Arts at Denver, April 3-25
This story was featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Robust vegetable gardens, charming cafés, golden wheat fields: These subjects and more grace the walls this month as Arts at Denver celebrates its 24th anniversary with a show titled A Taste for Art, which pays homage to the fine art of all things related to food and drink. The tantalizing presentation opens Friday, April 3, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 8 p.m. “Think about the warm, satisfied feeling you get from the aroma of bread baking, or the happy thoughts and memories of a meal with friends,” says gallery owner Paula Conley. “We all love to eat and drink. And there is such a great variety in what we choose for family dinners and parties of all kinds, how we set a table, make a picnic, or toast an event.”
The show features 45 paintings by gallery artists—both new works and old favorites depicting everything from doughnuts to dog treats. In Robert MacPherson’s painting OLD WORLD ELEGANCE, the artist was inspired by a visit to San Diego’s Old Town, an area that contains a cluster of buildings re-creating the feel of Spanish Colonial culture that once existed in Southern California. MacPherson’s eye was drawn to a period dining room reminiscent of that culture. Natural light illuminated the scene. “I noticed a lot of highlights on the shiny objects on the table,” Mac-Pherson says. “The contrast of the highlights against the dark shadows in the room is what got me interested in painting the scene. I wanted to re-create this light effect.”
Sheri Farabaugh says her painting DINNER AT 8 came about because she always wanted to paint fresh fish. When she walked by a lobster tank recently, Farabaugh was ready to take the plunge. “I knew I wanted to arrange a lobster with the claws hanging over the side of the plate, some green grapes to add complementary green, and some port,” she says.
In Jeremiah J. White’s painting MIXED NUTS, the artist chose to use nuts to symbolically convey relationships with family and friends, especially how the differences, eccentricities, and personality quirks of each make the relationships even more interesting. “In other words, how the various characters in our lives shape us and help us become who we are,” White says. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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