A leap into the unknown for local artists at this month’s First Friday Artwalk | SteamboatToday.com

A leap into the unknown for local artists at this month’s First Friday Artwalk

Jules BNXX, whose painting is featured above, is one of the artists participating in the Young Blood Collectives' "TRY IT!" exhibit, which opens during First Friday Artwalk.
Courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This weekend, “TRY IT!” That’s the theme for Young Bloods Collective’s group show at this month’s First Friday Artwalk.

Young Bloods members were invited to create a piece in a style or medium that is new to them, and those pieces will be on display downtown at The Ski Locker 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.

Four members will participate in the show using several different mediums, such as paper, alcohol ink and woodblock print artwork.

“One of the best parts of a group show is the incredible variety of work that is created from the same theme,” explains Young Bloods Collective co-founder Sista Luna.

The theme for the group shows, chosen each month by the Young Bloods board, is meant to inspire and motivate members to create new work throughout the year.

Past themes have included Art Heals, Jim Henson, Cranes, PETS!, Breaking Boxes, NERD OUT, LanguageART and Haunted Fairytale. Next month’s theme will be “FRIDA: Portraits Inspired by the Life, Work and Spirit of Frida Khalo.”

Young Bloods Collective is a nonprofit artist collective for creatives in Routt County. According to Luna, the group’s goal is to make arts and cultural endeavors more accessible by providing support, opportunities and community. They currently have about 40 members and put on 12 shows a year, including group shows or individual shows for members.

Paulina Johnson is one of the artists participating in Friday’s show. Johnson is a paper artist who draws inspiration from many forms of art including origami, kirigami and paper quilling. Most of her current work is paper on paper, with no pigment or ink. Rather, form and depth are created when the paper interacts with the light and creates shadows.

If you go

What: First Friday Artwalk — Young Bloods Collective presents “TRY IT!”
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4
Where: The Ski Locker, 941 Lincoln Ave., No. 100a
Cost: Free

“Typically, I build structurally up from the base by adhering paper strips of varying size and length,” Johnson explained. “For this month’s show, however, I decided to try indenting the paper instead.”

This is a technique called debossing — in Johnson’s case, it’s “blind debossing” because there will be no ink.

“I had a custom plate made of a design I created for one of my pieces and ran it through an etching press on watercolor paper,” she said.

Johnson first started working with paper in 2015 when she was getting a Master of Fine Art in graphic design.

“During the course of my graduate studies, I was asked to address something that I love about design and something that I hate,” Johnson said. “I realized how much I appreciate the design process but truly resent the amount of paper waste that it often produces.”

She began working with junk mail, searching for ways to give it new life. And while she doesn’t use that so much anymore, that started her adoration of all things paper.

“I love the way it feels, I love its flexibility, I love its history and I love its potential,” Johnson said.

Along with Johnson’s work, three other artists will be featured, including Sista Luna, Jules BNXX and Brie Kole, Young Bloods’ other co-founder.

“This show is really fun since it’s a deviation of the artist’s normal work,” Luna said. “We hope everyone comes down to see what they tried their hand at.”

Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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