Exhibit mixes athletes and art | AspenTimes.com

Exhibit mixes athletes and art

Aspen ski instructor Eva Enriquez with her pieces Trumpet Rhythms, Puerto and Saxo at the Aspen Club on Saturday. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.

While huffing and puffing at the gym, how often does one stop to think about fine art?Probably not very often, and Heather Riley is out to change that. For the last few weeks at The Aspen Club and Spa, Riley has brought together the works of four artists who are also accomplished athletes.Riley, who lives in Hawaii, was a competitive windsurfer and worked in design when she decided to develop The V Dimension, a modern art movement primarily meant to link the world of fine art, music, film and athletics.

“People might think that you can’t be a high-level athlete and an artist, but I think this is about being a fully developed person,” she said.The exhibit includes the work of world-champion freestyle skier Ian Edmondson, U.S. freestyle national champion Jason Bodner, world record medley relay swimming champ Lorna Robertson and skier/windsurfer Eva Enriquez.Each athlete has his or her own distinctive painting/sculpting style, and Riley hopes the art can help demonstrate the athletes’ ability to excel at two things rarely put together – sports and art.The show on the walls of The Aspen Club and Spa features paintings and sculptures, and has been up since mid-February. The artwork will come down next Saturday, but Riley doesn’t think this is the only time she’ll bring this concept to Aspen.

Along with local gallery Aspen International Art, Riley hopes that in a year she can bring an event to town focused on “the art of sport,” she said, featuring a ski show on Aspen Mountain that culminates with modern art in the gondola plaza, music and maybe even some international film elements. “The V Dimension is emerging so that fine artists, athletes, musicians and filmmakers can come together and help inspire a better world,” Riley said. “The art of these pursuits has the power to inspire others to respect each other, perfect their inner being and work together for a better world.”Enriquez, whose paintings are hanging at The Aspen Club, is currently a ski instructor in Aspen and teaches windsurfing at Maui Sport Unlimited. Robertson is retired but still holds the world record in the medley relay and has been painting for 30 years.Edmondson specialized in freestyle ballet skiing and was on the U.S. Ski Team for freestyle skiing for 12 years, becoming a five-time champion. His sculpture is featured in The Aspen Club, along with his creative writing about his artwork. Bodner was also a U.S. Ski Team freestyle skier, but he studied fine art at the University of Vermont during his skiing career.Bodner’s painting, “Misty 720,” is an abstract image of a skier doing a 720 flip in the air.

Riley ultimately hopes she can help these artists gain recognition for their work. Also, 15 percent of the artworks’ sales during the Aspen show will benefit the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com

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