Art on a Whim in Breckenridge hosting equine sculptor Alex Alvis
If you go
What: Meet artist Alex Alvis, watch her demonstrate, view her newest work
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 14, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 15
Where: The Art on a Whim Gallery, 100 N. Main St. Breckenridge
Cost: Admission is free; work is available for sale
More information: Visit www.artonawhim.com, or call (970) 547-8399
Elegant and expressive — horses are frequently both at the same time. Every Alex Alvis sculpture captures both traits perfectly. With exaggerated features and unique patinas, Alvis’ work in bronze has catapulted her to the forefront of contemporary equine sculptors.
It is Alvis’ love of horses that makes her work so incredible. Sculpture of any kind, and particularly wildlife sculpture, is at its finest when each piece speaks to the soul of the animals the artist has created. Capturing the animal’s spirit allows the piece to strike its viewers on deep, emotional levels. Alvis has mastered this difficult task.
“My sculpture shows horses as individuals with a personality all their own,” she said. “If you look at traditional Western art, the horses are usually transportation or wild things to be broken. I want the viewer to see horses beyond their practical or recreational uses. Horses are incredible living beings, and they enrich our human lives immeasurably.”
This weekend, Alvis is sculpting at the Art on a Whim Gallery in downtown Breckenridge.
HORSE AS EXPRESSION
Alvis uses the horse to inform and extend human expression. In her work, horses are separated from their natural surroundings and their functional role in our lives. This allows her viewers to connect to the mythic and symbolic qualities ever present in our equine companions. Alvis sculpts so we see a horse’s personality more than its usefulness. We see expressions presented through the animals that mimic our own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Each unique piece can appear full of energy and play or melancholy and reflective. Alvis uses slight gestures, such as a downturned head, a resting body, arched shoulders or an outstretched leg, to animate her work and communicate the spirit possessed by each of her sculptures.
Viewers of her work are immediately taken by the long legs Alvis sculpts on her horses. This unusual element in her work speaks to the vibrancy and energetic spirit that horses possess. It seems to suggest that the horses can run forever and exist beyond their physical forms. The spirit of youth is present in every work, not only from the horses’ long legs but also their vibrant colors. Alvis painstakingly picks distinctive patina colors for every sculpture. Bronzes are typically bronze in color. The colors of Alvis’ work vary from sculpture to sculpture. Her patinas have exciting names such as Angora pink and maple granite, sunshine gold or Baja turquoise and butternut.
To see the work in person is the best way to appreciate the precise shading and color shifts that are present within every sculpture.
Alvis’ two loves as a child were creating and horses. She could not get enough of either as a child. Markers, colored pencils and watercolor paints accompanied her everywhere she went. Her mother a talented artist, Alvis’ love for the arts was nurtured. She took every art class she could in school. All the while, she read about, drew, painted and even occasionally pretended to be a horse.
Fortunately, her grandfather raised cattle and cow ponies at his ranch in Allenspark. Alvis was able to spend time at the ranch riding, playing with and caring for her equine friends. The experiences have clearly stuck with her. Today, she lives in Northern Colorado on a ranch large enough to eventually have horses of her own.
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