Maxine Green, courtesy Bridge Gallery
efore her passing in July 2017, local artist Maxine Green was in the process of setting up a retrospective show, surveying the works she’d produced since first making art in the 1970s. Now, a year later, her widower, Don, and daughter, Lynn Baker, have curated her works and will show 44 of her sculptures and paintings at the Bridge Gallery.
“Most of them are just for show,” says Baker. “There will be a few of them for sale, but not many.”
Born in 1930, Green didn’t start making art until later in life. But between husband Don being a sculptor himself — he made the rearing stallion between Centennial Hall and the Pikes Peak Center, for one example — and the couple’s many artist friends, Baker says it’s no surprise she got bitten by the art bug.
“I don’t know if she had the chance to avoid it,” says Baker. Though Green attended both the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, she didn’t formally study art until attending UCCS. At the time, she dabbled in painting, pottery and sculpture, but through the process of earning her BA in studio art, Green focused entirely on sculpting, mostly abstract. She has since been featured in a variety of collections and won a smattering of awards, including at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Tactile Gallery Purchase Award.
The retrospective show, Feminine Form and Piddocks
, includes pieces from all of Green’s career, including her early paintings. Both parts of the show name refer to Green’s love of rounded shapes and smooth curves, explored through archetypal feminine themes and inspiration drawn from nature. Early in her career, Green was fond of painting nude female forms. But in the last decade, she drew much of her inspiration from time spent on beaches in Mexico, especially from piddocks. The piddock is a clam-like mollusk that drills into rocks to anchor itself in place. When a piddock dies or moves on, the hole it made remains, left to be worn at by the sea.
“Those piddock holes, that kind of weathered and sculpted form, is where she was getting her inspiration in her final years.”