Show Preview | Dreaming in French

Denver, CO
Arts at Denver, February 10-March 3

Brenda Hendrix, French Geese, oil, 20 x 40.

Brenda Hendrix, French Geese, oil, 20 x 40.

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

It may seem redundant to host an exhibition dedicated to France—that most romantic of countries—during the month of Valentine’s Day, but Paula Colette Conley, director and proprietor of Arts at Denver, just couldn’t ignore her fascination with all things French. Arts at Denver hosts Dreaming in French, Dreaming of Love, beginning on Friday, February 10, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 9 p.m. All of the gallery’s 35 artists, including new recruits Scott Mattlin and Lindsey Bittner Graham, were invited to contribute pieces that capture the essence of France.

Conley says she has always loved all things French because her childhood was spent growing up in neighboring Belgium. “It’s a different way of living and looking at the world,” she says of the lifestyle there. “Spending more time sharing meals with friends and family, more time walking just for pleasure, and of course, enjoying some of the most beautiful art in the world.” Conley says she wanted to challenge the artists to interpret the emotions that France evokes, specifically those of “taking pleasure in small things.”

In the show, collectors can expect to see abstracted landscapes from Mike Natale, who has recently been particularly focused on coastal scenes, Conley says. Jody Rigsby and Teresa Vito are just a few of the other artists featured in the show.

Vito, who spent many years working and teaching across France, says she is exploring something new in her paintings for the show. While her loose, well-drawn figures remain, she has begun to portray sculpture in paint. “It’s fun to paint someone else’s creation because you are creating from its original inspiration as well,” Vito says.

The pieces, entitled AROUND THE CORNER, BORDEAUX, and PEEK-A-BOO, BORDEAUX, show a set of cherubic female statues that the artist drew from a carved fountain in Bordeaux, France. Vito says they can be sold together or separately. She is also working on a large, “quintessentially French” landscape of the wine country for the show.

Vito says she and Conley also used photos taken during Conley’s recent trip to France as inspiration for some of the pieces in the exhibition. “Seeing new places like France makes you more alive and more aware, and that’s what I think paintings do to people as well,” Vito says. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
303.722.0422
www.artsatdenver.com

This story was featured in the February 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  February 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT