Gallery offers window to artists’ world
As you approach Ski Hill Road, you can’t noticing the pink-and-white, clapboard building on the northwest corner. Home to the Hibberd McGrath Gallery, it has a raised, wood-plank sidewalk and large, glass windows.That very same glass storefront provides a window to, among other things, the wacky world of Ed Larsen. He’s the artist whose large wooden fish with great big teeth hang on display for all on Main Street to see. Reminiscent of Mexico’s Day of the Dead, they are quite startling. Once inside, you will find Larsen’s subjects and techniques, including wonderfully unique quilts and charming, whimsical paintings, far more diversified. The gallery is a dazzling array of eclectic art by too many artists to list here. Nevertheless, I found more than a few whose work was particularly unique and fascinating.
Owners Teri McGrath and Marty (Martha) Hibberd have been focusing their dealership on artists from the High Country since 1982. The two women galvanized their attention on artists specializing in natural materials and unusual techniques.
Among them is Jill Manos, who creates such utilitarian objects d’art as candlesticks, plates and bowls enhanced by simple, decorative brush strokes in stark colors.
Another potter whose work interested me is Frank Boyden. His affordably priced vessels bear a remote connection to the designs of Pablo Picasso. His lyrically shaped containers are small and delicately treated with subtle patterns carved into their surfaces.
One of my favorites, whose compositions must absolutely be seen up close, is Carol Shinn. At first glance, the images appear to be tinted photos of cars and junkyard objects. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent they are not photos or paintings but, rather, extraordinary designs constructed on a sewing machine.
Connie Lehman works in sequins, and her small-scale tarot series should not be overlooked.
Laura Willets’ beadwork re-creates the color and impressionism captured by Georges Seurat, the famous pointillist painter of the late 1800s.
And don’t miss the wafer-thin, cast-paper sculptures of Sylvia Seventy. So delicate in their treatment, they look as if they will blow away in the slightest breeze.
I also was attracted to the art glass of John Nickerson. His delicate “Scent Bottles” mesmerized me with their thin, spiral patterns. In a showcase next to Nickerson’s glasswork is the jewelry of Anne Forbes, each piece crafted with precision and sophistication.
Eyeing the display in the southwest window, you will see the witty sculpture of Steve Hansen, Bob Smith’s Japanese-like urns and Eilene Sky’s glass bowls, which reminded me of old-fashioned ribbon candy in their colorful and intricate workmanship.
Hibberd McGrath is worth the visit, and chances are you’ll come back again.
Stew Mosberg is a writer and journalist working out of Blue River Colorado. He holds a bachelor of design degree from the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts and Architecture, is author of two books on design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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