The 42nd Valley Visual Arts Show (VVAS) opens on Jan. 22 in the R2 Gallery at Carbondale Arts (CA). The event will celebrate the work of 50 artists from the Roaring Fork Valley.
2021 marks Carbondale Arts’ 50th anniversary, and Executive Director Amy Kimberly notes, “The VVAS kicks off our 50 years of art for Carbondale Arts. This year is really about celebrating all the talent, love and energy this community puts into the arts, and the VVAS exemplifies this.”
Brain Colley, CA gallery manager, explained that about four years ago, they implemented a lottery system to award up to 50 artists entry into the show. Limiting the show’s entries, Colley says, “allows us to keep the gallery not feeling overwhelmed and still looking professional.”
These are a few artists who will be exhibiting work:
Mark Ronay grew up in Aspen and recalls a passion for Ansel Adams’ black-and-white photography in high school. When he was nine years old, he told his mother’s cousin that he wanted to be a photographer. Two weeks later, a box arrived in the mail with a camera, lens and accessories. As Ronay says, “I always had an artistic itch that needed to be scratched.”
He counts CA as a valuable resource in his artistic journey. He calls it “fantastic” for making available staff like Colley and Staci Dickerson for expertise around new ideas and calls for exhibition entries.
Ronay explains that his current photography was inspired by the Claude Monet exhibition at the Denver Art Museum in 2019. His entry, titled “Emma Coop,” captures what he thinks looks like a chicken coop in Emma. He often rides by it on his bike, so he photographed it one morning last fall and developed it to look like a painting.
Deborah Shannan lives in Basalt and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2017 to attend Colorado Mountain College’s (CMC) professional photography program. While there, she learned a technique called platinum-palladium print processing. It incorporates painting emulsions of platinum and palladium metal solutions onto paper and produces a broader range of tones in the finished image. She says that the process creates “subtle variations, so you can be guaranteed that no two prints are exactly the same.”
Shannan was a science teacher for 29 years and is also an avid gardener. For three years, she worked on a project in Iowa restoring native prairie grasses and wildflowers and planting an organic vegetable garden. After its completion, she decided to bring together her passions of science, gardening and photography.
Shannan says VVAS is unique because it is “a diverse group of work all coming together in one show, which gives you an incredible flavor for what this Valley is capable of.”
Liz Heller, an Aspen ceramicist, and Dave Kodama, a Carbondale woodworking artist, have a piece titled “Geo Metrics Series 001.” They have collaborated since 2017, showing work at the Carbondale Clay Center, Red Brick Center for the Arts and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Heller calls these geometric units “hexagonal pyramids.” They are made of walnut and porcelain. She made her clay shapes first and then Kodama made walnut shapes to match in size. These components were then assembled into a design.
Heller says, “I think Carbondale Arts does an amazing job with their shows and their programming.” She adds, “I think out of all our institutions in the Valley, they are probably one of the best at getting people in the door, so it’s good exposure for us.”
The VVAS runs from Jan. 22 through Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday in the R2 Gallery. Viewing is limited to up to eight visitors at a time. The show will also be available for viewing online with a virtual tour and works can be purchased via an online store.
Attendees can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. In addition, ten “golden ticket” prizes, hidden under sculptures and behind paintings, will be given to the persons purchasing the corresponding work of art.