Durango Arts Center Executive Director Cristie Scott recently juried the Fort Lewis College Department of Art & Design’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition, selecting 40 pieces from a pool of 146 submissions.
Scott said she felt “compelled by works that expressed an artist’s process – experimentation of mediums, perfection of a certain technique or subject matter that truly engages and challenges the viewer.”
At DAC, we witness the progression and potential risk of a lifelong journey in the arts, from early learning through adolescence and into one’s golden years. After School Art – 21 years young – along with summer camps, adult workshops and performance and exhibition opportunities serve as touch points for a creative arc in the arts.
It’s exciting, especially in a small community, to watch artists carve out their own unique contributions to the visual or performing arts, music or literature, enriching us all along the way.
Opening in early May in the Barbara Conrad Gallery at DAC is “Pivot Point,” Joan Russell’s curation of five rising young artists. Chandler Wigton, a studio technician in FLC’s Department of Art and Design, is one of these notables who continues to build strong momentum as a working artist in our community.
Wigton was the recipient of a 2014 MicroGrant and a two-month solo feature in DAC’s upstairs Art Library exhibit space, coordinated by the Friends of the Art Library. He grew up in Durango and attended art workshops taught by local pastel and watercolor painter Margaret “Marge” Barge, now in her late 80s and whom he still considers a mentor.
After receiving a bachelor of arts in studio art from FLC, Wigton transitioned to an master of fine arts program in painting at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia.
He has since returned to Durango, where he works days at FLC and overnight security shifts for another business while sandwiching in precious painting hours in a garage studio.
His artwork has been on display locally, regionally and, most recently, in Los Angeles. This summer, he will deepen his artistic risk by embarking on a three-week residency in the Peruvian rainforest.
What is most compelling about events such as Fort Lewis’ Annual Juried Student Exhibition, DAC’s Pivot Point and rising artists such as Wigton, is the reminder that an artistic journey may start casually in a summer camp or workshop, only to develop into a formidable passion and a career.
Interested in witnessing real, live artistic advancement? Join us from 5 to 9 p.m. May 8 for the opening reception of Pivot Point and the celebration of Spring Gallery Walk.
Wigton will be joined by fellow artists Minna Jain, Shay Lopez, Shawn Lotze and Stacy Sotosky in an exhibit that invites the community to take note of the next wave of talent cultivating in our midst.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Elsa Jagniecki is the marketing coordinator for Durango Arts Center.