The metallic smell of paint thinner and a jungle of easels typically say "art class," not "art gallery." But at Rubbish Gallery, owners Jon Lindstrom and Brett Andrus have created an exhibit around the progression of artwork, conception to finished product.
The show, In Process, hosts seven local artists working on their own pieces over the course of three Friday night openings (two already passed), with a final closing reception on Dec. 5, in which the completed pieces will be on display.
Andrus, who's adding two paintings of his own to the foray, came up with the idea for the show. He says he wanted to "demystify the art-making process," as well as to gather the different artists' methods into one space and time frame. It's a concept similar to a school environment or shared studio space, but largely uncommon, he says, for young painters in the Springs.
"I wanted to put together a kind of time-lapse photography of the creation of a painting: beginning, middle and end."
Andrus says some of the invited artists were nervous to work publicly, while others were only too happy to have the chance to share their inspirations and techniques.
At the well-attended opening reception Nov. 14, the variety of media and working methods make for a lively studio. Artist Neil Fenton swipes large patches of rich orange as a base to his canvas while Lorelei Beckstrom layers thin, light coats of diluted paint on wooden panels. Visitors look on, occasionally chatting with the artists.
In talking to other participating artists, Holly Conlon, Jo Carol Ciborowski and Douglas Rouse (Marc Huebert arrives later that night), none of them claims to have envisioned a set concept from the beginning. Instead, they say they work until that mysterious inspiration strikes and guides them to where the work ought to go. While the emphasis of In Process is to bring the workings of the artist into the light, there remains much spontaneity along the way.
"It's really a wandering ... I just feel my way in the dark and it just happens," Beckstrom says.