Equine Themed Art Show Opens in Montrose at the A+Y Design Gallery

22head-heart-hands-and-health221 602 x 450
By Marissa Isgreen

MONTROSE– “High-Point,” a 12-month traveling art show featuring equine art, opens at the A+Y Design Gallery in Montrose for the entire month of June. The show aims to celebrate the Year of the Horse, engage the community in a discussion about art and benefit Colorado’s wild horses. Local artist Cheri Isgreen and Fort Collins-based artist Barb Haynie created the show because of their shared passion for horses and fine art.

“I want these shows to celebrate the horse and raise awareness for equine art by engaging the community in a dialog about it,” Isgreen said. “The way these shows are designed there is a lot of community participation from the causes they benefit, to the workshops and the art itself.”

“High-Point” debuts June 5 during Main in Motion. Isgreen’s Lipizzaner horse, a frequent subject of her paintings, will be outside A+Y Design Gallery for children, children-at-heart and horse lovers to paint handprints and designs on his white coat. The public is invited to take pictures with Monarch and the photos can be sent to their email.

“I wanted to create a horse event that would be really people friendly because not everyone rides horses, but most people are attracted to them,” Isgreen explained. “Because Lipizzaners are a rare breed and because Monarch has a really engaging personality, I thought it would be a special way for people to connect with him.”

People can also have their face painted, enjoy gellato, preview the show, bid on silent auction pieces, or sign up for the upcoming workshops.

The official show opening is June 6 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. during the First Friday Artwalk, with 36 works of equine art in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media by Isgreen and Haynie. A variety of Chinese appetizers and barn-themed food will be served. Patrons are encouraged to bring a treat home to the barn as the food is designed to please horses and humans alike. Interactive community art activities will also be available so gallery goers can try their hand at Chinese brush painting, zen painting or Year of the Horse origami. Live music from Karen Mercer, Margaret Freeman and Kurt Isgreen will accompany the opening.

Isgreen and Haynie will be awarding door prizes for attending the show. Participants can sign up for the drawing each time they visit the show throughout the month of June. The first winner will be drawn on the night of the opening and the second will be drawn at the close of the show. Winners can choose either a “High-Point” T-shirt or a set of Year of the Horse cards.

In conjunction with the month-long show, Isgreen will also be holding two workshops.

The first is an origami workshop where people can learn to fold a paper horse and animate it with special bends and pinches that will personalize each participant’s creation. The workshop will be held June 7 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m and will cost $10.

The second workshop, held June 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., arises from both Isgreen and Haynie’s love for creating horse sculptures from found objects. The $35 workshop will teach participants to create their own horse from found objects and includes materials, instruction and a tutorial on how to jump-start your own creativity.

“I find that the found object workshop is very liberating for people who like art but are intimidated by drawing,” Isgreen said. “With found objects you’re only suggesting an idea or a form and don’t have to recreate an exact replica, so I recommend this workshop to artists and non-artists alike.”

A Benefit Art Show
As with previous openings, June’s show will also benefit a cause. This month, the show will benefit James Kleinert’s efforts to protect Colorado’s wild horses with a silent auction that opens June 5 and runs through June 30.

Silent auction items include Haynie’s acrylic painting “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health,” Isgreen’s mixed media composition, “Don”t Fence Me In” and one of Montrose photographer Barb Young’s pictures.

In conjunction with the silent auction, Isgreen and A+Y Design Gallery will offer two free screenings of James Kleinert’s film “Wild Horses and Renegades” June 7 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The film examines the plight of America’s wild horses and aims to expose the truth about the perpetrators that are managing them into extinction.

“Before seeing this film, I was totally unaware of the BLM’s inhumane practices and deceit to the public, so I wasn’t really that concerned about the mustangs. But they’re facing extinction, and we as Americans are faced with losing an American treasure,” Isgreen said. “When I saw the film, I felt a strong sense of urgency to get the word out. Since we’ve been doing a lot of shows as benefits, I felt this was a really important issue that should become the next benefit.”

About the Artists
Isgreen was an elementary and art education teacher for 30 years. She curated, “Art at the Apex” an exhibition showcasing Colorado artists in grades kindergarten through 12th grade that premiered in May 2010 in Washington DC. She also coauthored Colorado art education standards, now part of the Common Core. Concurrent with her teaching career, Isgreen pursued her interests in weaving and textile design for 40 years. Her work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and Europe. Retiring from public education in 2010, Isgreen changed focus to develop her personal vision in watercolor. Stir Gallery in Colorado Springs gave Isgreen her first one woman show in 2012, pointing her on the path she follows today.

Haynie earned her fine art degree at Colorado State University with a concentration in drawing at age 50. Previous to earning her BA, she travelled extensively throughout Europe, South America, Central America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Egypt. She has also authored two published novels. She owns a nursery in Fort Collins where she has lived since 1954.

Important dates–
JUNE 5TH: Monarch visits A&Y Design Gallery for Main in Motion. Meet a genuine Lipizzaner horse, paint designs on his coat, & have your picture taken with him.
JUNE 6TH: “High Point” opening at A&Y Gallery. 36 works of art depicting the majesty of horses in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media by Cheri Isgreen and Barb Haynie. Live music with Karen & Friends, four-piece band. Includes interactive community art activities, refreshments and a silent auction and benefit for Colorado’s Wild Horses
JUNE 7TH: Origami workshop. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Cost $10 and includes all materials and techniques.
JUNE 7TH: Free film screening: Wild Horses & Renegades at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
JUNE 26TH: Found object, horse sculpture workshop. Cost: $35. Includes materials, instruction and a tutorial on how to jump-start your own creativity.