Mia Mulvey and George Vago at Parker Art, Culture and Events Center (PACE)
You will find no garish color or swagger in the current exhibits at the new Parker Art, Culture and Entertainment Center (PACE). The cool is found instead, in the realm of subtle values of black and white found in the porcelain and stoneware of ceramic artist Mia Mulvey and in the gelatin silver prints of photographer George H. Vago. Their exhibits run through May 25th.
Kirsten Stoltz, the art curator at PACE, says the center “operates two exhibition spaces. Our Bellco Credit Union Art Gallery is a traditional 1,000 square foot gallery space and is complemented by the atrium gallery which circles around the outside of the Mainstage Theater”.
In the Belco Gallery is the work of Mia Mulvey, who asserts that her “ceramic sculptures are influenced by the intersection between art and science, its history, advancements, and tools. The scientific and museum context identifies a system based on order, fact and discovery. Museums of Science and Natural History evolved from the curiosity cabinets of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is within this system of scientific display, process and ideology that my work exists.”
In the life-size, cast porcelain work “Cervidae”, that includes two reclining deer and the trunks of trees, we experience a diorama where the inner workings of those life forms are revealed in concealed niches. In “Sylvae”, a wall-hung, assemblage, stoneware branches are geometrically arrayed as if sampled from a forest floor. There is a rhythm to them that seems familiar yet so curiously unnatural that it makes me want to revisit the forest to verify my recollections.
Mulvey gained important technical expertise at the Kohler Co. in their acclaimed, Arts and Industry Residency program. She brought that knowledge in mold making and firing technique back to Colorado to share with her students at The University of Denver, where she is currently an Assistant Professor.
In the “Atrium Gallery” we find the exquisite nature photographs of George H. Vago. Stoltz describes him as “a master of darkroom techniques, (who) has developed a deep appreciation for a traditional photographic practice from such artistic icons as Ansel Adams and Bret Weston. Over thirty years of photography expertise has lead to this survey exhibition of contemplative, beautiful and powerful landscape works.“
Vago says, “My personal approach to fine art photography is contemplative and observant. During my meditative process, I loose myself in the landscape. This allows me to discover and internally respond to its contents.”
These photographs are indeed contemplative. In images taken across the Western United States of eroded rock, flowing water, weather bent trees and wind-blown sands, we are coaxed into a meditative state somewhere between a walk in the woods and the eternal.
Exhibitions at PACE rotate up to 6 times per year and feature emerging and established artists. The center, designed by Semple Brown Design of Denver, opened in the fall of 2011 and is the winner of Westword’s Best New Building – Suburbs for 2012.
For more information about the PACE Center, visit http://www.PACEcenteronline.org/
NOTE: This article has been modified. We incorrectly called PACE the Parker, Art Culture and Entertainment Center but it is indeed the Parker Art, Culture and Events Center. We also want to credit Ron Pollard Photography for the gorgeous photo of the PACE building.