Nuns, snow cones, Prosecco, watermelon and wine at First Friday Artwalk (with interactive map) |

Nuns, snow cones, Prosecco, watermelon and wine at First Friday Artwalk (with interactive map)

“Sandhill Cranes Among the Clouds” by Jill Bergman is known as relief printing. The art form starts out with Bergman carving away parts of linoleum blocks until she has the picture she wants. The raised artwork works like a rubber stamp. Her newest work uses embossing as well to create the clouds in the print. The painstaking work takes years to perfect. Each print is done by hand with Bergman usually only offering small editions which make them worth more.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In 15th century France and Italy, some clever nuns, lacking the proper funds to decorate religious articles with expensive metals, turned to cutting off the gilded edges of their bibles. The nuns would roll, loop, twist and curl the paper to mimic wrought iron or ivory at the time.

Art historians say “paper quilling” mostly died out in the 19th century, but present day artists are picking it up again, including Steamboat Springs artist Paulina M. Johnson, who is part of the newest exhibition at Pine Moon Fine Art gallery: Colorado Scenes in Pencil, Paper & Ink.

Walking into Pine Moon for this Friday’s First Friday Artwalk, Johnson’s work can be seen along with Sandi Poltorak’s stunning pencil drawings and Jill Bergman’s unique inked art prints. The three artists all work with paper as their canvases, so a year ago, they decided to work toward a shared exhibit.

“None of us really saw each other’s work until we came together today,” said Poltorak after hanging the exhibit this week.

“Swallow Fly In” in charcoal and pencils by Sandi Poltorak. The artist’s work is so realistic that she can only use her own photographs to recreate the images. “I do something very realistic looking, and if you use somebody else’s pictures, you can get sued,” Poltorak said.
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“So, the fact that it melds the way it does is pretty neat,” she said, pointing to the main wall where folks enter the gallery.

The three kinds of artwork blend seamlessly from Poltorak’s realistic pencil drawings to Bergman’s limited series of birds in flight to Johnson’s mountain scenes sculpted in paper. Johnson said that the neutral and monochromatic colors used by the three artists also made the exhibit transition peacefully from piece to piece.

“Dawn to Dusk” by artist Paulina M. Johnson shows a modern take on paper quilling as she uses paper strips of varied heights to create depth with help from dramatic lighting that plays with the shadows.
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Summer’s last Artwalk is being celebrated across Steamboat with a nod to the season’s favorite treats.

Recycled Designs artist Jeneire Yeats will have her jewelry, made with recycled goods, on display at 1125 Lincoln Ave. in the Imagine building along with shaved ice treats.

The Depot Art Center will serve wine and watermelon as they feature the Riverwalk Collective, a group of artists whose work this month will pay homage to scenes in and around Steamboat and includes photography, painting and woodwork.

Gallery 89 will be offering up Prosecco and will have display pieces from realist painter Gregory Block and oil painter Kathryn Fresques.

And the Tread of Pioneers Museum on Oak Street encourages patrons to stop by to view the exhibit, “Lens to the Landscape: The Photography of John Lanterman.” The local photographer’s work documents the real West through his camera lens. The exhibit has audio that walks you through the history involved with each stark black-and-white photograph shot in Northwest Colorado.

First Friday Artwalk is held from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. It’s a free self-guided tour of all the art galleries and businesses in downtown Steamboat Springs that feature local artists.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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