Emerging Artist Exhibition Series – January 2013

Since opening in 2007, Abecedarian Gallery has featured emerging artists work each January. Although the gallery’s ongoing commitment to working with emerging artists will continue, this is the last exhibit in the Emerging Artist exhibition series.

This January (January 4 through February 2) works of Andrea Crane, Janelle Anderson and Whitney Stephens will be on view. Although all three of the Denver area artists work with drawing, their works are stylistically and conceptually different. The exhibit overall is a rich and exciting presentation of contemporary drawing.

About the artists:

Andrea Crane received a teaching certificate in Art Education from Metropolitan State University in Denver and is now teaching at Graland Country Day School in Denver. She is a mixed media artist who uses a variety of techniques to create smaller scaled works of art that are typically inspired by personal events.

Scattered Photos is a series of mixed media collages Andrea began while thinking about the lifespan of old family photos. She finds that although some may find looking at photos redundant and boring, she never never tires of looking at a photo. The series is inspired by family photographs, but does not utilize photographic imagery. them new life. The images, that depict brothers and sisters as children, are re-worked and given new life.


Janelle W. Anderson earned her BFA in Painting from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2011. She is an associate member of Pirate: Contemporary Art and works at Studio 12 Gallery. Primarily drawn with graphite and colored pencil on mylar, Anderson’s work focuses on the human condition and the ephemeral. Her works are stark, yet often quiet and chilling, using mostly a monochromatic palate high in contrast.

Free/Fall is a series of drawings on mylar that combine images of multiple views of a subject layered on top of one another creating an abstracted, yet recognizable form. Placed against a backdrop of empty space, the figures hover in limbo amongst a haze of striations stretching to and from. The small scale of these works draws the viewer in close to reflect in a moment of stillness. Although there are no human figurative depictions in this series, Free/Fall references the ephemeral while drawing parallels to the human condition.


Whitney Stephens graduated from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration & Fine Art. Her flat, often decorative style draws from her interest in folk & primitive art, but lends itself to more contemporary imagery & themes ranging from biology to fashion.

In this series of work Stephens utilized methods often used by Surrealists and Dadaists such as collage, photomontage, automatism, and games including ‘exquisite corpse’ to focus on design. The resulting pieces are patterned, decorative works intended for printing on fabric.


Imagination Navigation

Seiler Dual Loyalties #6
The interplay between the physicality of an idea and the idea itself has long held fascination for visual artists and craftworkers. This is the primary starting point for the work in Imagination Navigation at Abecedarian Gallery.
Imagination Navigation takes its title from a monograph about and exhibition of Joseph Cornell’s work. It is a show of 22 works by United States and Canadian artists working in assemblage and collage. The works were selected by Denver artist and exhibitions preparator Dave Seiler (image left).

Francuz Paris_Papers_9

While far from definitive, the exhibition provides a good overview of current trends in small to medium scale mixed media artworks.

Included in the exhibition are paper works incorporating both cut and torn paper collages by Luis Frias Leal of Greensboro, North Carolina, Mara Rivet of Seattle, Washington, Marsha Balian of Oakland, California, Lili Francuz (image right) of Ft. Collins, Colorado and Robin Miller of Savannah, Georgia.

Szmagaj_Two Views

A more painterly approach and in this case less intimate approach to collage is represented by Ken Szmagaj of Harrisonburg, Virginia (image left) and Mercedez Nunez of.


Christine Drake (image above) of Lexington, Virginia uses a monotype as base for collage while Lori Reed of Galesburg, Illinois, Elizabeth Lasley of Asheville, North Carolina, Janice MacDonald of Denver, Colorado and Doug Stapleton of Chicago, Illinois build their collages up from rigid boards or canvas panels.

Rowswell_Rock show II_#3kflora1

The encaustic collage, a medium growing in popularity, is here represented by Kimberly Flora (image left) of Cincinnati, Ohio. While stitching appears as an element in several of the above mentioned works, only two of the artists in Imagination Navigation focus on fibers and thread, using them both as support and collage element: Nancy Turner from Ontario, Canada and Georgia Rowswell (image right) of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

onderdonk_0266_3While assemblage works are often sculptural for the most part the assemblage works in this show exhibit on the wall. These include pieces by Annie Onderonk (image left) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Caroline Waite of Louisville, Kentucky, June Daskalakis of Davis, California, Diane Lou of Willamina, Oregon, Pamela Milld of Lakewood, Colorado and John Ferdico (image right) of Oakland, California.


Surprisingly, only two works in the exhibit are viewed ‘in the round’ that of D. M. Suchoki of Scottsdale, Arizona and that of juror Dave Seiler.

click here to link to an online catalog of the exhibition


Denver artist & creative thinker Katie Taft has curated an exhibition for Abecedarian Gallery that focuses on one of her primary interests: stories about people. Taft invited 20 artists fro throughout the US to select and interview a person of their choice, perhaps famous, locally famous o not at all famous, a person known beforehand or not. The style of interview and the questions aske were left entirely up to the invited artists. The artists have made a creative representation of the information learned about that person. The exhibition includes a rich variety of media, styles and experience. In addition to the exhibition a publication including the interviews themselves will be produced and available.


Katie Taft is an original Denver Mastermind, well known not only for her photographyand sculpture, but also for Self-Made, a salon-style interview series formerly held once a week in downtown Denver from 2004-2006. Self-Made has morphed into Action Figures which continues in the style of Self-Made but with less frequency. She has been described as the Terri Gross of Denver.

Abecedarian Gallery has an ongoing commitment to book arts and also exhibits mixed
media work that connects somehow to any aspect of the book arts genre.

Included in the exhibition are
Adrianna Santiago, Denver, CO
Alicia Bailey, Aurora, CO
Alicia Griswold, Atlanta, GA
Amy LeePard, Northport, AL
Dawn Roe. Winterpark, FL
Don Frank, Portland, OR
Hamidah Glasgow, Longmont, CO
Jerry Allen Gilmore, Denver, CO
Julianna Dreistadt, Denver, CO
Kara Duncan, Denver, CO
Kirsten Vermulen, Denver, CO
Nathan Abels, Denver, CO
Richard Alden Peterson, Indian Hills, CO
Stephanie Wood, Denver, CO
Steven Daniel Karpik, Denver, CO
Steven Gordon, Denver, CO

Crime and Romance

Abecedarian Gallery is pleased to be exhibiting the work of Iowa artist Emily Martin in the Reading Room this fall.
Martin’s work will be on display September 5 – October 24


Martin uses a variety
of printing methods with her books including inkjet printing, letterpress, Xerox, color Xerox and
offset. Her books are in public and private collections throughout the United States and internationally,
including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Gallery, London; The Museum
of Contemporary Art of Chicago; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Modern
Art, New York and others. 4.-It-Didn't-Just.jpg
She teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and in workshops
around the country. This is her first solo exhibition in the Denver area.
At Abecedarian Martin is exhibiting work from an ongoing series begun in 1989. She
made a series of 26 image prints and 20 word panels loosely exploring the notions of crime and
romance. Some of the images were scenes of crimes and some were scenes of romance and some
what she calls the innocent bystander images.
5.-Cr&Ro-Diptych.jpgUsing the notion that adjacent word panels shade image
meanings, Martin has combined the images in various presentations including prints and artists
In 2007 Martin began a similar process, working this time with a set of images and words
as if she were casting a play. She came up with six separate figures, three pairs of figures and two
different versions each of four different room settings and one crime scene body outline. This series is called Clues but no Answers.
These characters and settings are layered on the prints in a variety of combinations.

Boxy Books

May 29 – July 3, 2009
In the reading room an exhibition of artists’ books that are either ‘boxy’ in demeaner or utilize the box as a conceptual and/or visual tool. Artists included are
Aimee Lee

The Walls Are No Longer a Defense

Alicia Bailey

Cosmeceutical Collection

Bonnie Thompson Norman

A Primer for Democracy

Carolyn Leigh

House of Cards

Ezma Hanschka

Famous Planes

Ginger Burrell


James Reid-Cunningham


Jana Sim

Hieroglyphic Characters

Jeanne Borofsky

Time and Space

Maryanne Riker

Leo's Working Dreams

Melissa Kaup-Augustine


Mia Semingson


Rhonda Miller

A box for Nick’s doodles

Roberta Lavadour

Lavadour That's the way I like it (today) a

Sabina Nies

Petal Fold Miniature Book

Stephanie Marinone

Stephanie Marinone - Woman's Herbal Kit

Sun Young Kang


Susan Collard

Book of Dreams

Susann Wilbur

Persistence of Myth #5

Tenille Shuster

Close To Tears

clicking on the image will take you to another site where you can peruse additional images of the books included in the exhibition with more details about the work.

Paper Narratives

Paper Narratives is a group invitational exhibition curated by Abecedarian Gallery director Alicia Bailey.

Although the work shares the common denominator of having paper as a primary material, the exhibition is intentionally diverse. Narrative indicates a story of some sort, and is generally used in the context of either a written or spoken account. Narrative as a conceptual device in visual work has as long a history as visual work itself, coming in and out of fashion as art ‘isms’ often do. As is Bailey’s curatorial preference is to include work by students/emerging artists, work by artists well established in their field and regions but under-exhibited in Denver and artists working in the Denver Metro area.

Abecedarian Gallery has a focus on book arts; this exhibition includes work by ten artists working in the book form.
Perhaps because of the intimacy and familiarity of the book form, book artists often present stories based on domestic life

Directionssuch as Andrew Huot‘s distillation of everyday situations into printed books bound using traditionally bound structures.

Black not BoiledKelly Nelson’s Black Not Boiled is a small tea-cup shaped book, printed on handmade and teabag paper based on her mother’s writings about tea.

How to Distinguish Scents

Alicia Griswold, a skilled writer works from the premise that everything, the whole universe, can be found in a garden.
or other artists in the exhibit the domestic realm includes exploration of relationships or stories about family such as


Becky Heimrun‘s handprinted books that include content about her husband and son and their environment,
Every Pot Has a Lid
Tom Virgin‘s “Every Pot Has A Lid” – a fable using household objects to express the complexity of relationships,

Zina Castanuela‘s oversize sculptural book Josephine uses the contrast of handmade paper from different plant fibers to tell a story about her grandmother.


Love SpellsHarold Lohner creates accordian books in which a series of related images, drawn from a collection of anonymous photos, are presented in a nonverbal narrative. As the narrative is not explicitly detailed, the bits of imagery and found text engage the viewer in assembling a story.

Story of Thousands of StarsSun Young Kang‘s books hint at universal experience through reflection of the personal, such as her Story of Thousands of Stars which tells a story combining the happiness and joy of meeting with the inevitable sorrow of farewell.


Reflections on the experiential is also fertile ground for book artists utilized by Lynn Sures‘ books Toscana, based on drawings done on site in rural Tuscany, and Variations based on Charles Mingus’s musical work, “Pithecanthropus erectus,”

Language BoundMary Ellen Long creates work that tells the story of the environments affect on materials. The stories are subtle and partially hidden inside rolled scrolls.

While personal narrative is often engaging and compelling, Bailey is here exercising her preference for work that transcends the personal yet stems from personal experience.

Grandma's Kansas JourneyLinking familiar tales to personal experience is one way this is achieved such as in the work of Brenda Jones, who creates aprons and garments from manipulated and stitched paper, using imagery familiar to all of us but chosen based on personal experiences. The pieces present generally familiar stories of a sort that remind viewers of stories in their own lives.

PuppeteersAnother artist very aware of the power of stories to link all that is personal to something more universal is Carrie Scanga, whose etchings invite viewers to engage both their memory and imaginations.

Brandon Sanderson bases his prints on the interaction of mechanical and organic parts within himself and in the world around him. He has created characters that are collages of personal symbolism, art historical imagery and mechanical metaphor.

Excursion II

Less invested in personal narrative are the works of Lauren Scanlon who retells stories found in common social narratives such as fairy tales and romance novels by piecing them together again in collages of paper, fabric and thread.

Blanket Line

A diaristic approach is one Karina Cutler-Lake employs as she organizes and packages everyday experiences into mixed-media paper panels.

Perimeter Study 4 Jen Urso is another artist dilineating minute by minute experiences, but she is using created experiences governed by pre-determined actions, such as walking a specific path in an area not perceived as particularly beautiful or noteworthy.

Andrea Peterson - Frog on PigSequencing and repitition are workable means of presenting narrative employed by artists creating wall works. Andrea Peterson‘s Pig series is a 51 pig installation of bright pink handmade paper pigs, each printed with a symbol that shows how almost everything can be traced back through the stomach of a pig. The installation is accompanied by wood-fired ceramic pics made by Andrea’s husband Jon Hook.

Thought Harbor

Working entirely outside the parameters of personal narrative are Lauren McCleary who uses the absence of humanity in her quietly elegant paper cutouts to tell tales of the world’s wonder.
WMFD'sAlso in the exhibit are woven paper pieces by M. Beneventi.
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Denver Square

An exhibition featuring artists working in or near Denver who use the square format as a conceptual and visual tool. Denver Square is accompanied by Boxy Books in the Reading Room.

Artists included in the Denver Square are gallery director Alicia Bailey, here exhibiting mixed-media assemblage pieces from her Navigation Timeline series. Built in layers forward from figurative oil paintings, the pieces incorporate a blend of artifacts culled from Bailey’s collection of oddities, including items such as butterfly wings sandwiched between mica, snake skins, vials of pigment and ash, vintage and discarded maps, letters, prints, and glass lenses.

Anna Newell-Jones exhibits four small color photographs from the series Halfway Between Here and There. Newell-Jones is a Denver based photographer who quite often works in the square format, occasionally pairing square images for an overall rectangular shape based on square. For Newell, recording moments of interest is a form of study and examination. “I look for subtlety and a sort of quiet, says Newell of her compositional philosophy. I take pictures because I have a compulsive need to record. I photograph things that intuitively appeal to me… objects I want to look at longer, things I want to study. My photographs are a reaction to an exploratory process that investigates the interplay between colors and concepts, patterns and associations.”

Brianna Martray is a Denver painter who works with oil on wooden, boxlike forms. The cubes she has in Denver Square are free-standing and potentially functional as table bases. Brianna’s gestural swirls are applied by her gloved hands rather than brushes and have an energy that works particularly well ‘off the wall’. Of these pieces she says “On this particular project I was intrigued and ultimately satisfied by the tension and duality created between the swirls and circles of color vs. the perfect geometry inherent of the cube.” 

Daisy McConnell is a Colorado Springs artist trained as a printmaker who has moved into the painting realm by first mounting/collaging prints and drawings to wooden supports and painting over them with encaustic. Her subject matter ranges from organic body systems to feminine frippery, from domestic musings to animal mortality. Here she exhibits pieces from her Ornamental Organ series.

Gail Wagner is a Boulder based mixed media artist who has recently returned to painting. She states: “In my older fiber pieces (exhibited in the Interweavings show), I used forms inspired by plants and animals as a way of exploring contradictory views of nature coexisting in our culture. Another part of this exploration was through my construction process: crocheting, sewing, and weaving are activities that bring together separate components, in the act of creating a new whole. In my newer work, I continue the practice of linking seemingly disparate elements through painting. Flatness vs. space, spontaneity vs. control, whimsy vs. gloom, sophistication vs. naiveté—all these conflicting extremes are brought together in the new works. Though a different medium, hints of past materials persist: threads, yarns, and loops pervade the new work, linking past and present.”

Hamidah Glasgow – Richly beautiful, the photographs of Hamidah Glasgow in Denver Square are selections from her series Shadow World. Glasgow states “Shadow world is a body of work about what we leave behind. Even in the simplest landscape there is a human presence. Sometimes the traces are obvious and sometimes sometimes not. I am interested in traces of humanity that inhabit the seemingly empty landscape. . . Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell Tale Heart and Dante’s Inferno have in common an exploration of the inner workings of the mind. I am interested in exploring the emotions and thoughts that take hold of our imagination and begin to bend time as well as perception. How we experience the world on an experiential level as well as an emotional level is a theme that has captured my imagination and my creative need to explore.
Heather Doyle-Maier has pieces from her Wane series on display, along with brand new series. . . “As a form, I find the square to be irresistible and I am drawn to create square works again and again. Solid and uniform, squares provide for me a clearly-defined arena in which to explore line and texture, yet they are blessedly free from internal tension. Squares offer reliability and objectivity, not favoring one side or direction over another. Yet squares maintain a sense of themselves, not fading into the background but remaining present as a frame. In a square, I can create a visual language that has its own integrity, a world that is contained and held. The borders of a square are strong enough to contain anything that needs to happen within them. My love for squares and combinations of squares has grown out of admiring traditional quilts, in which geometric shapes are stitched together to form square blocks and the square blocks are then stitched together to make the quilt surface. The pattern of repeating squares that forms the quilt top serves to both comfort and organize, offering a respite from chaos and meaninglessness. In my work, repeating squares act to slow down sequences and to make visible small variations and slight shifts. Progressions of squares serve to regulate and, like the pages of a book, break down raw experience into uniform, manageable pieces.
Maura Gramzinski exhibits several handbags crafted from vintage slides, along with her brand new laptop bag. RedCamper handbags are built literally from memories. Comprised of authentic vintage travel and family images, permanently sealed in a sturdy vinyl with industrial modern touches of stainless steel and rubber, the handbag is both cutting edge and retro in a sweet fusion.  Its old school in a new way. RedCamper celebrates the human story, no matter your age, race, class or education.
American/human history has for too long been written by the TV networks, advertising blitzes and newspaper headlines. The real American history we all lived and loved is locked into mildewed boxes in attics, basements and closets seen only once, twice, maybe three times, and as time marches on these little relics often find themselves sitting on the curb waiting for the trash truck. The human story has become irrelevant in the face of history. It’s a tragedy to waste these decisive moments that were important enough to that person, in that time, to be worthy of encapsulation forever on film. These images are the authentic, pure, real, look into the life of a person living life and this average persons view of their world is as fascinating and telling as the most brilliant scholars thesis.

Mia Semingson is a photographer and artist living in Lafayette. She is exhibiting a piece created specifically for Denver Square. She also has two pieces in the Boxy Books show in the Reading Room.
gallagher_mars for blogTony Gallagher is exhibiting works from his series Anthropomorphize. With an SX-70 Polaroid SLR (single-lens reflex) camera in hand, Tony captured this series on Alterimage 600 pack film—now discontinued, but chosen for its color, grain and matte surface.