Down the Rabbit Hole

February-March Exhibit at St. John’s Boulder Art Gallery
Artist Reception, February 5, 2010, 5:30 – 7:30 p. m., free and open to the public

Boulder, Colo. (January 23, 2010) – Every painting and photograph in this new collection at St. John’s Art Gallery is a dive headlong into Wonderland. Bob Avery, Mike Brouse, Nancy Myer, and Joan Wolbier bring talent and years of training together to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Avery seeks to evoke strong feelings from subjects that fascinate him. His former profession, airline pilot, enables him to bring his painterly eye to landscapes and scenes of daily life in far-flung corners of the globe. Brouse applies impressionistic techniques to ponder simple pleasures in his series of homages to the bicycle in Boulder. Myer uses her camera to luxuriate in unique perspectives on flowers, inspired by the colorful and surreal canvases of Georgia O’Keefe and the photo impressionism of Freeman Patterson and André Gallant. Finally, Wolbier captures rugged Colorado landscapes in watercolors that dramatize the play of light and shadow on distant mountains and the mirrored stillness of trees reflected in serene lakes. This is one collection that offers something new and surprising from frame to frame. When you take this journey Down the Rabbit Hole, you’ll find yourself in an extraordinary world of imagery designed to surprise, scintillate, and inspire. At the public reception, moreover, Laurie Dameron, singer, songwriter, guitarist, will provide music to intensify your viewing experience.

Featured OpenArts artist: Mike Brouse, Oils

Mike’s artistic legacy stretches back several generations. His great grandfather was one of the first professional photographers in Central Pennsylvania, and his work is still exhibited in local museums. His
grandfather was a talented wood worker and art framer. Mike, a painter, looks for objects and scenes that move him emotionally, subjects that inspire him to capture their simple beauty on canvas. He is attracted to rural landscapes and old buildings in fertile surroundings. In this series, he focuses on Boulder’s love affair with bicycles, a passion he shares. In fact, 10% of the sales from Mike’s work at St. John’s exhibit will go to World Bicycle Relief Mike chooses to ponder life’s simple pleasures in his paintings. He is drawn to simple shapes and pays close attention to light and shadow.

His studio is indoor/outdoor, allowing him a great deal of flexibility in designing the perfectly lit scene. He also uses color skillfully to guide and direct the eye. Like George Rodrigue, his favorite color is blue, specifically, Cerulean Blue. Mike also leans toward mixing yellow with Cerulean to create his cooler greens. “Art is emotive, connective, and an important part of being human,” Mike says, “It is like love; I get back at least as much as I invest.” Leaning on Pickets is a contemporary, impressionistic oil painting of a bicycle on West Pearl in Boulder. The vivid brush strokes serve to keep the viewer’s eye moving across the canvas, discovering the nuances of contrasting color, shape, and line.

Featured OpenArts artist: Joan Wolbier, Watercolor and Pen & Ink with Watercolor

From childhood, Joan has been passionate about art. Growing up abroad, she studied art in several European schools before returning to the U.S. where she attended college and majored in art. Although dedicated to fine arts, she began her stellar career as a graphic designer. She later became an art director serving at both the prestigious Smithsonian Institute and the National Geographic Society. After years of juggling motherhood with a career that encompassed both commercial and fine art in multiple media, Joan at last discovered her true passion in Colorado landscapes rendered in watercolors. She has also excelled in the art of producing artist books. She published several limited editions, and the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D. C. house some of her books in special collections.

Joan is passionate about her process: “Creating art has always been a spiritual experience. When I draw or paint, visions of mountains, trees, and oceans appear. I love the texture of watercolor paper and how in working in that medium the paint does not always comply with my will. Ultimately, my representations of landscapes are reflections of both my internal and external explorations.”

Alpine Pond emerges from a photograph Joan took when hiking in Indian Peaks in 2005. Only after years of studying with the Plein Air Painters of Estess Park did she finally feel ready to paint that scene; “I could now capture the glowing colors of light reflected in the grasses and the wispy clouds that gather in the Colorado skies. I could also infuse, at long last, the stillness and calm I experienced on that mountain trail.”

About the St. John’s Boulder Art Gallery
The St. John’s Art Boulder Art Gallery is a non-profit organization established by St. John’s Episcopal Church. It serves as a venue for talented local and regional artists. Juried shows are developed around themes, and submissions must be appropriate for all ages. Located at 1419 Pine Street, the St. John’s Art Gallery is free and open to the public. Visit the gallery on line at

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