features award-winning artist Strand
at First Thursday Art Walk
by Susan Viebrock
The First Thursday Art Walk, produced by the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities, has become a highlight of the town’s high seasons of winter and summer. Galleries, studios and shops stay open late until eight to showcase the goods. Check out the scene at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, where Sally Strand has a one-woman show. (in 2007, Strand was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Pastel Society of America.)
Stalwart green apples keep company with a green plant, perched like sentries on a windowsill, while gleaming white cups cavort with a gang of tangerines. An unmade bed welcomes the morning light. A door opens into a private world we can only imagine. We follow the light.
Elsewhere people go about their daily routines. A woman sits lost in a book while another, much younger, buffs up the floors of a café to prepare for lunchtime traffic. A gaggle of chefs, elbow to elbow, hussle dinner.
But the artist is an alchemist with a brush or colored sticks of pastel and a poet of everyday life: much more is going on than meets the eye.
The reader is wearing green, which permeates the scene, playing push-pull with its complement, the color red on the book cover and the wall behind framing the central figure.
The young woman with the mop might have been lifted out of an Edward Hopper.
The bodies of the chefs tilt at diagonals, the image inspired by 17th century Baroque canvasses which favored dynamic tension.
Sally does not paint snow. Landscapes are not her bag. However, she favors white, which she builds from a kaleidoscope colors to dazzling affect.
But the bottom line on the artist is the interaction of light and color. Sally uses both to create a mood rather than to represent what is actually in front of her eyes: she is a realist with privileges.
Strand sums up her job description: “I help others to see rather than just look. People often have preconceived notions of what is and isn’t beautiful. They visually gloss over familiar things without ever stopping to notice how remarkable those things really are. Success to me is when I can take tea cup or an egg and cause someone to give it a second glance.”
To view the original Telluride Inside . . . and Out blog entry click here.