Speakeasy Movie Theatre reopens with a Mixed Bag | SummitDaily.com

Speakeasy Movie Theatre reopens with a Mixed Bag

Kimberly Nicoletti

BRECKENRIDGE – The folks at Colorado Mountain College (CMC) strive to bring out the best in their students, but this winter a few of them are showcasing their own work, as well as their students’.

CMC photography instructors Donald Clemmey, Matt Lit and London Schertzer present their black-and-white photographs at the Mixed Bag holiday art show, alongside students Joseph Kusumoto and Stephen Kepple.

In addition to photography, several artists display paintings, stained glass work, body sculptures and mixed media at the show.

Though the artists in the holiday show are diverse, the contrast between black-and-white photography and colorful art unearths an exciting exhibition of local talent.

Schertzer, who teaches beginning photography, hails Clemmey as a master printer extraordinaire. His medium- and large-format work captures crisp shots, which Clemmey spends eight to 10 hours meticulously printing in the darkroom.

“He has the most moody work, and he has a good sense of humor,” Schertzer said. “He has a series of places in America, like the sphinx in Las Vegas he titles “Not Egypt,’ or a temple he titles “Not Thailand.'”

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Lit approaches his work in a documentary, photojournalistic manner.

“I respond to moments,” Lit said. “I have a real sense for emotion, expression and gesture.”

Schertzer has traveled through Turkey, Europe, Holland, Prague, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico capturing unique people and sights.

“I completely explore the city and get off the bus in random places,” Schertzer said. “Sometimes I’ll wait hours for the light to change or for something to cross the photo. My photographs seem quite intimate for people I don’t know well. A lot of my photographs are pictures that could be taken anywhere in the world, but people relate to the detailed close-ups.”

“London has quite an unusual eye for the simplicity of things that go on, and she does these really nice tintings,” said Caroline Grubbe, coordinator of the art show. “They’re heartfelt.”

Following in the footsteps of their teacher Clemmey, Kusumoto and Kepple spend hours in the darkroom.

“The darkroom gives me a focus of how to look at life,” Kusumoto said. “It’s a venue for looking at life from a different angle – grabbing the small pieces of art in life and the beauty of the simple things. A lot of what I’m looking at is the composition of the frame. That’s what excites me. I developed that in architecture school. Looking at shapes and how they relate to the background is natural.”

Kepple takes a similar approach.

“(Kepple) shows the beauty in the small details,” Schertzer said. “It always has this bit of motion.”

Grubbe uses watercolors, pastels and acrylics to create bright, lively abstracts. Since she took a hut trip and painting workshop with Jan Weaver, she has focused on portraying landscapes with watercolors.

Kate Kiesler, a children’s book illustrator, showcases traditional figure drawings and oil painting landscapes. She teaches drawing, painting and other art classes at CMC.

Julie Long, who works at Breckenridge Elementary, also displays her figure paintings at the show.

“The human form is beautiful and can be landscaped in a sense, if it’s abstracted and cropped,” Long said.

Kate Tigwell’s bright, playful mixed-media pieces with a bent toward pastels employ color and a solid technique to attract viewers.

Jack Weins’ pastels and portraits highlight diverse cultures, ranging from Scottish to Asian.

Renee De Prie creates personal and permanent body sculptures with casting material designed to express people’s personalities, activities or milestones.

“I’d like to think it’s not just art that hangs on the wall, but it’s art that has personal meaning,” De Prie said. “It says, “This is me,’ or “This is what I do.’ Three-dimensional form gives (the models) a better idea of what and who they are.”

The Mixed Bag holiday art show opens at 5 p.m. today with appetizers and refreshments at the Speakeasy Movie Theatre in Breckenridge. The show runs through January when the Speakeasy Movie Theatre is open. Guests also may view the art by visiting Grubbe at CMC’s front office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call Grubbe at (970) 453-6757, ext. 2620.

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