Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Five Easy Pieces opens Friday

Local artists team up for show at Ketchum Coffee Grinder

Express Staff Writer

?Direction? is a color photograph by Greg Stahl.

Five Easy Pieces, an art show by five local artists, will be unveiled Friday, Jan. 25, at an opening party at the Coffee Grinder in Ketchum from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition will feature five amateur artists from the Wood River Valley. Oil painter Mark Reitinger is teaming up with photographers John Plummer, Gordon Williams, Gina Pool and Greg Stahl. They are the "Five Easy Pieces" of the community who will share what they see through their respective creative visions.

Coffee Grinder owner Nicola Potts said the original idea was to have the five artists display five works each, but when the number of works was lowered to three, the title for the show remained.

"The artists are five easy pieces of the community," Potts said. "And as far as I'm concerned these five people are easily some of the five best artists in the world."

Each artist will display three works and has his or her own unique style. Plummer will show his tasteful, hand-colored, black-and-white landscape photographs.

Williams, an Idaho native, has traveled into the mountains since childhood. His landscape photographs of the Sawtooth and Pioneer mountains show the intimate relationship he has with central Idaho's rugged backcountry.

"I really love the Pioneers and Sawtooths," he said.

After finishing high school in Hailey, he studied landscape painting at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.

"Exploring new ways to see landscape adds to vocabulary and expands enjoyment of the natural world," he said.

Pool, who will show photos of some of the creatures that inhabit a slice of East Africa, said her photos are "inspired by a desire to convey a sense of wonder of the natural world."

Stahl enjoys photographing the natural landscapes of the West and said it affords him a different way of looking at things.

"Photography is a form of meditation," he said. "It tunes my senses to the subtle nuances of light and form and gives me yet another reason to get outside. And I'm fascinated by the stories pictures can tell. Each has meaning for me beyond a mere portrait of a moment."

Reitinger, the lone non-photographer in the show, said he's always loved to draw and paint and finds it a therapeutic outlet that gives balance to the fast-paced world of being a design consultant.

"It's fun to curl up in my own little world to paint scenes of what has been fun to experience, or a far-off place that has left an impression on my life," Reitinger said.

Reitinger's canvasses feature skiing in Europe and North America.

"When I paint I return to those fond memories and a world far away," he said. "All I need is a cappuccino and apple strudel and I'm in alpine bliss. I guess painting has always been the escape."

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