Western Art Collector | June 2022 Edition
Ann Korologos Gallery offers up a bit of humor and affection in its summer show Lightness of Spirit, featuring the talents of four esteemed female artists. Donna Howell-Sickles, Sabrina Stiles, Diana Woods and Paula Schuette Kramer bring together their skills in depicting landscapes, wildlife and farm animals to celebrate “the joie de vivre found in the face of it all, a sentiment we can all relate to,” the gallery notes.
Painter and sculptor, Diana Woods, is inspired by her home in Grand Junction, Colorado, where her studio sits at the base of Red Canyon on the edge of the Colorado National Monument. “Riding my horse in the desert is my form of meditation and the herd of wild horses on the Little Book Cliffs range near my home, spark my imagination,” Woods explains.
Her show piece The Birds, The Bees, and Bruno, pictured here, was inspired by her grandfather’s stories as a rancher in Montana in the early 1900s. “As children, our favorite story was about Bruno the bear,” she says. “He was always helping my grandfather out of a jam. Whether it was saving him from freezing in a blizzard or chasing away a mountain lion, he was always there to save the day. In this piece, Bruno is getting into some mischief with a bee hive…He has the look of surprise as the bees surround him. The flock of magpies are swooping around him as if to say, ‘What were you thinking?’”
Also based in Colorado, Sabrina Stiles will bring smiles to faces with her series of story-themed cow paintings, paired with catchy titles. “I’m always on the lookout for the next charming animal personality,” says Stiles.
“I have as much fun coming up with the storyline as I do painting them. Of course, my goal is to make a beautiful painting as well as tell a story…The impetus for [show piece] Coy Cow was more about the design element. I just loved how the big bold shapes fit the square format. That being said, I’m not sure I would have painted it had this cow not had an expression that drew me in. I felt there was a sweetness about her. This one actually sat on my easel for quite some time as it was in a stage of partial finish that I really enjoyed.”
Wisconsin and Colorado-based printmaker, Paula Schuette Kramer, will feature her depictions of birds as an extension of a commission for a building exterior that eventually fell through. “I got very tired of being dictated by a failed past project,” she says, “and so, I decided to give up on the wasted copper plates and, instead, portray something which I have enjoyed for years outside of my kitchen window in Colorado: the Steller’s Jays congregating in the trees. Blue is my favorite color and they are so vivid against the sky. It is almost surreal to see them all together.”
This unique display of Western artworks is a must-see, as it will surely uplift your spirit and spark a bit of joy. The show will run from June 2 to 28. —
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