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"Rescue and Redemption" Art Exhibition coming to Lincoln Center

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"Rescue and Redemption" at Lincoln Center Galleries

The Fort Collins Lincoln Center was built toward standards to qualify it as a Leader in Energy and Environmental Design. During demolition and construction many tons of the construction waste was diverted from the Larimer County landfill, to be reused or recycled. Acknowledging this spirit of sustainable design and management, the Lincoln Center will present the work of 5 artists who creatively rescue and repurpose consumer, construction, architectural and industrial waste, offering them redemption in the form of fine art objects. “Rescue and Redemption” will open on Friday, May 4th with an Opening Reception at 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will continue through Saturday, June 2nd.

Bob Coonts, Erick C. Johnson, Susannah Mira, Lee Somers and Les Sunde see discarded objects with an eye toward what can be, rather than what was. The line, shape and colors of the detritus of modern life speak to these artists in a unique language. Rescued from the junk heaps of our wasteful society, these artists give new life and new purpose to things we would consider used up and useless. Tractor blades become parts to a fantastical flying boat; rebar is remade into a musical instrument, rubber and cork gaskets become a gracefully undulating mobile, and piano parts become body parts to a new breed of wild animal. In these artists’ hands, anything is possible.

In addition to exhibiting their unique and diverse artworks, all five artists have been invited to create a new object specifically for the exhibition using the parts from decommissioned pianos from the “Pianos About Town” program. “Pianos About Town” is a collaborative project between the City’s Art in Public Places Program, the Downtown Development Authority and Bohemian Foundation that invites and coordinates local artists to paint pianos in public view and then places the painted pianos around Fort Collins for residents and visitors to play in public settings. The artists in this exhibit will give new life to the program's decommissioned pianos by creating something new that extends the reach of the pianos and offers yet another art form for the community to enjoy.

Long time painter and graphic designer Bob Coonts is already nationally recognized for his colorfully detailed paintings and clean logos and designs. Lately he’s taken on the challenge of creating whimsical animals and beings from collected cast-offs of nature, rusted hardware and other found objects.

Les Sunde has long been a collector of all manner of architectural and construction salvage and surplus. Often his creations arise from stories he imagines and then builds the pieces to populate the stories. Need a machine that turns dandelions into wishes? He’s got it!

This winter artists Susannah Mira and Lee Somers both landed at ART342, a local artist residency, from Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. Both artists specialize in creating artworks from found and cast-off materials. From hundreds or thousands of industrial gaskets, filters, model scraps and more, Mira’s sculptures use repetition and pattern to create objects that fold, undulate, twist and trail across walls, floors and ceilings. Somers is drawn to ceramic shards, topographical maps and construction materials to create new relief sculptures that capture the beauty and intricacy of the Western landscape and geology.

Erick C. Johnson is a master of repurposing farm implements, motor and vehicle parts, and pieces and parts of just about anything. His keen eye for design and craftsmanship leads him to create graceful and curious new tools, vehicles and gadgets that are rooted in metaphor and fantasy, but are eerily familiar.

Admission is free. Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Fridays, 10am-6pm, Saturdays 12-6pm, and during most theatre performances.
Image credit: Artist: Susannah Mira, Deep Folds, 2011, cork and rubber gasket centers, 5’ x 2.5’ x 8”

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 5-8 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: May 4 – June 2, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 10am-6pm, Saturdays noon-6pm, and evenings of most theatre performances at Lincoln Center.