The Governor’s Art Exhibition – an event that has showcased the best works from various mediums for more than three decades – returns to the Loveland Museum on Saturday.
“The Governor’s Art Show is a beloved tradition,” said Ruth Scott, Executive Director. “Few shows can say they have been around for 31 years. Visitors from all over make it a point to visit the show. They look forward to seeing this show year after year, which keeps them coming back.
On Friday, people can preview this year’s offerings at the opening gala from 5-8 p.m. Held at the Loveland Museum, attendees can listen to live music from TD and The Shakes. Tickets are $75.
“We have a long-standing reputation for bringing high quality works of art to the Loveland Museum,” Scott said. “Visitors know they are in for a treat.”
The show runs until May 22, giving collectors and art lovers plenty of time to peruse the extensive collection. Parts can be purchased in person and online. Admission to view the exhibit is $7.
“Being a juried show, it keeps the show fresh every year, and this year’s show has layers of diversity,” Scott said. “We have artists who haven’t participated in several years and we also have 11 artists who have never participated in the show.”
There are also a good number of regular regulars on the show who again display their latest art.
Theresa Conklin, a designer whose vivid paintings have a powerful narrative quality, returns to the show for the second time.
“I come from a large family of six siblings, and growing up I felt like my voice would get lost,” Conklin said. “Art was my way of using my voice and processing my feelings and thoughts through stories and my imagination. I enjoyed that my art could make my family laugh and connect us all.
Much of the Denver native’s work features subject matter that seems to take on an otherworldly essence. Whether holding a violin, knitting, or galloping with a loved one, the protagonists in his paintings seem to tell a larger story.
“Female characters always represent a bit of myself,” Conklin said. “I see from a woman’s point of view the heart of the story.”
In addition to these goddess-like subjects, Conking also produces paintings that feature delicate heart-shaped nests and frogs atop spotted mushrooms.
“The overall goal of my art is to tap into the human condition, and my process is very multifaceted,” Conklin said. “I will see or experience something that will resonate with me at the level of human interaction – something in the news, interaction with family or friends, seeing something while I am in public, et cetera – and that will trigger a painting for me.”
She has won a dozen awards, including two at last year’s Governor’s Art Show for her work “Evermore.”
“I’ll do several sketches to figure out what I want the story to read, and once I settle on that, I sketch it out on the canvas,” Conklin said. “The process is very intuitive and things will change with each step.”
James Biggers, a longtime attendee of the Estes Park-based Governor’s Art Show, is known for his oil paintings that showcase the beauty of nature.
“James Biggers’ work is coveted by many patrons and artists,” Scott said. “He manipulates his painting with layers of softness and texture. When you look at James’ work, you know he put his heart into it.
From golden roses to snowy scenes, Biggers captures environmental detail with grace and precision.
“He was on all 31 shows,” Scott said. “James is not only respected by his peers, but he has mentored and shared his passion for art with so many people. He is an artist’s artist.
The Governor’s Art Exhibit also offers people a chance to support worthy organizations.
One-third of net proceeds will go to the Thompson Education Foundation, an organization that provides support and assistance to students and families experiencing homelessness. Additional funds will go towards scholarships for local art students.
“We hope to sell $175,000 in art alone,” Scott said.
From Pollack-style abstracts to large-scale sculptures, the amount of original work for sale is quite substantial.
Buyers can meet some of the featured artists at meet and greet events each Saturday from 2-4 p.m., April 23-May 21, at the Loveland Museum and Gallery.
Following the conclusion of the Governor’s Art Exhibit, presenters will host the Plein Art Festival and Auction on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participating artists will paint outdoors across the city from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the auction will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Place de la Fonderie.
“The Governor’s Art Show allows me to see people attracted to my art,” Conklin said. “It’s so gratifying when people stop and talk about my pieces. And to see what people come out of my narrative paintings that maybe I didn’t even want, I’m often moved by their interpretations. It’s quite incredible.