Local Artists Display Work at Colorado State’s Morgan Library

Explore the textures of the natural world in paintings and block prints by local artists Joel Rutstein, emeritus professor, and alumna Ann Wilmsen. The exhibit, showing March 7-April 4, is located in the First National Bank Gallery at Colorado State University’s Morgan Library.

An opening reception will be hosted by Colorado State Libraries at 5:30 p.m. March 7. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Works on display will include oil paintings by Wilmsen and pastel paintings and block prints by Rutstein. The works by both artists represent an investigation of landscapes ranging from the familiar to the far away. One painting of Wilmsen’s captures Horsetooth in winter. A block print of Rutstein’s renders a far-away abbey in Conques, France.

"My paintings grow out of my love for the outdoors and the natural world," Wilmsen said. "They are explorations, seeking an intersection between what I see, what I feel, the medium I use, color, and how to create a visual entity – a finished painting."

"In spending more time with my art, I have discovered new ways of interpreting reality which allow for a stronger emphasis on form and color, relegating linear perspective to a more secondary role," Rutstein added. "Many of the paintings on display reflect this evolution, and like so much of art, are inspired by natural design."

The exhibit is part of the Art in Morgan Library series that enhances the experience of the CSU campus through showcasing the work of Colorado State students, faculty and community. Support for this series is generously provided by the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund.

For more information about the exhibit or the Art in Morgan Library series, contact Judea Franck at Judea.Franck@Colostate.edu or 970-491-5712.

Select images of works that will be exhibited are available at lib.colostate.edu/about/news/fnbgallery/nearandfar.html.

About the artists

After retiring from Colorado State University, where part of his career included being the art librarian, Joel Rutstein has devoted more time to his art, a discipline he has enjoyed since childhood. Rustein’s studio interests include drawing, printmaking and painting with water colors and pastels.

His subjects are both natural and human forms, and he concentrates on how light alters the expressions of buildings, landscapes, and figures. He also has explored the simple, flat forms of block printing, reminiscent of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcuts. More recently, Rutstein has been experimenting with close-up views of nature, producing paintings that incorporate images of rock, water, sand and plants. He has exhibited locally in galleries and juried shows.

Ann Wilmsen moved to Fort Collins in 1966 with her husband and sons. From the beginning, the amazing natural areas around town – mainly Horsetooth and Poudre Canyon – were favorite family areas.

After returning to Colorado State University for a mid-life bachelor of fine arts, Wilmsen began to paint, using different aspects of the scenic beauty as a basic theme. Her time spent doing graphic design and architectural drafting also is an influence in her painting. Wilmsen’s work has been shown locally and regionally.