‘Forest Spirit’

An exhibit of Sibyl Teague’s freshest ideas opened March 10 at the gallery space in Tenderfoot Health Collective, 840 Oak St. in Salida. The show is titled Masks & Myths: Dimensional Printmaking. It is representative of Teague’s latest explorations, taking printmaking into several new dimensions.

As an instructor at Adams State University in Alamosa, Teague has had the opportunity to work in a well-equipped printshop, and her newest work is not restricted to the flat techniques she teaches her students with plates, stones and inks. She is developing a project inspired by nature and the mythology of Inuit culture and has found a way to explode and animate her prints. Experimenting with adhering her prints to puzzle-like wooden-backed shapes, she assembles pieces that cross into the territory of sculpture.

The intricacy with which she produces shapes and colors comes from a computer design and layout process. She has been producing one piece at a time, each bringing to life a story or idea from the Inuit culture of her husband, Mark. There are forest spirits, sea goddesses and shamans, among others. Some take the form of masks and some are almost dioramic.

The prodigious pieces in this show have a strong sense of identity as part of the universe the artist has created. Her alluring and colorful expressions marry the totem or oaxaca animal aesthetic to a modern sense of design. It’s as if you’ve entered a story book and the illustrations are beginning to peel off the page and come to life (and not simply because the work is shown at THC).

The opening was well-attended, and artwork began to sell right away. Teague will keep the walls stocked through the end of the month. She has attracted an appreciative following who have been intrigued by the originality and accessibility of her work since her days as painter. Teague has shown various works throughout the area since her graduate work at Adams State in 2013 and has won honors for printmaking in juried shows around the state. Her new work is set to raise eyebrows in the world of print technique, but it is the kind of material that really belongs in a home, sharing its past and personality each time you pass by or sit and contemplate.

Present at the opening were art patrons and heavyweight Salida artists that made for some excellent conversation at a well-executed event. Kat McQuillan of Tenderfoot Health Collective provides a warm and homey space that encourages discussion around the works displayed. Each month she creates a strong argument for Salida having some of Colorado’s most diverse and inventive artists outside of Denver. You can read more about Teague and her work at http://www.sibylartist.com.