Shared Visions, 2019 - Visual Artists
These four Colorado visual artists had their works selected by our poets, who in turn had their works selected by our composers.
As an artist, I do not simply try to please the eye but to activate the imagination to ponder, wonder, emote, relate and somehow cause a personal interpretation to take place. “Synapse Tapestry” is a psychological study in red. The rose-madder root used to dye this hand-spun yarn from Iran is a very blood-like color from antiquity that is used in rug-making. The identification of the yarn is but a place to grab onto and jump off from. After the arrangement and photography of the yarn, the photographic material is transformed in a computer to resemble a wet and eerily lit environment, (perhaps similar to a place inside the body or underwater where synapse-like energy is transmitted through the organism). Further transformation and development of this idea takes place by printing the images on canvas and hand-working oil paints and acrylic gels into the surface. For me, it is a visual journey into my own subconscious psyche touching on the nature of physical mortality. It is a visual description of a place that seduces others to journey into. What this journey evokes in the viewer’s imagination will be a mirror of something inside that person much like a gestalt. The “Shared Visions” project is a collaboration between different expressive disciplines to build a whole experience that is the sum of these inter-disciplinary parts. With special thanks to my partners, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (poet), Paul Fowler (composer) and to Ars Nova Singers for bringing it all to life. – John Bonath
Born in 1951, John Bonath’s career as a fine-artist spans over four decades. Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and recognitions. Upon completing his masters degree in fine arts, he moved to Colorado to develop the BFA fine art photography program at Colorado State University. After a ten-year, tenured professorship there, he moved to Japan for four years to do independent photo work. For the last 26 years, Bonath has been working out of Denver, Colorado. www.johnbonath.com
Healing and personal narrative are strong themes in my art. I work intuitively, with my healing and my artwork moving in step with one another, trading off the lead. While I often create work that is directly related in subject matter to the issue needing healing, healing can also originate from the creative process or from the respite of being submersed in my work. Aspects of my work are repetitive and meditative, allowing for balance, harmony, and the healing connection of the body, mind and spirit.
The lungs are one of a series of thread sculptures depicting eight organs. All of these organs were affected by an illness that almost cost me my life. In Chinese medicine, our organs are each associated with a particular emotion. As I sculpted the organs, I worked to heal the associated emotion while exploring the delicate and resilient nature of our bodies. This is embodied in the nature of the fiber and the process, which involves molding the thread on the organ form, cutting the fibers to release it then re-stitching the organ. This act of mending is an act of healing myself.
I am honored to share my experience of the transformative power of art through this collaboration between visual artists, poets, composers, singers and the audience. – Grace Gee
Grace Gee seeks to create art that challenges the mind and nourishes the spirit while providing avenues to engage in a changing consciousness. She works in a variety of media including sculpture, fiber, artist books and installation work. Her work is influenced by her bi-cultural upbringing and is strongly rooted in spiritual growth, healing and transformation. Grace is a first generation Chinese Canadian who now resides in Louisville, Colorado. She has lived and worked in Canada, the US and Hong Kong, and has traveled widely in Europe and Asia. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Conscious Evolution.
Grace has been granted multiple awards and residencies. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is held in private collections in Canada and the United States. www.gracegeeart.com
I consider my primary medium to be space. Space inspires and intrigues me, quite literally, from the perspective of physics, as that which connects all that appears in “the material world.” It also may be understood or imagined to connect the material to the unseen and/or spiritual realm(s). I suspect that its nature is ecstatic. Around this primary exploration, the character or personality of the physical medium is also strongly present in the work. With stone, I feel that the piece chooses me as much as I choose to bring it to the studio. I preserve as much as possible of the overall gesture and significant features of each individual stone. Doing this work is thus for me a direct way of conducting my relationship with Universe.
A visual idea arises in pure thought; in the sketchbook; in dialogue with the medium. Sometimes the idea is like a personality, sometimes a map, sometimes it mirrors themes in nature. The first glimpse of a visual idea is almost a symbol, but elusive and alive. There is the sense of something universal to be discovered. – Kimmerjae Macarus
Kimmerjae Macarus is a Colorado-based stone sculptor. Working in clay from early childhood, studies took her through Interlochen Arts Academy in highschool, to Florence, Italy, and University of Illinois, where she earned her BFA with Honors in Sculpture in 1981. Earlier works in bronze, steel, and wood are in private collections around the United States. An interest in doing larger public works prompted 3 years of graduate study in Landscape Architecture at University of Colorado in 1988. Kimmerjae lives and works in Lafayette, Colorado. She considers commissions from the Colorado area as well as from afar. She works with clients to create both free-standing pieces and pieces that integrate into a specific environment (garden, home, public space). www.bluestemstudioarts.com
Elizabeth Woody is a Colorado native with deep family roots in Louisville, Colorado, where she grew up and lives today. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Colorado at Denver. She furthered her studies during two art residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, as well as having the opportunity to paint in Italy and Costa Rica. When painting, Elizabeth uses a fusion of artistic inspiration from her everyday life, from music, and from her travels. In every piece, one can see her passion for exploring both a virtual and an imagined world. www.elizabethwoodyarts.com