Red Brick center of focus for artists
December 8, 2006
Resident artists at Aspen’s Red Brick Center for the Arts have opened their December exhibition, Winter Creations.”A lot of them are really starting to go into a new focus in their art,” said Debra Muzikar, executive director for the Red Brick Council for the Arts. “It’s great to see artists grow and expand.”Thursday was part of Aspen Sojourner’s inaugural Art Walk, which explored a variety of local galleries, which, Muzikar said, brought a lot of new faces to the reception.Sojourner publisher Nancy Mayer was enthusiastic about the artists’ work.
“One after the other was just incredible,” she said. “It’s exciting to have so many local artists with so much talent.”Muzikar said one of the Red Brick’s goals is to provide space to encourage local artists of all kinds to ply their crafts.”For the resident artists, the space here in the Red Brick really helps them further their careers, because there are so many people going through the gallery,” she said. “A lot of people’s careers really go to the next level when they’re here, because of the exposure.”For Shelly Safir Marolt, who is easily distracted when she paints at home, it was the studio space that made the difference.
“It’s given me the reason to get painting four days a week,” she said. “Here, it’s like an office. You go in, and you work all day, and there’s a purpose.”The extra work has paid off for Marolt; a New York gallery included several of her paintings in their exhibit.Georgann Waggaman’s time at her Red Brick studio has allowed her to dive into the detail of her subject matter. At least, that’s how Carlos Zaldivar sees it. Zaldivar is a fine art consultant and collector who has watched Waggaman’s art evolve.While she’s always focused on nature, particularly with undertones of agriculture, he said, she’s now using close crops and adding more elements to draw the reader’s eye to her area of focus. Zaldivar said the technique, which Waggaman employs liberally with flowers and now colorful farm trucks, cajoles the viewer into looking at the world through childlike eyes, zooming in to explore every tiny detail rather than the big picture.
“What most draws me here is the sentiment, because it focuses on these things,” he said pointing to the individually crafted pistils in one of her tightly cropped flower pieces. “You don’t focus on the entire flower. You focus on the pistils.”In another Waggaman piece, titled “Truck Stop Catherine Store,” a dark border frames rich green leaves as they explode outward from a bright yellow farm truck whose headlights almost seem to make eye contact with the viewer. Waggaman uses the stark contrast between the dark border and the bright truck to manipulate the viewer, drawing focus to the truck at the center.”The yellow truck is like a flower in the middle of a bush garden,” Zaldivar said. “It’s very feminine. A guy wouldn’t have done this.”The Resident Artists’ Winter Creations exhibit runs through Dec. 29 at the Red Brick.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.