Take a picture – it’ll last | SteamboatToday.com

Take a picture – it’ll last

Artists' Gallery show captures ranching life in photos, fibers and canvas

Margaret Hair

Denise Bohart Brown hangs a hand-made glass ornament up earlier this week at the Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat. Bohart Brown will be one of three featured artists this month at the gallery.
John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs — Plein air oil painter Dancy St. John is inspired by everything that's around her, every day. — Plein air oil painter Dancy St. John is inspired by everything that's around her, every day.

— Plein air oil painter Dancy St. John is inspired by everything that’s around her, every day.

For her part in “Other Voices” – opening with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Artists’ Gallery of Steamboat – St. John drew inspiration from her backyard, which looks out on a ranch off Routt County Road 44.

The show, which also features etchings by fiber art and fused glass artist Denise Bohart Brown and etchings by Barb Sanders, is presented in collaboration with the Community Agriculture Alliance, which allowed the artists to come along on ranch tours during the summer.

“For me, living where I live and watching the land getting sold off around us, it’s really kind of important to try to preserve the larger pieces of land,” St. John said of the Ag Alliance and her work, some of which came from the ranch tours.

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Ten percent of the proceeds from selected works throughout the gallery will go to the Ag Alliance.

Sanders’ works depict local scenes – a lot of them ranches. To capture the deep darks in her etchings, she takes photographs and transfers them onto copper plates, inks them and puts the finished product on paper.

“That’s what I love about this – the darks are so intense,” she said. Sanders said her work, as with that of St. John, Brown and many of the gallery’s 26 artists, is heavily influenced by Routt County’s rural lifestyle.

“We all feel agriculture is such a big part of our community, and it’s being lost as people come in and (bull)doze farms and ranches,” Sanders said.

In her years of taking ranch photos, Sanders said she has worked to promote and preserve that way of life by capturing it in negatives.

“I love the textures and the patterns and the repetition, like in the fences. I think visually it’s very interesting, and it’s going away,” she said.

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