Fuller Lodge Art Center Director Ken Nebel examines Thelma Hahn’s work through 3-D glasses. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By Kirsten Laskey
Receiving the entries for the Fuller Lodge Art Center’s newest show, “Beauty and the Beast” was similar to awarding homework an A+, Director Ken Nebel said. Every piece made the grade.
From a bronze sculpture of a whimsical pig, “Petal” to delicate jewelry pieces made from glass and watch parts, the show reveals the artists’ creativity and imagination as they interpreted this unique topic.
Beauty in the Beast caught the attention of more artists than any show in the past. There are 57 artists represented in 80 different works from watercolor to bronze to taxidermy. There is recycled art (beauty from the beast), there are puns (“Beauty in the Bees”) and there are desolate landscapes and majestic animals.
The community can see these creations at the exhibits’ opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Fuller Lodge Art Center. The show continues through March 31.
The enthusiasm for this exhibit was evident from the beginning when more than 150 pieces were entered for consideration, Nebel said.
The idea was the result of a brainstorm session, Nebel said. This time of year felt like the perfect time to host the show because it is a quiet period and the topic was one that people could really get into.
People can view the beast as anything from a wild animal to human nature, he said.
The opportunity to explore these ideas attracted people from all over New Mexico as well as Colorado, Arizona and even Michigan. And their work took inspiration everywhere from Pajarito Mountain Ski Area to India.
“You can take yourself around the world in here,” Nebel said as he walked through the gallery.
He added he is pleased there is local representation, too. Part of what makes him excited about this show, he said, “is the huge amount of artists here in the community being represented. So much of them are local.”
Jim Gautier, Jeannie Gibson, Heather Ward and James Brooks are among local artists showing work in this exhibit as well as several well-known artists such as Peter Eades.
Another familiar name appearing in the art center’s Portal Gallery is Los Alamos artist Thelma Hahn, whose solo show “Alternative Perspectives” debuts Friday.
With 3-D glasses hanging next to the artwork, Hahn challenges the viewer to take a different look at the world. Seeing her work through the glasses makes it come to life. Her goal for this show, she said, is “to get people aware that there’s more than one way to see things.”
Hahn explained she achieves this affect with the 3-D glasses and a method called color encoding, which mixes up the position of colors in the spectrum (red to violet).
Colors near or on each other take on different depth, she said.
“It’s really a visual thing but also a very mental thing – knowing what colors to place where,” she said.
Hahn has significant experience using this and many other techniques.
“I have wanted to be an artist since I was 4 years old,” she said. “It’s kind of one of the goals I have had.”
In addition to creating art, Hahn teaches it. She taught in the public schools for 26 years and continues to teach classes at the art center.
Despite her lengthy resume as an artist, the Portal Gallery is Hahn’s first solo show. But as she said, “We’re never too old to learn something new.”
Local artist Thelma Hahn with one of her pieces on display in the Portal Gallery. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com