RIDGWAY – An exhibition of functional and decorative art by Ridgway artist David Cary will open at the Ridgway Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 10, with an opening reception (and refreshments) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Cary started creating functional art – lamps and mirrors made from the natural materials found in the mountains near Ridgway. Driftwood from local waterways, fallen branches, red willow, deer antlers, turkey feathers, turquoise and handmade water-colored rice paper are assembled into forms that reflect their origins, yet are beautifully functional. “I always respect the form and beauty of the natural materials while crafting a fine art piece that will cast its glow for a lifetime,” Cary says.
Each piece he creates is one of a kind; combining delicate, contorted willow with water-worn wood and ribbed antlers. These pieces reflect the texture of wood and the vibrancy of watercolor. His mountain “driftwood” inventory is a virtual history of southwest Colorado. “In one piece you might see the rugged grain of hand-hewn Ponderosa washed down from mines abandoned decades ago. In another, you may glimpse streaks of magenta running through an ancient slab of cedar. Naturally shed antler lamps echo the strength of buck mule deer that abound in the area,” he says.
In 2009, Cary added contemporary frescoes – tinted plaster wall pieces to his repertoire. Inspired by old European plaster walls and the school of art known as hyperrealism, this new take on an old technique creates dimensional wall art that juxtaposes satiny smooth shades of plaster with rough lathe underpinning. He slowly applies layers of tinted plaster over lathe, then sands down certain areas to reveal plaster layers beneath along with some of the lathe. A final hand polishing of the plaster gives each piece an amazingly silky finish, which greatly enhances details and dimensions.
Also featured in the Ridgway Library Show will be Cary’s Aspen “Blessing Sticks,” handcrafted hiking sticks embellished with Irish or Native American blessings and highlighted by gemstone beads.
To learn more about the exhibition, contact the Ridgway Public Library at 626-5252 or lightshipsart.com.