“Art pulls a community together… art makes you feel differently. That’s what artists are doing all the time, shifting and changing the way you see life.” - Playwright Lister Sinclair
It has been said that art is the pulse of a community. The undercurrent of creativity it brings continually gives life, whether people consciously notice it or not. The artists of Colorado have been working hard to produce something special that you have access to for this month only.
The Parker Artist Guild’s (PAG) annual 144 Exhibit & Sale is a statewide show featuring over a hundred artists and a variety of mediums, including watercolor, oil, sculptures, photos, and drawings, to name a few. It is run like an auction, and starting bid prices (ranging from under $100 to several thousands of dollars) are set by the artists.
The 144 Exhibit & Sale got its name from the unique parameters artists must comply with their work. Pieces must be 12x12 inches or 12 cubic inches, which results in a sum of 144. The only reason for this is to give the artists a specific guideline other than to simply submit a piece of work, which PAG president Leslie Scott says can be exhausting. Before the inventory for the exhibit is chosen, artists submit their pieces to a jury. The jury ensures that the art is top-notch quality before it can make the cut.
“The caliber of art that is available is kind of mind-boggling,” Leslie says. “The quality of artists in Colorado never ceases to amaze me.”
The PAG is proud to call over 200 of those artists their members. They are a 501(c)3 that focuses on promoting the visual arts for children and young adults. A major way they do that is by redistributing funds back into the Parker community. A portion of the proceeds from the 144 Exhibit & Sale will go toward providing art scholarships for high school students with promising talent, while the rest of the funds will pay the artists.
Encouraging the local art community is near and dear to Leslie’s heart. She worked as a graphic designer for eight years, all the while nurturing a deeper desire to be a full-time fine artist. She retired from the field and took up oil painting- her first love. She surmises the social distancing brought on by COVID-19 provided more physical and mental space for artists with introverted tendencies. However, she does think that the pandemic has taken away a lot of the joy creating brings.
“As much as art is a personal requirement for me, I don’t imagine art is what you would call one of those essential type things to go on during a pandemic,” she says. “The joy of art is in making it, but the icing on the cake is people seeing it.”
Luckily, the virtual 144 Sale runs through the end of February and provides a medium for our Parker artists to share their work. View their pieces and make a bid here: https://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/index.cfm?auctionID=24399
Do you have kids or teenagers who are looking to explore their creative side? The PAG offers ‘Lessons and Lemonade’, free art classes for kids ages 8-16. Classes are one Saturday a month at the PACE Center. The class got its name from the snack break, featuring lemonade and pretzels, during the middle of the two hour class. “There’s hardly anything more exceptional than being around children who are interested in creating,” Leslie says. “They haven’t learned to limit themselves yet.”