Summit Right Brain: Dillon artist Abbe Gold to demonstrate mosaic art at Keystone gallery
As a trained artist, Dillon resident Abbe Gold learned a variety of different mediums while obtaining an art degree in college. She spent years working in recreational therapy at a nursing home, helping others learn and heal through art. After retiring from her career and moving to Summit County to be closer to her two children and grandchildren, it was mosaic artwork, a technique she learned 14 years ago, that she began focusing all her efforts on.
Gold will be giving a free demonstration on the technique of mosaic art on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Art Gallery at Keystone Lake from noon to 2 p.m. She will be working with a piece from her new series called “Miniature Floral.”
In the technique, Gold cuts stained glass into tiny pieces, and glues them onto a frame to build a scene. She also uses pieces of Italian glass called Millefiori in her work, as well as found objects from her travels that include shells, stone and pieces of driftwood.
“One of the things I try to do with my work is to bring a modern flair to a very ancient art form,” she said. “My art has evolved since moving to Summit County to focus on landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers, as inspiring colors and vistas are all around me. While I hike in all the seasons, I take photos to reference when I am looking for which colored glass to use in a piece.”
From New Jersey, the artist joined both the Art Gallery at Keystone Lake and Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge after moving to Summit in 2009. It was a 2011 Beetle Art Fest Contest, which she won with her larger-than-life pine beetle mosaic piece, that pushed her to join the co-ops and begin selling her work. She’s been with the Breckenridge gallery for about four or five years, and three with Keystone.
“It inspires you, it challenges you to do something a little different from what you normally do in your work,” she said.
Summit Daily News: How did you first get into art and what kind of background do you have?
Abbe Gold: I went to school for art, I was focusing on color and design. I didn’t want to go into commercial art, so I went into … recreational therapy, and I worked in the health care field for many years. … I was doing art therapy plus other recreational therapy.
I have a bachelor’s degree in art — my degree was in art and psychology, that’s where the therapeutic art interested me. I was working mostly with geriatrics, and then I got a job as a tutor for a little boy who had Asperger’s syndrome. That was the most art therapy I did one-on-one with him, and it was very rewarding. He loved art and could express himself through art. Socially he was a little shy, but when he did something in art he really blossomed.
SDN: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
AG: I believe in taking classes — you can always learn something new. I even go to workshops in different places in the country from the organizations I belong to. I belong to the Society of American Mosaic Artists, and I’ve gone to workshops. You can always learn something. … If you have a passion for it, just go for it. A lot of people find themselves in other careers and go back to it like I did. Whatever stage of life you’re in — (an) aspiring artist could be in their 70s, it’s not only for young people — I just believe anyone should try. Art is a great self-expression, it’s very therapeutic. I get in the zone and it’s almost like a meditation. To me it is a great feeling, creating art, and I think if someone has a desire to do it they should try to make a little time each week to do it.
SDN: What inspires you?
AG: The scenery is number one. Other artists — I love looking at the work of other artists. I go to museums, and love to see what other artists are doing throughout the country. I went to the Grand Tetons in the summer, and I love travel, you don’t even have to travel far. … I take photos when I’m traveling — not that I work from a photo, but I might look at a color of a sky, or color of a tree, I refer back to photos. … An aspen tree isn’t really white, there’s a lot of shades of gray in it.
SDN: What will you be doing as part of the demonstration?
AG: The demonstration that I’m going to do brings my love for gardening. … I start by making a pot or vase out of china or glass, and I proceed to build up on it like I’m making a flower arrangement on the glass. I realize that it kind of evolved from loving to do that with real flowers. … I love to fool around with different colors and different textures, and now I’m doing that with my art as well. … I’m also going to demonstrate the grouting process, although I don’t do it on all my pieces.
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