional Panamanian art form mola, and refining them here over the last decade.
“It truly is an Aspen original,” Milota wrote in an e-mail.
Locals have seen his signature pieces over the years in spaces like the Arjuna Yoga studio, where he has a mural, and at Vectra Bank, which displayed several of his works. Now he has a space of his own, with the pop-up art gallery Quantummola Art at 625 E. Hyman Avenue, between the Aspen Art Museum and the Gonzo Gallery.
It opens to the public on Friday, Aug. 21.
Milota is giving demonstrations of his method daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Seating is limited due to the COVID-19 public health restrictions, so demonstrations are by appointment (sign up at quantummola.com)
The pieces he has dubbed “quantummola” are densely layered colored paper, cut into varied shaped and stacked together meticulously to form intricate, abstract designs as well as natural imagery such as trees and mountains.
Milota first learned of the Panamanian mola artform as a 7th grader in Nebraska. In the traditional form, arists stitch colorful fabric together to make images of nature and geometric patterns. Milota, as a schoolkid, tried it with cut colored paper and tried it moving inward rather than outward, a method he’s spent the years since tweaking and perfecting. He’s tried different materials and methods and he has brought new inspirations into the work – from ski racks in powder to his yoga practice to mountain scenery and psychedelics.
The quantummola aesthetic has translated to other forms, incuding acrylic paintings and wood carvings.
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After a six-month hiatus, Basalt Regional Library will reopen its doors on Monday.