Art Base to open Leah Potts’ ‘Wild Life’ |

Art Base to open Leah Potts’ ‘Wild Life’

Aspen painter celebrates first solo exhibition

The Art Base in Basalt will open an exhibition of nearly 50 watercolor paintings of animals by Aspen artist Leah Potts on Friday. The show marks Potts’ first solo exhibition.

“The pure elegance of nature’s palette, textures and wildlife has become a constant source of inspiration for my watercolor paintings,” Potts said in an exhibition announcement.

Her original cards and prints also will be on sale at the exhibition, running through July 31. The Art Base will celebrate Potts with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

The artist was paralyzed from the chest down in a debilitating ski accident in 1999. Since that time, Potts has focused on her rehabilitation and rebuilding her life. Part of that recovery has included rediscovering art, painting and creativity.

“Leah’s personal story is remarkable, but independent of that, her watercolors are sympathetic and extraordinarily well crafted,” Art Base curator Lissa Ballinger said. “Her animal portraits reveal the very nature and personality of these animals.”

Six years ago, Potts connected with the Art Base and was awarded a scholarship for a two-week painting class. The experience was a catalyst for her rebirth as an artist, as she has since learned how to paint with her non-dominant hand, which she has said “frees her brush strokes, giving a blend of realism and impressionistic style that allows her to capture the spirit of the animal.”

“The spirit of the animal fills my heart and inspires me through the tough times, pushing me through the struggle,” Potts said.

The Art Base also recently announced it is holding extended hours, to 8 p.m., on Wednesday nights during the “Wednesday Night Live” series in Basalt. It also will also two public receptions for its annual “10×10 Name Unseen” silent auction, on Aug. 6 and 7. The nonprofit will also announced the return of its annual “pARTy” for Aug. 21.