Steamboat art with national appeal |

Steamboat art with national appeal

RED Contemporary gallery opens its doors for 2nd season

Pat Walsh, left, and Susan Schiesser are the owners of RED Contemporary gallery. The gallery opens for its second winter Tuesday and features local and nationally renowned artists.
John F. Russell

If you go

What: Public opening reception for RED Contemporary gallery

When: Noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Steamboat Sheraton Resort, 2200 Ski Time Square. Complimentary underground parking will be provided.

— A once “pop-up” art gallery at the base of Steamboat Ski Area is resurfacing with a new momentum and fresh artists.

RED Contemporary, a seasonal gallery consisting of local and nationally renowned artists, opens for its second winter Tuesday after a strong response in its first year.

An opening reception is from noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the gallery in the Steamboat Sheraton Resort.

Regular hours are from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays through April.

Owners Susan Schiesser and Pat Walsh were all smiles Friday as they put the finishing touches on the space in preparation for the opening. They said big things are in store for their sophomore year.

“We’re really going all out this season,” Walsh said. “I think we’ve refined our selection and presentation.”

The opening features the work of two sculpture artists, Steamboat local John Robert Mingo and Pokey Park, of Ridgeway.

Mingo, originally from Can­ada, specializes in assemblage sculpture, welding pieces of scrap metal together into mysterious shapes of masks and animals.

Park sculpts in bronze, crafting large pieces using animals of whimsical tales and folklore.

The centerpiece, a large, revolving piece of intertwined snakes, rams and bears, is dubbed “Spirit Totem,” and has been attracting visitors who spy it from the lobby, Walsh said.

“It really invites you to be a part of it,” Walsh said. “It’s intended to be touched, and it has a very primal, tactile form.”

Other works in the gallery feature familiar names in the local art community, like Rob Williams’ colorful aspen tree paintings and work by Walsh and Schiesser.

Every artist in the gallery has some sort of tie to Steamboat, even renowned toy sculptor Esteban Blanco, a Miami resident with a second home in the Yampa Valley.

His breadth of work includes metallic submarines, on display at RED, and Barbie Doll installations.

“I’m happy with the diversity and that we’re not just limited to something like plein-air,” Schiesser said. “We’re able to tap into local and national resources that provide variety while holding onto a local concept.”

She said the gallery has, in the past, held appeal for locals in addition to the hotel guests and tourists who wander through the door during their stay.

“People are interested in art that is Steamboat in origin and national in appeal,” Walsh said.

New for the gallery this year, they will secure a liquor license to serve wine during a new Wild West Wednesday social event, which will take place at mountain-area businesses in 2011.

The gallery will continue to bring in new work from the artists as it’s created.

“We’re involved in the artists’ work and interested in their evolution,” Walsh said.

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