Deep in the Woods

The new Foothills show is a chip off the old block.

Across the room from the Shade piece is another prize winner, Jennifer Outwater's "Pink Elephant," which received the Millennium Award along with another of her works, "Toy Book." Both pieces by this Chelmsford, Massachusetts, sculptor are kind of creepy, having been made out of hand-stitched rawhide which has been tanned in such a way as to make it disturbingly translucent, thus revealing the colors and shapes of the objects Outwater has stuffed inside.

In the hall on the way to the Bartunek Gallery is the installation "Pillars in Time," by Boulder artist Sue Quinlan. The multi-part piece is made of concrete and steel in the form of rectangular monoliths that have been arranged like ruined columns. The concrete surfaces of the stiles have been articulated through casting, power carving and cutting.

Standouts in the Bartunek space include the two assembled glass-and-porcelain busts by Carol Sharpe and the cast and painted fiberglass-and-Hydrocal funk sculpture, "Ascension," by Arnold Haberman. Haberman and Sharpe both live in Denver. Other Colorado artists also rise above the national show's norm -- notably, Louis Martinelli from Durango, with an untitled, rough-hewn yet elegant geometric sculpture made of wood and mixed media; Snowmass sculptor Tai Pomara's wall relief, "Blackening," which is made of steel rods and tubes; and the deadpan "Watermelon," made of found steel by Christopher Weed of Colorado Springs.

Two artists use salvaged wood to create abstract sculpture. Anne Wallace of San Antonio, Texas, carves large, handsome spheres made of palm, pecan and mesquite; she picks her art supplies off the streets and alleys of her hometown. Emerging Denver art star Bryan Andrews does the same thing, scavenging both in Denver and in his boyhood home in the Ozarks of southern Missouri. He's even considered starting a tree-removal business as a way to get more raw material for his creative process.

Andrews got two pieces in the show, the somber and monumental "66 Kings" and the equally poetic "Not Forgotten #1." Placed on a long, low stand, "66 Kings" is made of a carved redwood shape evocative of a canoe resting on two blocky supports. The canoe is filled with 66 small fetish carvings of the figure made of pine. At some point he set the pine ablaze, which turned the carvings and the interior of the canoe a rich black color. It is, hands down, the best thing here.

In "Not Forgotten #1," Andrews slots a doll-like carving of an androgynous figure into the cavity of an elm bough; both have been left in their natural state. The piece has been installed facing out toward the last leg of the show, in the Waelchli Western Gallery, and it links up perfectly with the impressive installation just around the corner, "Father and Son," by Patrick Rowan from Lincoln, Nebraska. This four-part work in carved and treated wood is made up of two tall, wavering columns and two nudes that seem to be hung from other columns.

Also here is one of the few non-objective sculptures in the show, the stunning and sublime "Sentinel Series #7," by Denver clay master Peter Durst. In this gigantic piece, Durst has built a vertical ceramic monolith with a scabrous surface -- the product of his having roughly carved the clay while it was still pliable. Running vertically up the middle of the piece is a finely articulated slit, just wide enough to allow light to pass through.

The 2000 NASE has many problems, not the least of which was juror Saar's decision to whittle away the opportunity to put together a better, more inclusive show. But with nearly seventy sculptures by approximately sixty artists, there's more than enough to warrant a trip to Golden -- if for no other reason than to see Andrews's "66 Kings."

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