‘Fabric and Clay,’ a mixed media show at Arts Alive in Breckenridge
If you go
What: “Fabric and Clay,” a Second Saturday Art Walk reception featuring artists Keats Scott and Janelle Kopp
When: Reception is 4-8 p.m. Saturday, May 9; the exhibition runs through Sunday, May 31
Where: Arts Alive Gallery, La Cima Mall, 500 S. Main St., Breckenridge
Cost: Admission is free; light refreshments will be provided
More information: Visit summitarts.org
The highlighted exhibit on display now at Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge is “Fabric and Clay,” by Keats Scott and Janelle Kopp, the gallery’s Featured Artists for May. The artists will host a reception for the Second Saturday Art Walk from 4 to 8 p.m. on May 9.
Kopp said the two artists partnered for the show to make the most of the exhibition space.
“My pieces are three-dimensioned; they sit lower on cubes,” she said. “Our show wall is the whole wall, so that would leave the top half blank, so I often pair up with a two-dimensional artist. Keats was up for doing her show, and she thought her pieces and my pieces would work well together.”
Scott started quilting in 1983, and she continues to be passionate about it. Most of her works are landscapes, inspired by Summit County’s natural beauty, as well as her worldwide travels. The theme of the show is journeys, which take many forms in her pieces, Scott said.
“I want to show my journey, starting from a traditional quilter to early landscape art quilts to the current challenges I give myself,” she said. “My newer work includes maps and collages depicting Paris, Santa Fe and, of all things, the sandhill crane migration.”
Scott also enjoys traditional quilt patterns and applique. Each quilt is one of a kind, machine pieced and quilted. She said the challenge is using fabric as the palette. Although she does use commercial fabric, she now more frequently uses her own hand-dyed or painted fabric.
Mostly self-taught, since there were no other quilters nearby when she started in the 1980s, Scott, who lives in Heeney, said she now enjoys the inspiration and camaraderie of quilting workshops and learning new techniques.
For Kopp, a ceramic artist, the ongoing “journey” is learning what the clay will do. It stays wet too long, dries out too fast, sags, shrinks, collapses, cracks, breaks and explodes, she said, and glazes can be just as unpredictable.
“It helps to have a sense of humor,” she said. “Sometimes, I just play with a lump of clay until I see a direction. For me, the art — the journey — is in recognizing a good direction and going with it, even if far from my initial concept.”
Kopp, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in education, began sculpting in 2008. Using hand-building techniques, she basically makes pinch pots that grow up to be animals or people.
“I like figures that show motion, and it’s not necessarily that the pose is a motion, it’s just the way I work it,” the artist said. “It’s free form, and the clay moves around a lot, so you see that movement in the way I push the clay.”
Whether it’s portraits or animals, Kopp said the creative process is everything.
“My joy is feeling the clay, seeing a form in the squishes and coils and coaxing it to a final shape,” she said.
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