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I vividly remember as a child, reading C.S Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I will forever recall the scene in which a young girl named Lucy curiously steps inside a wardrobe only to stumble into an unknown land. From the inside of the wardrobe, she gently caresses the surfaces of some old fur coats only to feel the fur give way to branches, a forest beyond. My work explores this moment. The moment of unexpected transitions in our every day lives. The places in which our habituated spaces: that of our homes, families, politics, spiritual and social selves are ever at the cusp of change. We are always in relationship with the world we have been given and the world we are making. 

My work depicts elements of the natural world alongside our own decorative arts: feathers, rocks and animals mingle with lace, sequins, and ornamental designs. Through combining and recontextualizing these motifs, I am probing the question “What is possible?” We frequently think of our own wardrobes as simply the clothes we possess: what is available to us. Yet Lucy found the enclosure of a wardrobe to be a place where something lay to be discovered, even created. What she expected to find gave way to a new way of being. My work is a visual exploration into the places where we might make something new of the things, sometimes hidden, that we already have.

I like the fall season. The fall season has always been poignant for me. The vivid colors of the leaves as they change, oxidize, and then die. The vivid reds against crisp blue skies. The color changes of the dying leaves is inspiring. It helps me paint. Color is a superpower. Or so I believe. This fall I felt a need and tremendous power-love to embrace vivid colors. So I did. It was great. I felt great again… I once covered my body in red paint and sang the American anthem while licking the fence on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Challenging but doable. Do it! As long as you have 500 for bail you’re good. While I was in motion licking with conviction I spotted David Sedaris, Winona Ryder, Reggie Watts, and Al Franken doing the same. About twenty yards away or so. They smiled and waved without interrupting their licking of the fence. I thought this was kind of strange, but I’ve seen Stranger Things. I once met a kangaroo without any political associations or intentions. Curious. You’d think she’d have a side to pick. But she has a pouch. Her young are fortunate for this.

November this last year was particularly full in many ways. Vivid colors. Bountiful. My heart remembers feeling like a punching bag and buoy at the same time bobbing around. Watery with rhythm of waves and determination. Sadness too. Something had to be done. So I painted. I shouted and painted. I cried and painted. I danced and painted. I called friends and painted. I made calls and painted. I signed petitions and painted. I took a poo and painted. I meditated and painted. I made love and painted…

My work is a reaction to the natural and the artificial that surround us – a complex interaction that layers human construction onto natural evolution. The persistent tension between forces that both conflict and complement each other is the interface at which I work. 

I am fascinated by movement and fragmented forms. I seek to incorporate the transience and ephemeral nature of day-to-day life into my work, using patterns and layers of color to transform a space. Without knowing the ultimate destination, it is always exciting to see how my exploration shapes the final piece. 

Printmaking is the medium that most effectively liberates my ideas. It is intense and compelling. It generates fascinating, yet unpredictable results. This tension encourages the constant exploration of new vehicles for my art, whether through mixed media, painting, or three-dimensional sculpture and installations. My goal is to push the technical and material limits of printmaking as far as I can.

My work is inextricably entwined with and influenced by the time I spend in nature and many years of painting and drawing from direct observation.  I often incorporate details and materials from my daily life and interactions with other people into my studio processes. The black and white Rhizome Mind Map drawings, for example, are infused with ideas from people I have interviewed. I asked them to describe or draw for me their own personal concept of a universal invisible energy-field infrastructure that might possibly exist in the physical world.  In my studio practice, I combine many direct and indirect processes. For the work in this show, I used spray painting, digital manipulation, hand cut stencils, sketchbook drawings, printmaking, silkscreen and a vocabulary of painterly language from art history. I spend a lot of time studying and waiting for the next cue. The variety of materials (copperplate and polymer plate etching, watercolor transfer, acrylic paint and inks, bees wax and glue, to name a few) and the combinations of application techniques are intended to represent the lush, diversified and intricate nature of human experience in a complex world.







Check out this great write-up about our exhibition Nature’s line in Westword!


Nature’s Line, the lyrical group show now at Space Gallery, is a worthy followup to the impressive Pattern, which was presented there earlier this summer. In Pattern, the theme was repeated imagery, as the title suggests. This time, the subject is the organic line, which is also conveyed in the title.

Both shows were organized by gallery director Michael Burnett, who brought together abstract artists — mostly painters — from inside and outside Colorado. And it’s important to point out that the artists in the current show aren’t abstracting flowers, plants or animals. Rather, they are using free-flowing lines and rounded shapes, which hint at natural things but do not ape them. Each artist has been given a separate section, so that each has a sort of mini-solo within the group.”


Read the whole write-up!




Check out this great write-up about our art work in Westword!

Space Gallery owner Michael Burnett believes that the impressive Pattern: Geometric / Organic, now on display at the gallery, is his best effort yet. I have to say, though, that I’ve been checking out exhibits at Space for years, and there have been many solid shows presented there. It’s true that Pattern is more ambitious than most; there’s even a handsome catalogue that accompanies it — and that’s something that almost never happens with a show at a commercial gallery like this one.”

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Check out this great write-up about our new exhibition in Westword!


“It used to be that the art world in Denver took a breather in August, to mark the close of one season and allow galleries to gear up for the next one, which started after Labor Day — but that’s clearly not the case anymore. This month has seen a raft of great shows that have opened just as the schedule was supposed to be winding down. This week, I caught up with a quartet of exhibits that are linked by a shared interest among the participating artists in conveying forms and colors with minimal narrative or conceptual content.”


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From Pre-fab to Fabulous


 Space Gallery Grand Opening


Check out this great write-up about our new Space in Westword!

Though Denver’s art world can trace its roots back to the late nineteenth century — the Denver Art Museum, for example, was founded in 1893 — it has only reached critical mass since the dawn of the 21st. The most obvious evidence of this was the construction of the DAM’s Hamilton Building and of MCA Denver’s new home in the mid-2000s; both were momentous events that raised the city’s art profile nationally and internationally.”

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Westword’s ‘Best of’ Award

…and Westword’s ‘Best of’ award for Best Gallery Group Show goes to ‘The Other Primary Colors – White Black Grey’ which was featured at Space Gallery 09.07.12 – 10.20.12. A special thanks to Marks Aardsma for her vision! If you missed the exhibit you can see images of the work by clicking on the photos link above and finding the folder marked with the show title.

Marks Aardsma’s next curatorial endeavor ‘Lines and Grids’ will open this fall on 08.16.13 and run through 09.28.13 at the Space Gallery. Mark your calendars because this will be another one not to miss.