A stroll through the colorful Storytelling exhibit at Rico's Caf and Wine Bar highlights not just chairs or water jugs, but the emotions of the artist.
"I have always been fascinated with anthropomorphizing the world around us," says Laura Ben-Amots.
The Pikes Peak Community College arts teacher has created a nationally recognized style by, in her words, "internalizing the mundane and imbuing it with vivid human emotions." She opts to express her "iconic metaphors" through oils on canvas, linen, Masonite and wood blocks.
One piece, titled "Armor," depicts a female torso enveloped in chain mail. "Telling Stories at the Table" offers a similar female form, unburdened by the defensive weight and surrounded by odd items a notable contrast hinting at a guarded or exposed self.
Storytelling as a collection represents an ongoing dialogue for Ben-Amots; isolation, physical dialogue and intimacy play key thematic roles and suggest subtle stories from the artist's life.
"To me, these three terms represent both our fears and goals coexisting and often in conflict," says Ben-Amots. "My works reflect an integration of all forms, ideas and images that connote my own personal narratives."
A New York native, Ben-Amots spent her early years traveling the world with her mother (a sculptor) and father (a composer), and later attended Temple University's Tyler School of Art and earned a master's of fine arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She's since taught at a handful of prestigious institutions and continued creative works on foreign commissions. Storytelling encompasses recent and new works by the artist.
Rico's Cafe & Wine Bar,320 N. Tejon St.
Opening reception: Friday, Feb. 17, 5-7 p.m.; runs through March 31.
Free; call 540-7728 for more information.