Sarah LaBarre | Artworks Center for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
This exhibition questions our desires to completely subdue the innate animal within. It examines our relationship with wild things and wild places. Are we at a point of just observing nature? Or can and should we partake? We admire the natural world, but it seems all we do is separate ourselves from it. This is one of the great paradoxes of the modern. Fundamental instincts and inherent knowledge propel survival. Are we nature or are we not?
During the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were faced with a myriad of difficult hurdles and experiences, food insecurity being one. As the country faced shortages, many individual Americans took an interest in what nowadays is considered a contentious tradition – the hunt. Most states saw a large uptick over the pandemic. Colorado alone saw an increase of about 75,000 hunting licenses sold between 2019 and 2021 for a total of 685,000 this year. Is this just a coincidence caused by an increase in outdoor activities linked with shutdowns? Or is society looking to our past for connection, methods of survival, and the safety of self-sufficiency to make it to the future? Last year, Colorado also voted to introduce wolves into the state. Trophic cascade is one of the reasons among many. Both of these topics are controversial, and both are considered “rewilding”. One has to do with rewilding humans, another the landscape. Both will be after the same resource.
Multi-day bow hunting trips into wilderness areas drive the development of works that directly confront the dichotomy of the hunt and its place within contemporary art. The hide and teeth of animals harvested are used in paintings. Found bones and skulls cast in bronze. Migrations and movements are recorded through sketches, diagrams, and photography letting the animal’s influence design. They eventually evolve into digital images that conduct final decisions which then get turned back into physical works of art. Close encounters, dreams, and experiences of solitude all have influence.
Northern Colorado-based artist, Chuck Brenton, received a BFA(2012) in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture from Colorado State University. He worked at a local foundry for 5 years(2014-2019) learning advanced techniques in the lost-wax casting process helping other artists complete their work. He currently works full-time out of his studio in Loveland. The knowledge he gained from his time at the foundry can be seen in his work as his forms are both unusual for the medium and meticulous in design. Some are finished in a way not many artists working in bronze pursue through modern painting methods in lieu of patination. He lives in Bellvue, located just west of Ft. Collins. His inspiration comes not only from living an active and engaged lifestyle in the mountains that surround him but looking back to his early childhood. Growing up in a rural part of Iowa, he explored the woodlands and remnants of prairie on the family farm where he inherited an early conservation ethic that persists today.
The exhibition runs: November 12, 2021 – January 7, 2022
Opening Reception: November 13, 5-8 pm
Artist Talk: December 9, 6 pm
Artworks Center for Contemporary Art, 310 North Railroad Avenue, Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 663-5555 | email@example.com
Artworks Center for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is a Colorado non-profit corporation and IRS 501 (c) (3) organization funded partially by donor contributions and based in Loveland, Colorado. It opened its doors in 2012 under the guidance and support of the Erion Foundation. ACCA is located in the developing Railroad corridor of downtown Loveland Colorado, at 3rd Street and Railroad Avenue. ACCA’s two galleries and thirty studios are quickly becoming a hub for contemporary visual arts in northern Colorado. For additional information please visit www.artworksloveland.org.