It can be hard to keep up with the goings-on at the Durango Arts Center, what with 10 or more rotating exhibits every
year in the Barbara Conrad Gallery, six more upstairs in the Art Library, and a full performance slate every week in
the DAC theater.
But that's no excuse to not check out the latest rotations, upstairs and downstairs, both of which open this weekend.
And that doesn't even include the second weekend run of Twenty-Four Pounds of Bullets and Steel," the cowgirl opera
happening today and Saturday in the theater.
Three Degrees of Abstraction," in the Conrad Gallery, is a great choice for spring. The exhibit features the
paintings, some abstract and some not, of artists Cheryl Berglund, Sandy Applegate and Marikay Shellman. The three
artists aren't afraid to splash some color into their work, and the collective result is one of the brightest, most
delightfully colorful displays that have graced the space in quite some time.
Cheryl's the one who thought the colors went so well together," Shellman said Tuesday as the trio hung nearly 100
combined paintings in preparation for the exhibit. The three artists applied individually for Three Degrees" - it was
Applegate who came up with the name - last August, and they were put together by exhibits director Jeannie Berger for
this month's run.
It's just the way we do things. I think - we all push color beyond the ordinary," Berglund said.
The techniques of the three artists and their subject matter varies quite a bit, but somehow it works when taken in
together. The paintings are a mixed lot of landscapes, animals, orbs and figures, and you'll want to block out a decent
amount of time to see them all.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the DAC's Art Library, Lisa Pedolsky is revisiting her New York childhood through Junket
Dynasty," an exhibit of her ceramics that will stay on display through June. Pedolsky's work looks fun - some even go
so far as to call it whimsical" - and it is, but it's also the result of the artist's powers of observation,experiences and a one-of-a-kind way of looking at the simple things in life. And that's particularly relatable to this
exhibit, which is specific in its recollection of Pedolsky's first 19 years of life in the 1950s and '60s.
What this work represents is a random sampling of events during that time frame, and that's everything from the
milkman who delivered to your door to the Vietnam War," Pedolsky said.
The name of the exhibit comes from a product that some of us remember from that time (and which, inexplicably is still
made today), Junket, which Pedolsky calls one of the three nastiest deserts ever made," alongside Jell-O and My-T-Fine
pudding. Fortunately, none of those products appears in the work itself, which includes vases, platters and unique
pieces that defy description but look great, like a Washington Monument-style candy dish that is a both whimsical" and
a statement of our excesses.
People say it's cynical, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and yes, whimsical, but I'm dead serious about my work," Pedolsky
All four artists, upstairs and down, will be in attendance for Saturday's joint opening reception, and it's worth
taking a few moments to say 'hi.' Individually or together, they're quite a group.