Culture on display at RED Contemporary in Steamboat |

Culture on display at RED Contemporary in Steamboat

Herencia Milenaria commemorates ceramic styles of Jalisco, Mexico

Jack Weinstein

A piece by José Luis Cortez Hernández is on display at RED Contemporary gallery in Steamboat Springs as part of Herencia Milenaria: Craftsmen in Evolution exhibit. The exhibit will be displayed through Aug. 5.
Matt Stensland

A show at RED Contemporary gallery at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort through Aug. 5 features 70 pieces created by 14 artists form the Tonalá region of Jalisco, Mexico.Matt StenslandFarnando Jimón Melchor made a series of miniatures to illustrate how the pieces are made. The pieces are part of the Herencia Milenaria: Crafts­men in Evolution exhibit, which will be on display at RED Contemporary gallery through Aug. 5.Matt Stensland

— An exhibit shown twice in the United States since the 1960s is on display at RED Contemporary gallery in Steamboat Springs.

Herencia Milenaria: Crafts­men in Evolution will be on display at the gallery in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort until Aug. 5. The ceramic collection commemorates the bicentennial of the Mexican revolution and independence.

Featuring 70 pieces created by 14 artists from the Tonalá region of Jalisco, Mexico, the collection represents the ceramic styles of families who have worked in clay for more than 200 years.

There are pots of various shapes, figurines, platters and bowls. Some of the pieces are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and feature detailed brushwork. Other larger pieces depict stories of people, display vast landscapes or have geometric designs.

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RED Contemporary gallery co-owner Pat Walsh said some of the pieces depict naguales, people who, according to legend, can transform themselves into animals.

"The work is just so intricate," Walsh said. "It just boggles the mind."

Through a relationship with the Mexican Consulate in Denver, Walsh said, the International Art Committee of Steamboat was able to arrange the collection's display. She said the committee, which has worked with the Mexican Consulate on other displays, was looking for gallery space in Steamboat to show the exhibit.

"When we saw the catalogue of work, we thought it would be an incredible opportunity to showcase beautiful things," Walsh said, adding that it was an honor for RED Contemporary to show a museum-quality exhibit.

Susan Schiesser, who also co-owns RED Contemporary, said the work has historical and social significance for the Mexican community.

RED Contemporary will host a reception for Eduardo Arnal, the consul general of Mexico, at 5:30 p.m. June 23. Refreshments will be available, and a presentation about the exhibit will follow. The reception requires an invitation, which can be obtained by calling the gallery at 819-8994 or by e-mailing Schiesser at

The pieces in Herencia Milenaria will be for sale, ranging in price from less than $100 to more than $6,000. However, because there are upcoming shows planned for Arvada and Colorado Springs, pieces that are sold will stay with the show through February.

RED Contemporary's summer hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday or by appointment. To make an appointment, call 846-7879 or 846-0791.

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