Walk into the Center for the Arts Evergreen during this windy month of January, and you’ll start to feel warmer inside, thanks in part to the artwork covering the walls. On Jan. 7, the juried show “Paradise: A Tropical Art Show” opened, raising the temperature and humidity inside CAE.
The show boasts a combination of juried artwork and pieces from six Colorado artists invited by Susie Hyer, the show’s judge. Hyer is Evergreen's own nationally recognized and award-winning artist who travels many times a year to paint "en plein air.” Her work can be seen in galleries along the Front Range and in numerous private and corporate collections.
“Susie came to us with the idea for the show,” says Becky Guy, director of exhibitions at CAE. “She thought tropical paradise would be a good theme because many Colorado artists head to Hawaii and other tropical places to paint.”
The pieces don’t just picture the palm trees and birds of paradise that the tropics naturally bring to mind, although many of the pieces do evoke those balmy locales with turquoise waters and shimmering light reflecting off the surface onto tree trunks and rocky cliffs.
The paintings represent places as far reaching as India, Bali Hai, Tahiti and Vietnam.
“Two of the invited artists, Quang Ho and Raj Chaudhuri, travel extensively. Quang’s painting shows a market street scene in Vietnam. Raj’s painting show camel traders in India waiting patiently for a sale,” Guy says.
The show includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, including embroidery, bronze scultpures and glass pieces. One three-dimensional piece created by invited artist Gayla Lemke looks like a carefully carved ladder heading for the ceiling. Each ceramic piece is intricately carved and detailed before being hung together to form a ladder. This piece was judged by Kimberly Moore, fine art sales manager for southwest art, and awarded the Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence.
First place for the show’s juried cash award went to Laura Shepard, a Colorado-based painter who specializes in oils. Shepard’s painting, titled “Aloha,” shows the head of a Hawaiian sea turtle happily swimming through aquamarine waters.
The show is truly a passport to the world — offering glimpses at the people, animals and flora of far-flung paradises. It’s not only a study of the places but a study of the way in which atmosphere and light look and feel different in other parts of the world.
“We’re used to our crisp, dry air and bright sunshine in Colorado,” says Guy. “Cydney Springer, one of the invited artists, was talking about how differently an artist works in other places and climates. The light filters through a humid climate differently than the dry air of Colorado. It makes for different colors, different shadows and a different feeling to many of the pieces.”
The show will run through Jan. 28 at the Center for the Arts Evergreen, 32003-B Ellingwood Trail. For more information, call 303-674-0056 or visit www.evergreenarts.org.