Pets to Predators exhibit to open at Center for the Arts Evergreen

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By Sara Miller

Living in our mountain community provides our local artists with many types of inspiration — including a vast array of local wildlife. Some of the world’s most famous works of art contains many of our mountain neighbors such as mountain lions and bears.
However, artists don’t always have to think in terms of fierce predators to find inspiration from the wild (or not-so-wild) kingdoms. In the Center for the Arts Evergreen’s most recent show, “Pets to Predators: Animal Invasion,” 18 local artists show off their works inspired by lions, foxes, bears and maybe even their own lovable dogs and cats.
Pets to Predators opens on Friday, Aug. 9, at the Center for the Arts Evergreen. The show is juried and features 41 works of art by 18 artists from the mountain community. Attendees will be inspired by a vast range of wildlife including wild turkeys, moose, grizzly bears, elephants, ravens and mallards.
The show was juried by Ned Aldrich, renowned wildlife artist, who published the book, “Drawing and Painting Animals” in 1998. Aldrich’s paintings have been included into such national shows as the Gilcrease Museum miniature show, the National Wildlife Art Museum’s miniature show, The Rockwell Museum’s representing representation show, The Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum small works show, the annual Buffalo Bill Auction in Cody, Wyo., and the Oil Painters Of America national show. In addition to numerous appearances in shows around the country, to date he has had 12 one-man shows in various galleries.
The Pets to Predators show will include an array of media from quilts, to oil paintings, photography, woodcuts, calligraphic prints, watercolors, clay, acrylic paintings and even some knitted works. Perhaps two of the most unique interpretations of the show’s theme are a pair of hand-knitted dog sweaters entitled “Red Hot Dog Sweater” and “Cable Dog Sweater.”
“This is a wonderful peek into the minds of our local artists. Many of our artists capture the beauty of our mountain community every day in their works of art. Others have traveled to far-reaching places and documented their memories of wild beasts throughout the world. And some find inspiration closer to home by painting pet portraits or creating items for our beloved family companions,” says Steve Sumner, the executive director of Center for the Arts Evergreen.
The Center for the Arts Evergreen is teaming up with the Evergreen Nature Center. Vanessa Hayes, Evergreen Nature Center executive director, will present a brown bag lunch at the center on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from noon to 1 p.m. Hayes’ presentation will be titled “Wild Neighbors Living with Mountain Predators: Lions, Foxes and Bears, Oh My!”
Pets to Predators’ opening reception will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, with awards presented at 6 p.m. The reception is open to the public and will offer food, drinks, music and a special unveiling of “We Need Moore, Henry” by Tom Ware. For more information visit www.evergreenarts.org or call 303-674-0056.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.