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Huerfano artists make good… art

by Stephen Savageau
COLORADO SPRINGS — Local artists, Tom Vail and Reba Lee Savageau, opened their new art show last Friday, April 5th, at the Modbo Gallery in Colorado Springs. The display, titled Collage!, will continue through this month.
A gregarious, fun-loving crowd of over 300 attendees, many from Walsenburg and La Veta, did what gallery show goers do; met up with friends, engaged in wine encouraged happy conversation with other guests they just met, snacked on all manner of finger food, listened to engaging country fiddle music, provided by Gardner artists George Parrish and Friends, and made the scene. Many enjoyed looking at striking, singular collage art. All in all, a good time – a great time – was to be had and the gallery visitors got what they came for.
True to the title, Collage! offers works in that media from two distinct art voices.
Tom Vail’s art shows genuine, able vision and a mixture of shadowy wit with flinty dry comedy. Tom explains,” I could go into the formal aspects of my art, but really the most important part is unexplainable. A dark humor about the human condition seems to be a reoccurring motif.” He reviews the path to this show, “My muse and I have been battling for a long time. The fact that it has taken forty years to complete a body of work that I am willing to show to the public shows the strength of this battle.”
Reba Lee Savageau’s art voice tells something different. It is “the inner voice of a picture which captures our attention. Managing this particular tension is the artistic process. I want to tell a story and hope to convey it effectively in order to delight you.” Musing about her art, she recommends, “The vanguard position isn’t open. The prescribed formula for “climbing to the top” is wearisome and not guaranteed. So …. I rise to the task through honest living and make the best of a lovely situation.”
Thank you, Walsenburg! Thank you for calling to say that the invitations just came in the mail. Thank you for stopping me in the grocery store to comment how you liked the design and picture on the card. Thank you for friendly words when you caught me, lunching at the Plaza. Thank you for smiling and showing a child-like giggle when I gave you a hand delivered invitation. Thank you for the emails and the facebook posts. Thank you, Post Office folks, for hand canceling the envelopes – these letters came from Walsenburg; darn right.
Thank you for the photographs; these will become the source of happy memories. Thank you for all the encouragement. And thank you for coming to the show. It took a long, long drive and a careful look-ta-find. The event felt like the art equivalent of all home night at college or a close family gathering. Folks always ask the famous “How’d ya’ do?” question. The show was one of the great ones because we have good friends here in Huerfano.

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