Teaching and creating

Posted 5/9/10

Multifaceted artist and teacher Marlea Taylor of Englewood speaks of “catching a fleeting moment in time… the kind of moment that makes you ask: …

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Teaching and creating


Multifaceted artist and teacher Marlea Taylor of Englewood speaks of “catching a fleeting moment in time… the kind of moment that makes you ask: ‘What am I really seeing?’ To take a quick expression, a split second, and turn it into a print or mosaic… art forms that are NOT quick and spontaneous… is a real challenge.”

Taylor has been creating art in both forms and occasionally exhibiting a few works in group shows for 20 to 30 years. But when one is teaching, it consumes all of one’s time and energy — the kind of energy needed to mount a show.

In June, 2009, she retired from 24 years of teaching at several Catholic schools in the area, and at Loretto Heights and Arapahoe Community College before that. At present, she is teaching mosaic art at Goodson Recreation Center for South Suburban, but there is breathing time available.

“This is kind of a coming out party,” she says, crediting her husband Bob with the idea of a retrospective show.

“Marlea Taylor 20 Year Retrospective” is on display at Highlands Ranch Library, 9292 Ridgeline Blvd., through May 30. Aside from a poster and colorful print by the first floor Children’s Room door, the exhibit of about 70 pieces is on the second level, circling the non-fiction and reference titles, on the walls and on top of book cases for a series of three-dimensional works.

Inspirations have varied, from her children to her students, to the loss of a friend, to family connections and often the current news, which leads to a number of cheerily-colored political observations. (Take time to read her titles and statements.) “For My Birthday I Want” (1983 silk screen print), a memory of 5 year old son Peter surrounded by toys of his dreams. “Marching Band” (2010 mosaic) recalls daughter Theresa, who played in bands in high school (Englewood High) and college, with a quote from her about anticipating her solo bit.

A series of silk screen cutouts, mounted on board cut to match by her skillful spouse, bear titles such a “Drive By Shooting,” What are the Neighbors Up To?” “Burning Church,” “4 Riders of the Apocalypse,” “Brementown Musicians.” The latter — a copy is owned by the City of Denver — is described as “a love story of washed-up musicians and hope.” Many of these silk screen on board works are on top of a bookcase at the rear of the room.

A trip to Nebraska resulted in a series of “Carhenge” relief prints and a stop in Lucas, Kansas (a bit north of I-70) gave images of “Garden of Eden,” sculptures fashioned from rebar and concrete and presented by Taylor in a series of vivid relief prints in black, white, red and yellow.

A charming “The Neighborhood,” was inspired by a first-grader’s drawing, while the more somber mosaic, “Marine Lane Corporal Nathan Rhebergen in Southern Afghanistan” depicts a young marine, with camels in the background. It was triggered by a newspaper photo that haunted her. Under it is a quote from Colin Powell: “The question the president has to answer is ‘What will more troops do?’”

In a more humorous vein are a mosaic, “Dan and Friend,“ a reference to the close relationship between a man and his truck and three prints about Taylor’s love for coffee and the objects it is served in, as well as “Dancing Armadillos.”

This exhibit can be viewed at any time during library hours. An artists reception is planned 3 to 5 p.m. May 22. Many works are available for sale at MarleaDen@aol.com.


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