Photos and interviews by Kayla Kimball and Abigail Krueger

On Friday, April 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., a variety of Western arts organizations displayed and performed creative work up at the Center for the Arts in Crested Butte. This included 27 different visual works by an equal number of artists, film screenings from Mountaineer Media, performances by Western’s jazz band, chamber singers, and Western Theater Company, and readings from Wordhorde and Pathfinder.

Photo: Kayla Kimball

“My piece was a part of my BFA show, which is the cannibal cafe, and I wanted to make an immersive installation [where] you walk into a world where cannibalism is normal. Not literal cannibalism but cannibalism as a metaphor for eating disorders to spread awareness [of these disorders] and the concept of food being scary, and the idea of this grotesque world where people are eating other people. Like when you have an eating disorder and you’re afraid of food. So, I wanted to make eerie scenes where the cannibals [are in] the post apocalypse,” says Mallory Siebenneicher, a Western Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) student. “I’m really inspired by David Hockney, the way he paints bright flat colors and dimensional places of the mundane,” she adds.
Photo: Kayla Kimball

“This work specifically was inspired by another ceramic artist by the name of Erin Paradis. She makes these monumental archways…so I selected her works because I think they’re really beautiful and out of my comfort zone. I’ve never done anything like this, ceramics is not my chosen medium, so it was cool to make something new and it get into a juried show,” said Rylee Nordberg of her piece, “Double Arch and Base”. “I wanted to do something a little more interesting than just plain pink so if you look at it there are textural differences, and the finish is either matte or shiny.” 
Photo: Kayla Kimball

“My piece is one piece of a three-part series… the third piece, [the one] that got into the gallery is called ‘Don’t Move’ and it’s about the peak of the pandemic when everyone was locked in their homes and you had to wear masks even around your loved ones that you were close with, and it was super scary. It was a piece about the emotions that you were feeling during the peak,” says Caroline Toomer.

“I wanted to portray the turmoil that everyone was feeling. It was almost this sense of feeling lost, personally I felt really lost during the pandemic, and a lot of people lost the things that they were interested in, or the things they liked to do and the freedoms that they had of being able to go outside. So, [the piece is] about losing your freedom and the turmoil of that.”
Photo: Kayla Kimball

“It’s an intaglio and reductive relief on glass, the intaglio is printed on rice paper from metal plate and then that’s collaged on top of the glass. Then on the backside, you take a piece of linoleum with oil-based ink and print it in multiple stages on the back to create all the colors. Then the box I made myself.

I wanted to cast a shadow into a white background-the only way I could do that was printing it on glass and putting it in a shadow box, which was a whole process. I worked in construction my whole life, so being able to work with my hands building this frame, using my carpentry background and also using my newfound skills from [Professor] Chase [Hutchison] was great for me,” says artist Ethan Mabry.

“The intaglio that’s on the rice paper was actually a print that I made to collage together a bunch of different colors that I made last year for this show, and it got rejected…so when I made this print it was my triumph.”
Photo: Abigail Krueger. Natalie Edwards performs a theatrical response to Siebenneicher‘s work in the gallery
Photo: Kayla Kimball. William O’Brien next to his piece, “Walking in the Woods in the Rain”
Photo: Abigail Krueger. Megan Sanders performs a reading for Wordhorde.
Photo: Kayla Kimball. Western student Ethan Mabry receives an award.
Photo: Kayla Kimball. Western’s Chamber Singers perform.
Photo: Abigail Krueger
Photo: Abigail Krueger