By Liz Wood 

A palette of cultural art

 

Liz Wood

Irene Mikkelson, left, and Annette Mason work on a beeswax painting on the hot plate Sept. 1 at the Brush Creek Presents, an artist presentation sponsored by the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. The women volunteered to create a collaborative piece after artist Gayle Curry demonstrated the process.

Around 20 people attended the Brush Creek Presents program Sept. 1 at the Platte Valley Community Center. The program, which is sponsored by the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts introduces artists from all over the world to the Platte Valley.

The artists shared samples of writing, music, film and visual arts at the presentation.

One artist, Gayle Curry, invited people to come and try creating some art, for which local residents Irene Mikkelson and Annette Mason volunteered. The duo created a Platte River painting with a trout jumping out of the river – working simultaneously while the others watched.

The two used colored beeswax to draw out the scene on a hot place, then placed a piece of paper over the painting. Curry flattened the paper to soak up the beeswax, which created a double-sided painting.

Curry, who is from Oklahoma, is a celebrated fine artist and advocate for the arts. She volunteers her time developing strategies to further the artistic community in Oklahoma City.

Filmmaker Stacy Steers showed her short films in which she creates thousands of images on paper then photographs them to create the film. The labor intensive scenes can take from 10 minutes to an hour.

Her animated short films have been screened throughout the United States and abroad, according to her biography. Her films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, New Directors New Films in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Steers resides in Boulder, Colo.


Ying-Ju Lai works in literary art and writes fiction She read a piece she worked on at Brush Creek, which spans 40 years of a father-daughter relationship. Lai explained that working at Brush Creek Ranch gave her the solitude that she believed Hannah, the daughter in the story, felt when she traveled to Thailand. Lai is a native of Taipei, Taiwan and received her Masters of Fine Arts from Boston University.

The daughter is visiting her father in Thailand. While staying with her father, Hannah discovers her step-mother is having an affair with a Swiss woman.

Yen Lin Goh, was born in Malaysia, and is a Chinese pianist who performs contemporary music integrating culture, language and multi-disciplinary art. She shared her work in a video of her playing her improvisational compositions. Goh has performed in North America, Europe and Africa.

Her interest in improvisation has led her to form contemporary improvisation ensembles, which include instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, actors and theater directors.

Jennifer Rosengarten shared photographs of her paintings. She has been drawing since she could remember and began painting not long after. Rosengarten comes from Yellow Springs, Ohio and recently was invited to show one of her paintings at the home of John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.

Rosengarten received the "Emerging Artist of the Year" award in Art Comes Alive, which is considered the Academy Award for Artists.

Abstract Painter Ruth Lantz moved from Illinois to Portland, Ore., to earn her Masters in Visual Studies, from Pacific Northwest College of Art. She resides there to this day.

During her time at Brush Creek, she explored using the intersection between painting, photography and digital imagery. She is an adjunct professor at Portland Community College and Washington State University Vancouver. She paints on top of silkscreens between painting and photography. Lantz said she uses the primary colors and layers them to see how painting can exist in the digital world.

Christopher Weiss played audio of an arrangement that he is working on. Weiss, who writes music for orchestras and operas likes to have very emotional and dramatic fragments, which form an exclamation in his music.

Weiss has created more than 85 arrangements between 2002 and 2004. In 2006 he was the youngest competitor ever to win the Jacksonville Symphony's "Fresh Ink Competition."

The artists were all participants in the Artist in Residence program at Brush Creek in August.

 

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