Sculpture Artist Highlights Health and Wellness

Installation and sculpture artist Laura Phelps Rogers recently completed a piece titled Walk to Improve Your Outlook on the stairwell at Lamar Station Crossing apartments. The interactive piece contains a motion censor component so large neon words light up as the viewer (or stairwell walker) gets close to the installation itself. We speak to Laura about this piece and her work in general.

Tell us the premise behind the piece.

I was really interested in creating an environment. I went over to the space and spent some time contemplating how I could create a dynamic backdrop for residents. A good portion of my work is installation work, small and large scale, and I always try to run from a site-specific perspective.

What does site-specific mean to you?

It means that you go to a space and consider it as a whole, how are people using it, the location of it, the background of it, the history of it. When you think about the history of the space, what was the dominant industry? How did people fashion themselves here?

Even the color scheme for the piece was site-specific. The housing department already had a color scheme and they’d put a lot of work into developing the palette. When I interviewed them, it seemed to me that it was important to them. I enjoy doing primary colors anyway but I wanted to develop a piece that coordinated with the organization itself.

The words Walk to Improve Your Outlook work together but also have a bold meaning when they stand alone. How did the specific word choice come together?

The phrase ‘walk to improve your health’ was already there, and pretty common but it felt to me like it had been drilled into people already. The word outlook is similar but also embraces the journey toward upward mobility that Lamar Station Crossing provides. This is an apartment complex that allows people to lead a life that feels free.

What other themes encapsulate this work for you? 

A Model Showing the Installation and Stairwell.

Artist Model Showing the Installation and Stairwell.

I think it’s about changing people’s lives through art. Art has the power to do that. That someone would want to hang out in a stairwell, that’s a pretty big accomplishment for me.

You can see Laura’s work Walk to Improve Your Outlook at Lamar Station Crossing apartments, located at 6150 W 13th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80214.

http://www.mwhsolutions.org/lamar-station-crossing.html

See Laura’s full biography, artist statement, and work at, http://www.lauraphelpsrogers.com, or connect with her via Facebook using her full name, Laura Phelps Rogers.

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40 West Artist Spotlight: Caley Bovee

Caley Bovee is a photographer in Lakewood, CO and a member of 40 West Arts District. I had an opportunity to chat with her recently about her craft.

How did you become interested in photography?

It really started in about 2001. I’d always been artistically inclined, doing different things most of my life – embroidery, just stuff like that, basket weaving, I just couldn’t help it. I was looking at the computer a lot then because it was sort of a new medium. Looking at the computer you could see all these pictures. I was always interested in photography. So for Christmas my husband cleverly got me a Kodak camera, a digital camera. And it was one of the first ones they made. And I just became completely obsessed with photography. Because you know, you could do it on the computer and you didn’t have to pay for the prints or anything like that. It was technology that helped bring me into photography, because it was free.

When did you really begin to see yourself as a ‘photographer’?

Digital Photography, Caley Bovee

Digital Photography, Caley Bovee

I had my camera with me all the time. It was obnoxious. I thank my family for their patience with me, because I was always taking pictures. Then I thought to myself, I wonder if I can enter a contest. I struggled and struggled and struggled and struggled and struggled. I entered photo contests for 7 to 9 months. I finally won a photo of the week contest. It was one of my favorite photos that I’d ever taken. It’s a picture of my friend, who was a very close friend. I worked with him in a restaurant. He was black, and he was huge, and he was the sweetest sweetest person. He lost his dog and he got a new one. It was a tiny little fuzzy white puppy. I asked him to take his shirt off and he did, he actually did. So it was this little teeny tiny dog with this big man, big hands.

What inspires you as a photographer?

I like to take pictures of flowers. I like organic life, earthy things. I like old things that are in a state of decay. My philosophy is that, no matter where you go, if you have your camera with you, you can find something to take a picture of. One of the most interesting things you can take pictures of are people. They are fascinating, different. Pictures are a form of communication.

Digital Photography, Caley Bovee

Digital Photography, Caley Bovee

How did you become involved with 40 West Arts District?

I was there for the first show, the grand opening. I was very excited; I invited my whole family to the opening of 40 West. I had pieces at the opening, and they put a red dot on pieces when they sell. One of the most exciting things for me ever, my family saw me as they put a dot next to my photo, my piece was the first piece to sell. It was the first work to sell when 40 West Arts District opened. It was just so exciting. I was so flattered.

What would you tell artists entering this field?

In many ways art is so subjective. If somebody doesn’t like your work, or your picture, then it’s okay. You don’t need to be offended or have your feelings hurt. The main thing is that you like it. Right. You need to like what you do and think that it’s good.

 

See more of Caley’s work at:http://caley.smugmug.com/

40W Artist Documentary Series: Greg Wasil

My sincerest thanks to my co-conspirator Melanie Stover, artist and sculptor Greg Wasil, and artist and video artist Robert Evans for their dedication, commitment, and energy to this project.

Robert Tammany Evans grew up in Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho, making art at an early age. He recently graduated from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design with an emphasis in video. Robert uses modern digital technology as well as a combination of traditional artistic practices including drawing, photography, and music. See more of his work: roberttammanyevans.tumblr.com or contact him here: rte1023@gmail.com

Greg Wasil learned early to love the world of metal and machines. His father was a welder and passed to Greg the pleasures of making, shaping, getting dirty, and working with his hands. Greg transforms metal and other materials to craft large and small sculptures. You can read his full artist statement and look at more of his work here: www.justsomethingdifferent.com