The Modbo presents May’s First Friday: Piece of Work, a group sculptural show featuring: Larry Kledzik, Sean O’Meallie, Wendy Mike, Daniel Romano, and Phil Vallejo. The opening reception is from 5:00 pm until midnight on Friday, May 3rd. The show runs through Friday, May 31st. In addition to the opening reception, the gallery is open on Friday evenings from 4-7 pm or by appointment. The Modbo is located in the Arts Alley in downtown Colorado Springs at 17C E. Bijou. Find the stretch of Bijou that is between Cascade and Tejon, and go south down the alley. Street parking is available, but The Modbo recommends the lot on Cascade just north of Bijou, which is only $1 after 3 pm. The Modbo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, themodbo.com, or 633-4240.
Larry Kledzik studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. He started painting in 1963 in a surrealistic vein which has never entirely abandoned its influence, even when he moved to Colorado in 1973 to paint landscapes. It just went underground. In the 1990s, he started making installation art. This format enabled an integration of the aesthetic and philosophical material he had been digesting over this span of time, resulting in a unified body of work continuing into the present and reflected in these current pieces.
Sean O’Meallie has a background in higher education and toy invention, but is known for creating eye-catching thought provoking painted wood sculptures. His sculptures are held in numerous public, private and museum collections, and have been toured in the U.S. and Europe. His work is included in Launching the Imagination, a university teaching text on art and design. Cowboy Pajamas, a 20’ painted bronze sculpture of an abstracted cowboy with his guns drawn is located in downtown Denver, and he is the creator of The Manitou Chair Project. Additional public commissions include Balloon Man Running, a 32’ tall permanent sculpture of a running balloon figure for the RTD Central Park Station in Denver, CO., which was named Best New Public Artwork of 2017 by Denver’s Westword newspaper. O’Meallie’s work has won numerous awards and recognitions.
Wendy Mike is a Colorado Springs artist who lived and trained in San Francisco and New York City. She founded FutureSelf: Youth Discovering Success Through Art, a not-for-profit providing youth at-risk with life changing workshops and programs, and was the executive director for eight years. Although she continues to facilitate arts-based organizational trainings, most of her time is spent in her downtown studio creating figurative sculpture for installations and exhibits. Her recent installation, Ragnarök Anthropocene, with co-artist De Lane Bredvik at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center at Colorado College, won the Pikes Peak Arts Council’s Best Gallery Exhibit in 2017.
Daniel Romano is an artist working with formed metal and painting. He began developing metalworking techniques in 2000, working on realistic forms.
Phil Vallejo, a Colorado Springs native born 1959, is a painter, sculptor and mural artist who was an early participant in the Pueblo Levee Mural Project. A student of Floyd Tunson, Bill Burgess and Nick Latka, he graduated from Palmer High & studied Fine Arts for two years at CSU Pueblo, where his outdoor sculpture “3 Fold Education” is on permanent exhibit. Phil’s emotionally charged abstract paintings & sculptures have been exhibited at the Pirate & Core galleries in Denver as well as the Modbo, Cottonwood, Bridge & Kreuser galleries in Colorado Springs. He has numerous works in private collections throughout the United States & Mexico.
“Attrition” is part of a series of individual works under the heading “FAULT” which is a sub series of my larger installational series “Diet.” These are individual pieces which can be interspaced between the installations as they occur and focus on some core aspect of the larger picture being addressed in the installations. This format first appeared in the mid 1990s in my installation “RATS” and were designated “Wall Monstrosities” after their initial title. There were only a few pieces I considered to be true “Wall Monstrosities” but the formal aspect of a sculptural back board with protruding elements has continued as a motif into the present. My second piece, “Number Two,” takes the form of a “sculpture in the round.” Most of my standing sculptures are placed against a wall, but a number of them take this form also. “Number Two” is what I refer to as a “Closed Conceptual Circle,” a new term I have coined specifically for this piece. “Attrition” and “Number Two” share a subtle affinity that I am still in the process of assessing in relation to the rest of my work.
The similarities between sausages and smiles blows his mind, he said. This work is about the semiotics of spatial occupation and recognition of opportunity, one knows. He seems to be obsessed with sausages and smiles. One knows his work is usually painted wood; that it takes time to do; blah, blah, blah… trees, and all that. Why he would affix things to the ceiling is puzzling, but it is fresh. One thinks the word “decor” may be referencing the decorating of things, like cupcakes, and now ceilings. One knows a lot of places of worship have decorated ceilings. He’s said he sees dichotomy in everything, but how that relates to this work is not clear to this writer. His work is so touchable. It makes one smile a couple of ways. Impish.
Wendy’s participation in various art forms, (dance, singing and acting as well as visual art) inspires a fascination with the whole human form: the shapes of muscles, bones, the quality of skin, the body in motion and as the container of the soul. Traditional sculptural materials, such as bronze or stone, seem too heavy. Lately she has been sculpting with recycled fabric and hand-made paper, creating forms that are as weightless as possible, yet still capture the essence of the human vessel. What if art had the capacity to bypass the intellect and go straight to the heart? Would new ways of thinking and feeling emerge? Could transformation be possible? This potential urges her on.
Presently his work is abstract figurative forms, he feels compelled to speak about the media and social issues with symbolism, and written narrative
This small body of work represents Phil’s angst about the current administration and how they’re destroying democracy & dividing the nation. He hopes for change in 2020.