Gallery Exhibits in Telluride
Telluride’s monthly Art Walk takes place tonight, and local galleries stay open into the cooling evening until 8:30 p.m. much part of her continuum as a painter. Scott Rhea’s eerie, evocative photographs are at Gallery 81435. Rhea was born and raised in Louisiana; he says he got the inspiration for these photos in dreams he had following Hurricane Katrina. With New Orleans and other cities in increasing contact with the ocean, Rhea found himself journaling visions of life underwater; he then turned the tableaus into photographs. Rhea’s images are female, and many are children. A Telluride resident with two young daughters, he photographs young women floating in front of a chalkboard, or kick-paddling while watching TV, or lost in conversation – all, apparently, in the briny deep (which in reality is a Los Angeles swimming pool). “That sense of perfect isolation” you get from being underwater “creates a tranquility that magnifies the emotion of what’s happening” when it’s translated visually, he says. Rhea has called the experience of making these images “the most creatively influential” thing that has ever happened to him as an artist, and he’s barely breached the water’s surface. “I want to push this work further and further,” he has said. “There’s a giant pool called the ocean I haven’t even made it to yet.” To see Rhea shoot his photos, visit rheapipeline.com.
At Stronghouse Gallery, Elaine Fischer exhibits “Confluence,” new, brilliantly-colored paintings that recall the lines, marks, forms, and colors seen in previous works from her time as a resident artist at Stronghouse. As such, “Confluence” is “very much part of Fischer’s continuum as a painter. It brings together the self-portraits, abstracts, and landscapes from her past five years,” Telluride Arts’ director Kate Jones says. “It’s all there.”
Also in Telluride this week, on Fri., Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m., author Holli Pfau will be appearing at the Wilkinson Library. She’s bringing along a prop: her rescued golden retriever, “Chatter.” Chatter is the sixth of this breed that Pfau has adopted and re-purposed; on Tuesday afternoon, she was putting the finishing touches on the animal’s grooming in preparation for its work the next day at Mercy Hospital Cancer Center in Durango as a therapy dog. Pfau’s book, Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers is her tribute to this most gentle and beautiful of breeds; her first golden, Nikki, was chosen strictly because “I always liked the look of goldens,” she says. “Simple as that.” But Nikki was “an extraordinary dog, an old soul,” and living with her made Pfau realize, “Honey, you’ve got something special to share.” Pfau was so inspired by her pet, she quit her job in advertising, got a second degree as a rehabilitation therapist, and eventually co-founded a nationally recognized program of animal-assisted therapy at Huntington Memorial Hospital, in Pasadena, Calif. Pure Gold is a paean to the “secondhand” goldens that have touched her life. A representative from the Telluride Animal Foundation, a local group that sponsors, among other things, free monthly spay-and-neuter clinics on the Navajo reservation at Shiprock, N.M., will be on hand at the Wilkinson with T-Bone, a “sweet, calm” two-year-old Briard mix up for adoption. To meet more good dogs in need of a good home, visit the TAF’s adoption event at the Telluride Thrift Shop this Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Mientkas: On the Road Again
The Mientka family have brought over 150 chamber-music concerts to the Western Slope since 1999, and when patriarch Tyme Mientka passed away last March, the family was determined to keep making music together. They started a fund drive and raised the requisite $24,000 they estimated it would take to keep their annual series of concerts going. Their first musical event takes place this weekend when the Western Slope Concert Series, as it has come to be known, inaugurates its 14th season with a series of three chamber-music concerts in Grand Junction, Paonia, and Montrose. The Montrose event will be held at the Pavilion this Sunday at 3 p.m.
The concert will be performed by a quintet consisting of Stephanie Mientka on viola, flutist Jane Kuentzel, harpist Elise Helmke. cellist Gabe Mientka and pianist Kathryn Mientka. Musical pieces will include works from Debussy, Vivaldi, Mozart and selections from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. The concert will be unusual, though, in this regard. “There is not a lot of music written for viola and flute, much less viola, flute and harp,” Stephanie Mientka says. Yet two pieces in this concert – by Debussy and by Mozart – feature exactly those instruments. In short, this is a chance to hear some unusual instruments and unusual pairings of instruments, in works written for them by some of the best. The Mientka quintet first rehearsed earlier this summer; today (Thurs.), Gabe will arrive from Germany, and Stephanie will fly in from Houston, where she’s earning a masters degree in music performance from Rice University. Harpist Elise Helmke, who studied at Guild Hall in London, will come from Glenwood Springs, and on Friday the concerts begin. By Monday morning, they will be over, and, Stephanie Mientka says, “I’ll be back in class in Houston.” The Mientkas’ next performance on the Western Slope is in November. Advance tickets are $9. For more on the concerts or to reserve a seat, visit junctionconcerts.com or montrosepavilion.com.
Six Goldens, Five Musicians and Photos Inspired by a Hurricane
Gallery Exhibits in Telluride