April 27-May 31
In celebration of a decade in business, Denver’s Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery presents Continuum: 10th Anniversary Show from April 27 through May 31. An opening reception is on April 27 from 5 to 8 p.m., and artists’ demonstrations are from noon to 2 p.m. on April 28.
Colorado artists John Harrell, Kit Hevron Mahoney, and Anita Mosher founded Brushstrokes in 2002, and recently welcomed a fourth artist/partner, Kelly Berger, to their studio-gallery. Although the hallmark of the gallery is impressionistic paintings, the anniversary event will showcase the continuum of representational to abstract art that the group creates.
The 10th anniversary comes at an exciting time for Brushstrokes’ artists. “We’re all pushing the envelope and going in new directions,” Harrell says. The show includes 10 new works from each artist, revealing the different ways they’ve challenged themselves, each tackling a new element in their work.
For Harrell, that element is graffiti. Known for his impressionistic cityscapes and vibrant florals, he is now concentrating on capturing images of graffiti he finds on his walks around the city and incorporating them into urban landscapes. Always seeking to portray the beauty and poignancy of the seemingly mundane, Harrell says he hopes viewers come away with “a fresh take on the beauty of the city.”
For Anita Mosher, the shift is in process and technique rather than subject matter. “I focus on animals as usual,” she says. “But what’s different this time is that I use a palette knife to paint the entire piece.” Mosher has traditionally painted her impressionistic works using brushes. Now she’s challenging herself to play with texture and incorporate more abstraction.
The artist with perhaps the most dramatic shift in her recent work is Kit Hevron Mahoney. “I’ve been delving into abstract painting as a new challenge and departure from my many years of painting representational landscapes and florals,” Mahoney says. “Painting has always been a soul-searching journey, but the abstract work takes me to a new level of self-awareness, which I hope translates to the canvas.” The anniversary show features a mixture of Mahoney’s representational and abstract works.
While each artist exhibits distinct talents, methods, and passions, they do so in a very communal, open environment. The group paints together in the gallery nearly every day, and they welcome guests into a warm, friendly, and interactive atmosphere.
Newcomer Kelly Berger finds the working environment at Brushstrokes extremely rewarding. “I’m thrilled to be part of this great group of artists who are so kind and supportive,” she says. Berger, who joined the partnership in February, describes her work as “contemporary representational, with an emphasis on urban.” Berger has been passionate about art her whole life, but it wasn’t until three years ago that she transitioned from the world of marketing and public relations to become a full-time artist.
Berger hopes that viewers will be engaged by the vibrant color, dramatic perspective, and strong light that she is drawn to and inspired by. And while this budding artist has many aspirations for her work, above all, she says, “I hope these pieces make people happy.” —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in May 2012.