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For the week of May 1 - 7, 2002

  Arts & Entertainment

New artist to valley pursues interplay of light and form

Express Arts Editor

Sculptor and painter Amerinda, a new resident of the Wood River Valley, has spent several years of her life living on the slopes of two volcanoes: Mount Shasta in California and Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

It is not an inconsequential fact, as it has inspired two bodies of her multimedia art: "Between Two Volcanoes" and "Birth Series."

Amerinda, who combines paintings on watercolor paper with fibers and kiln-fired glass, said in an interview last week, "I have been very influenced in my life by nature, and I particularly love textiles."

What Amerinda refers to as her paintings are really three-dimensional pieces that incorporate elements of painting and sculpture. She will create a painting on watercolor paper using a range of paint types: watercolor, acrylic or encaustic. She will then take two sheets of glass and put natural fibers—cotton, silk and hemp—between them. The glass is put in a kiln at 1,500 degrees F, at which point the fibers burn, or as Amerinda termed it, "erupt." Often, she will open the kiln to see if she is getting the effect she is after. She will manipulate the glass in the kiln with a rod. It is like "painting with hot glass."

Much of the effect she seeks is a result of chemical reactions that take place with the fibers and the chemicals in the colored glass. At other times, she will use gold and silver leaf to create other effects of color and texture.

The glass piece is then mounted about 2 inches above the painting. "You get the illusion of time and space moving in the painting. As you walk across the room, the painting changes in color and in the way the shadows work with it," Amerinda said.

It is a theme she finds herself drawn to: "how not only we change during the day, with the passage of time—a week, year, lifetime—but so do man-made objects. As light moves across any of my work, it has a mood or feeling that changes. It is something I am very interested in."

Although she was trained formally at the California College of Arts and Crafts, the Corning Glass Studio and Kent State University, Amerinda learned many current techniques purely through experimentation. During the late ’90s, she lived on the island of Maui, where she didn’t have a lot of contacts. "Being isolated there was really a gift. I did a lot of experimenting. I just did whatever came to mind. I didn’t know you couldn’t do certain things."

Much of her work originates from her "inner process," she said. Out of that comes "the vision and you follow the vision. I might have an idea I will pursue, but I always make room for surprises. Part of being a creative person, I think, is letting the creativity come forth."

Amerinda is looking forward to working in Ketchum after spending several years working and showing her work in Southern California. Asked why she is moving her home and studio to Ketchum, she said "It is important to me to be living in clean air again and clean water and I love the mountains. It is equally important to be around creative people. Ketchum has some really good galleries and some wonderful artists."

Amerinda will be showing her work in the Ketchum Art Festival this summer.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.