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Paint, bye numbers

At 90 and 87, respectively, local artistic legends Eric and Mary Ann Bransby keep on showing

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Seated Figure is an Eric Bransby classic on display in - Westcliffe.
  • Seated Figure is an Eric Bransby classic on display in Westcliffe.

If a Lifetime Achievement Award is supposed to serve as a coronation, a finishing touch on one's career, someone forgot to tell Eric Bransby. Less than one week after getting that award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council, the 90-year-old Bransby has opened a new show with his wife, Mary Ann, and artist Gerald Merfeld in Westcliffe.

Held at Merfeld's Brookwood Gallery, the untitled show will feature new and old work from both Bransbys, as well as new work from the host who's quicker to talk about the Bransbys' proficiency than his own.

"Mary Ann can hold her own with anyone in the world of watercolor," says Merfeld, a plein air painter. "Eric is legendary in the world of fresco painting."

Both Eric and Mary Ann were students of master muralists Thomas Hart Benton, Boardman Robinson and Jean Charlot. Eric has remained fascinated with the human figure throughout his career, and this show will primarily include monochromatic figure work. Mary Ann, whose artistic interest has encompassed landscape painting, metals work, jewelry design, choreography and even architecture, will be displaying recent watercolors.

As the PPAC award would suggest, the Bransbys have long been leading figures in the Colorado Springs visual art scene. In 2002, the couple enjoyed a dual retrospective show at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where Eric's work on Robinson's murals can be seen over the entryway.

"The pieces in the Fine Arts Center are repaintings of Boardman Robinson's murals," Eric explained. "I re-did the mural's front facade. Everything was gone when I went up there. The general draftsmanship, the light and dark handlingwas his, but I added color and some composition. He was a master we had great affection for ... I signed both of our names on it."

Other Bransby works can be seen at the Colorado Springs Airport, the Pioneers Museum and in Cossitt Hall at Colorado College.


Artwork of Bransby, Merfeld and Bransby

Brookwood Gallery, 211 Main St., Westcliffe

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; show hangs until Oct. 9.

For more, call the gallery at 719/783-2166.

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