February 5, 2010

Heather Wilcoxon: Sausalito Artist in Boulder.

Nature and Politics Blend in Graffiti-Inspired Art.

Sausalito artist Heather Wilcoxon moves east to 15th Street Studio:

Heather demonstrates an appreciation for nature and a critical eye for politics and popular mores.

When you take a painter on a tour of Nederland to create footprints in the snow at  West Magnolia Trail, there is a good chance you will reconnect with nature and with the moment.  Heather’s images of “Air Force One,” the “Juggler” and “Chaos” remind us of the perils of a life filled with distractions, politicians and chaotic lifestyles.  Yet at Nederland’s altitude of 8,700 feet politics and criticism are forgotten. Nature and discovery reinvigorate an artist’s sense of discovery. Through the perfection of pine cones, fallen leaves and colors only painters and nature can imagine, Heather opens her mind to fully appreciate the world found along West Magnolia Trail.

Students open their minds observing Heather’s work inside the museum, just as Heather projected in Nederland. On a recent Friday at BMoCA 120 students from Thornton, Colorado based MESA (Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts) were drawn to Heather’s work. While studying the artist’s presentation of information, the students were seen pointing not at the main characters in Heather’s work, but looking at the characters beneath the surface. Maybe they were identifying with the cartoon characters, or just the graffiti-like messages, where in “Rough Times” “the world is just getting too insane” and the character in “Face Lift” is “made in china.”  Maybe Heather’s characters were telling the students the truth about the world around them. Whether they identified with the title, the main character or the text and imagery in the background, the students were engaged with Heather’s figures.

Is a viewer supposed to compare an artist to her contemporaries, or would it be better for the viewer to draw their own impressions?  The beauty of the museums and galleries in Boulder is that you can sit and record your own views on Heather’s works and her meaning.  We are supposed to look, explore, and like the students from MESA, arrive at our own conclusions.  Is Heather asking the viewer to believe that Air Force One is smaller than Delta Queen (her 400 square foot house boat?  Or are we to believe that “Air Force One” (painted during the last US presidency) is painted bright red to represent anything other than deep scorn and scepticism of power?  Maybe the true answer comes from the CU Boulder art students sitting on the floor, reconstructing “Chaos” and the “Juggler” on their own sketch pads.

Next to the three print masters (Bud Shark, Mark Lunning and Susan Hover Oehme) at 15th Street Studio you have the opportunity to see new works on paper from Heather Wilcoxon. After her solo show at BMoCA her works moved a few blocks east. Several of her paintings from theBMoCA show and new works on paper have been installed at 15th Street Studio. Her latest Boulder exhibition, “Monotypes with Handwork” runs through March 27th, 2010.

On display is a collection of lively pieces that take on an abstract-expressionist quality. Heather’s work, with cartoonish figures and graffiti-like drawings, opens up many possibilities for speculation and interpretation.

15th Street Studio, 1708 15th Street at Arapahoe

Tuesday -Saturdays 10 – 5:30



Show runs: Feb. 12 – March 27

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