Artist Ed Bolster to open show at Durango Arts Center
by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill
January 6, 2017

“Energy and motion are the bottom line,” says Durango artist Ed Bolster.

His new show, “Extended Gestures,” which will open tonight (Jan. 6) in the Durango Arts Center library, offered him the chance to go back to basics with his work. On Wednesday afternoon, the library space was abuzz with activity as Bolster and his helpers were hanging the exhibit.


A collection of dynamic, structural and emotive drawings of the human form.

January 6-February 25

Opening Reception: Friday, January 6, 5-7pm

For the past two years I have been conducting weekly figure drawing sessions at the Durango Arts Center.  The drawings in this exhibit were created during those sessions. 

Gesture drawing is a merging of motion and form into visual poetry.  The human figure is the perfect subject; dynamic, structural, emotive.  Spontaneous and intuitive, gesture drawing is particularly well suited to the bold markings of brushwork and pen and ink.  The challenge is to make, in clean strokes, an expression of energy, movement and form.

I use either Japanese Sumi brushes or these crazy big and loose ball-point pens that I improvise from roll-on sticks for deodorant or for inking stamp pads.  My approach is direct, looking to make marks that are simple yet true to the subject.  There is no erasing, either your stroke is correct or it’s not.  I go through a lot of paper…

I would like to dedicate this show to one of my many great mentors, the late Don Bunse, while I was at the University of Montana.  A zen master mixed with bohemian artist, he just loved to draw.  I channel him every time I teach drawing.


Ed Bolster

Born and raised in Southern California, he grew up swimming and scuba diving in the ocean.  Identified at an early age as a likely sculptor by modeling the cube of  margarine during family dinner, he also received some criticism at that point.  As a young teen he wandered into an evening ceramics class.  Having some affinity for throwing pots, he soon began selling at local flea markets and head shops.  Once out of high school, he continued as a potter, throwing pots for piecework, making his own work, as well as attending to a formal art education at Pasadena City College, the University of Montana, and Cal State Univ. Los Angeles.

He has had a varied lifelong career as an artist and craftsman.  He has commercial ceramic manufacturing experience as well as work in museum collections.  He has slung a trowel as a mason for Rock & Roll stars in Malibu and worked as a hard-rock gold miner in California’s Northern Mother Lode.  He’s built homes from the ground up and taught art on the college level.  He has shown in numerous shows and galleries as well as conducting demonstrations, workshops, and performances.

Ed moved to Durango over two decades ago, where he and his wife, Debra Greenblatt raised their two daughters, Ruby and Delia.  Both Ed and Debra have been involved with many community art and service organizations, including Durango Arts Center, Dumpster Beautification Project, Rotary International and Rotary Youth Exchange, Adaptive Sports Association, KDUR and others.