The year in art, part 2

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Yesterday we talked about installations, today, sculpture, painting and trends. This is the Springs' art year in review, with my picks for some of the best shows of the year:

Best sculpture: Mikel Glass. Glass, a master of illusion, offered up what looked to be scraps of garbage in Mikel Glass: The Discarded, which opened last January at the Fine Arts Center. The groady pizza box and squashed cigarette package are actually painstakingly built sculptures, launching endless arguments of the waste we generate and the value of trash across the strata of society.

The most expensive pack of Marlboros ever
  • Mikel Glass
  • The most expensive pack of Marlboros ever

Well, he didn't have a real show this year, but for a guy who paints with barbeque sauce and marcara and then films it for millions on YouTube, that's new painting if I ever saw it, so kudos to Jason Baalman, my pick for the year's best in painiting. It may be a gimmick, but it's a good one.

Material from top: Cheetos, ketchup (with fries), lipstick
  • Jason Baalman
  • Material from top: Cheetos, ketchup (with fries), lipstick

And lastly, best trend: resin works. This heavy plastic material is difficult to work with but the results are always stunning, ultra-clear planes embedded with wisps of paint or found materials. Leading off was Regan Rosburg's with her April show at the Smokebrush Gallery, Breakaway. This solo exhibit of her resin art mixed painting with butterflies, grasses and ribbons for a decidedly dreamy, feminine effect.

Note the real cottonwood seeds
  • Regan Rosburg
  • Note the real cottonwood seeds

Monica Petty Aiello, whose show Monica Petty Aiello | Frozen Inferno, opened recently at the FAC as part of its NASA | Art: 50 Years of Exploration also utilizes resin in breathtaking ways. To create the cratered, splintered moonscape of Io she embeds paint, ink and yarn in layers of resin for detailed landscapes that give the appearance of distance and depth.

An artistic interpretation of Io, one of Jupiters moons
  • Monica Petty Aiello
  • An artistic interpretation of Io, one of Jupiter's moons

And no list would be complete without a nod to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's crowd-pleasing blockbuster, The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. You can't help but to harp on the excesses with Botero, his work is exquisitely colorful and round with a perfect dose of poignancy and sincerity. A show like this proves to be a celebration, not a mockery, of the lean times.

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