2015 Resident Artists

David Holub (Durango, CO) earned an MFA in Professional & Creative Writing and has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Hartford, Western Connecticut State and Fort Lewis College.  In addition to his own published works, David has served as editor, journalist and designer for newspapers in Florida, Texas, Connecticut and Colorado.  His work at Willowtail under a weeklong residency will focus on an essay he published in the January edition of Birdwatcher’s Digest, titled “Me vs. Birdwatching,” The piece is an introspective narrative about David’s life growing up immersed in birding under his father’s influence.  The original work will be pared down, re-imagined and dramatized for the purposes of performing live to a community audience.

It is this aspect, the performance intrigues me most about this project and the part that I see Willowtail playing a pivotal role in.  However busy my schedule has been at the newspaper and elsewhere, I’ve always found time to write. But I want to do more, to expand my creative abilities and tools and I see a dedicated week, free from distractions, deadlines and day-to-day duties and errands, as the perfect opportunity to begin working on a new and dynamic aspect to my life as an artist. 

Stay tuned for details on David’s performance!

Rebecca Koeppen (Ignacio, CO) is an award-winning pastel painter whose ability to capture the nuances of light in a landscape truly push the boundaries of her chosen medium.  Rebecca first pursued her art on the East Coast, studying at the Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY), Pan American Art School (New York, NY) and finally the New England Institute of Art (Boston, MA).  She has traveled the country extensively before settling into the small rural community of Ignacio, Colorado in 1999. Koeppen’s medium of choice is pastels on archival supports and she is particularly inspired to paint moving water. Documenting through art, the fragile and endangered water-ways of the American Southwest is a challenge Koeppen accepts often.  

She is a member of the Pastel Society of Colorado and a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of New Mexico. Her work is represented by Taylor-Raymond Gallery in Durango, CO, by The Squash Blossom Gallery in Colorado Springs, CO and by Cogswell Gallery in Vail, CO.

For me, paintings of land and waterscapes can only come from two times a day: early morning and the “golden hour,” of the two hours directly before or after sunset.  Several of the locations around the Four Corners that I’d like to document are too far away from my Ignacio home to successfully access in the early morning or late evening.  Mesa Verde and the Dolores River are of particular interest to me… and a residency at Willowtail Springs will help bring to life what I envision a new series of paintings, titled “Montezuma County, Colorado.”

Visit Rebecca’s website: http://www.rebeccasartwork.net/

Images at left: (top) Autumn Snow on Dallas Divide II; (bottom) River Waves; Chalk Creek I, Rebecca Koeppen.

Roxie Mitchell (Durango, CO) holds a BA in Studio Art and a MA in Education, which she has applied in eight years of direct teaching experience with Durango School District 9R.  Roxie will embark on a yearlong sabbatical from her teaching position at Durango High School to further her work in experimental photography.  Her residency at Willowtail, September 30-October 5, will expand on her interest to combine graphic elements with still images of the natural environment.  Another facet of Roxie’s photography explores the possibilities of combining photos with other materials in the finished display of the work, such as mounting on a wood board and coating with acrylic.

The work I propose to create while in residence at Willowtail Springs will continue with combining nature and graphic elements in new ways.  I am specifically interested in the residency at Willowtail Springs for the quiet, focused time to listen to the natural environment that is necessary to produce such experiments.

Image at left: Hodgins Lymphoma Journey, Roxie Mitchell

Mariposa Velez Sentner (Durango, CO) considers herself an “emerging” artist of the community who has exhibited at Studio &, Feats of Clay (Aztec, NM) and the Church of Art Gallery (Hotchkiss, CO) among other venues across the state.  Her work in collage has evolved over the past twenty years, initially as a hobby, but more recently as a genuine body of work that she will be expanding upon in a residency during October 13-20 at Willowtail Springs.  

I would like to create one hundred collaged hearts, each different in appearance but carrying the same shape, and display them together as a collective piece. A residency would accommodate the peace and quiet needed for this dream of mine to manifest sooner rather than later.  This journey of the heart, full of imperfect rips and tears, intentional cuts, and surprise clippings, all incorporating feelings of longing to be whole, and finally coming together, as the symbol of love. Individually each heart represents itself, its own version of love. Each heart is different from each other, each heart is on its own journey. When the hearts are together, the power of the display exudes Love. 

Image at left: Day of the Dead, Mariposa Velez Sentner

Crystal Hartman (Durango, CO) is a renowned multi-media artist, writer and jeweler whose work is represented and held in collections worldwide. You can catch her jewelry locally at Studio &. Inspired by storytelling, culture, and the natural world, her work -large and small- opens conversations within and between disparate perspectives.  In her paintings, relatable imagery and emotions created by line and color are used to tell and rewrite the stories of contemporary events.  These paintings are used as sketchbooks for the sculptural jewelry designs.  Her writing can be found at The Brooklyn Art Library (Brooklyn, New York) her visual poetry, in Cutbank Literary Journal, Interrupture Literary Journal and through Plumbery Press. Crystal utilized her weeklong residency in late March towards completion of an important body of work for a solo show at Studio Colfax in Denver that opened on April 11.  Crystal’s focus was on bee pollination and its relationship to human life during the time when hives are just opening their season.

In my current body of work themes of awareness, oneness, simplicity and abundance, sexuality and mass extinction are rising to the surface. I propose to bring an open heart and mind to Willowtail Springs along with pencils, ink, brushes, wax and paper to illustrate these themes while digging in and studying pollination (and pollinators) with hopes of creating an intriguing story of this time and our place in it.

Images at left: A sampling of Crystal’s work completed during her March residency.