Art Gallery Exhibitions: December 2023

December 1-31, 2023

Arapahoe Libraries is proud to host art exhibits each month at Eloise May, Koelbel and Smoky Hill libraries. Library galleries offer the community a place to view a variety of art at no cost while also providing visibility to local artists. A volunteer art selection committee selects exhibits based on artistic quality, variety of exhibits and the suitability of format for each exhibit space. 

Have a question about the galleries or interested in showcasing your art? Visit the Art Galleries page for more information.

Darla Okada

Koelbel Library

Darla Okada is an illustrator and comic artist currently working in Wheat Ridge. Her work focuses on the small moments of everyday life and typically features cute animals and friendly faces. She works with traditional and digital mediums, opting for gouache, watercolor, and colored pencils when working traditionally and choosing similar effects when working in Photoshop. She aims to create art that will bring you a small moment of joy or nostalgia. When she’s not in her studio, you can find her taking long walks, playing video games, or trying new food with her husband.

What is your favorite piece in the show and why?
This is a tough choice, but if I had to choose, Wanderlust is my current favorite. I love the color palette for this piece, and it was my first “big” full-scene painting after years of creating small, single-character pieces for greeting cards.

What motivates you to create?
Experiencing and observing the day-to-day ups and downs. I tend to zoom in on details, and I try to bring that focus to my imaginary characters so they come to life.

Who are your biggest artists influences?
The list is very long and constantly changing! My top three are currently Lily Seika Jones, Charles Santoso, and Briony May Smith.

What message do you want your art to convey to viewers?
I hope viewers take the time to notice the small things and positive moments in the world around them, especially now when life can feel heavy and overwhelming.

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Kate Canepa

Smoky Hill Library

This is a collection of block prints inspired by nature. Some have been influenced by life experiences and others I look forward to encountering later.

The ‘why’ behind my art can be summed up very simply. I am inspired by the natural world, in all of its color, contrast, grandness, and subtlety. I have been, for as long as I can remember, inspired and motivated by nature and color. I am often intrigued by the nuanced and subtlety of color found in the reflection of sunlight or even in the cast shadows. We see the world in all the grandeur of color, value, and tone and I have also found beauty in eliminating those elements to simple black and white. In only using contrast much of the noise can be minimized to create a powerful emotional response. My creations serve as an expression of love for the natural world, and it is my way of preserving nature as I experience it.

What is your favorite piece in the show and why?
My favorite piece in the show is the piece titled Jellyfish.

Who are your biggest artists influences?
I am always inspired by nature, the Impressionists, Fauvists, and many movements of the 20th century.

What message do you want your art to convey to viewers?
Art is really simple, it's all around you.

Ted Williams

Eloise May Library

Some images in this series include landscapes captured during the Golden Hour – one hour before or after sunrise or sunset. Others include animals hanging out in land they inhabited long before we showed up.

Seasoned photographers believe photography simply involves painting with light. This is especially true with landscape photography, as it is often a challenge to compose and shoot unique and compelling images in light that is constantly evolving or deteriorating. The series features landscapes, unique wildlife portraits, and a sprinkling of buildings found in communities from the coast of Maine to old villages in the U.K.

My philosophy involves capturing images in environments that can be challenging to access, especially due to seasonal conditions.

I am a self-taught photographer who is rediscovering this hobby after many years. Early on, I shot and processed most of my own work on black and white film, then color. It’s fun to return to photography after a hiatus, as digital technology allows you to fail early and often, usually, and hopefully at minimal expense. The notion of learning how to make higher quality mistakes as one progresses through a career in photography – and then life – is appealing.

Photography also forces you to think constantly about what you are really doing – or trying to do - in the moment. I also try to minimize postproduction editing – so many of the images in this series are straight out of the vessels (camera bodies).

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