My vote for local artist of the year

Posted by Edie Adelstein on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Liese Chavez, a Manitou Springs artist, has my nomination for Best Artist of 2010.

There, I said it.

And yes, I know it's a little early to declare anything, but I — like most of the edit staff — have Best of 2010 on the brain.

This was a tough personal choice among all the immensely talented artists in the city and the region, but Chavez's unique and finely executed art stands out in my mind again and again.

I met Chavez back in April, when she first displayed at Swirl Wine Emporium. I interviewed her, along with Chris Sedgwick, in June and since then I've been keeping up with Chavez and her work via e-mail.

In the short amount of time between then and now, her art has continuously matured. Not only has her technique improved (best seen in her excellent handling of expressions), but the work is more risky and ambitious. While Chavez keeps a tight theme within her oeuvre, her paintings and drawings never become stale or repetitious. And here's the proof, from her newest collection, sent over just yesterday:

  • Liese Chavez
  • "Melody"

  • Liese Chavez
  • "Silence"

These are two of the paintings that will go into Chavez's next show at Swirl, scheduled for the fall. But other work can be seen at her home gallery, Mountain Living Studio.

If you find my opinion to be completely off-base, by all means, show me whose work is better.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

I completely agree. When I first saw Liese's "Flown", it brought me to tears. I walked around the corner inside Mountain Living Studio and saw a young lady crying next to an empty birdcage. Maybe it was the loss of a favorite pet, or it might have been the heartache of a lost love, or perhaps a mother's empty heart matching an empty nest. For me, all these feelings were captured within Liese's drawing. I had to have it. I felt a little guilty taking the drawing from public display. Thankfully, she has prints which will allow others to experience their own emotions when they meet the sorrowful young lady.

Since that time I have come to admire all Liese's work; all of it displaying her wonderful imagination and story-telling ability. I always look forward to where she will take us next.

Ellis Borders
Manitou Springs

Posted by Ellis Borders on 09/07/2010 at 9:53 PM

My husband and I live in Kansas, and we have three of Liese's originals as well as four prints. I've never been an art connoisseur, having enjoyed paintings like I enjoy my music - I keep the radio on and like a lot of what I hear, but not enough to remember names of musicians, and I don't buy CDs. Artwork, to me, has been something you put up to match the curtains and break up the wall space. But when I saw Liese's work, it really stole my heart. My husband and I spent hours just looking at it before making our selections. The longer I looked at it, the more I was drawn in. It was like being an active participant in a fairy tale! I loved each piece, and my dissapointment at not taking all of them home (all reason had left me) was only eclipsed by my delight at being able to have some of them. You really need to see these paintings in person and give yourself some time to really enjoy them to understand. Liese's work really owns that gallery. When you see her work, it will be as if all other art disappeared from the walls, as well as the rest of the world, and your reason will leave you in the most pleasant of ways.

Mary Reitz

Posted by Mary Reitz on 09/08/2010 at 5:09 AM

Heartily concur. I've already told her I'm waiting for her to do something I don't like.

Posted by Limajo on 09/08/2010 at 9:30 AM

Liesa Chavez is not only a talented painter but also makes incredible jewelry too! She is always striving to improve her craft & humble about it to boot! I still think her liquid nude series are my favorites- even though I do own a few of her dead pans too...

Posted by Katherine the Great on 09/12/2010 at 7:47 PM
Showing 1-4 of 4

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