We live in a very artsy town, but it wasn’t by chance. We chose to buy a home in Loveland, Colorado, and open our business here, because of the community’s support of the arts. The Governor’s Invitational Art Show & Sale is an example of Loveland’s prestigious status as an art town.
This art show has been taking place since the late 1970s. In 1990, it became the Governor’s Invitational Art Show, and yes, the show is endorsed each year by the Governor of Colorado, see letter here.
The Governor’s Invitational invites a prestigious group of artists from around Colorado to show at this month-long event.
We visited during Night on the Town, Loveland’s 2nd Friday art walk. While the subject matter of much of this year’s art is mostly wildlife and scenery, the variety of artistic style and mediums is incredible.
Ryan and I are both inspired by art. While he’s much better at deciphering true talent, we both enjoy art pieces that tell a story. He also likes art depicting crows and ravens, and as we entered the gallery we were aghast to find a framed dead crow wrapped in barbed wire. Of course, it wasn’t a dead crow, but an amazing replica made entirely of cut paper. I can’t imagine the level of patience it would take to make these creations; artist Tiffany Miller Russell must have patience in spades.
Another outstanding artist we discovered at the show was Julie Bender who paints with fire – literally. Her technique is called “pyrography,” which is a new term to me. According to Bender’s website, pyrography is the art of burning on a natural surface, and it’s an ancient art form.
The art of Cathy Sheeter also caught our eye. She uses a sketchboard and ink technique that’s a form of direct engraving. Her wildlife drawings are quite magnificent. Artist Dean Russell Thompson’s work caught Ryan’s eye because Ryan likes printmaking. Thompson’s website has a fascinating page all about the process and you can read it here. Thompson’s art is accessible to Coloradans, as he uses familiar images such as silos and oil rigs.
The last two artists we want to highlight from the Governor’s Invitational couldn’t be more different. Mark Thompson paints the most astounding still-life paintings we have ever seen. Still-life paintings don’t often catch my attention, but these are unbelievable. Seek out Thompson’s work at the show; his work is shockingly realistic.
Lastly, across from Thompson’s still-life work, you’ll find Michael Ome Untiedt’s haunting oil paintings. His use of light and shadow creates unique pieces that beg the spectator to imagine what must be happening beyond the edges of the painting.
So there you have it. Just a taste of the inspiration that awaits you at this year’s Governor’s Invitational Art Show & Sale. Learn more by visiting their website at GovernorsArtShow.org. The show is a major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Loveland and the Thompson Valley Rotary Club. Many of the beneficiaries of the success of the show are children and youth in our community and beyond.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is the co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture. She is also a full-time freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com.