Arvada Center - Art of the State 2019

I'm beyond excited to reveal a new body of work during the Arvada Center for the Arts' Art of the State 2019 Exhibition. "The Arvada Center is proud to present Art of the State 2019 , the latest installment in our critically acclaimed Colorado artist exhibition. This juried exhibition showcases the quality, depth, and diversity of Colorado artists and is the follow-up to the very successful Art of the State 2013 , and Art of the State 2016. In its third iteration, Art of the State 2019 garnered 1,555 entries from 566 artists in a call for entry that was open to all Colorado artists utilizing all media. Jurors selected 154 pieces by 135 Colorado artists to be presented at the Arvada Center. With three art galleries covering over 10,000 square feet, the Center looks forward to hosting this immense celebration of local art in Colorado."

Press Coverage
I'm honored to have my piece featured in TWO Colorado publications! Check out their reviews of the Arvada show:
• Ray Rinaldi, The Know, Denver Post
• Cori Anderson, 303 Magazine

Opening Reception
Thursday, January 17, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Additional Gallery Events
• Art and Wine Pairing, February 15th
• Thirsty Thursday Scavenger Hunt, March 7th (I'll be attending)

Show Dates: 
January 17 - March 31, 2019
Main, Upper, and Theatre Galleries
Free and open to the public

Arvada Center
6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Arvada, CO 80003
Art of the State 2019

The special project I'm introducing for the first time includes all hand-stitched objects. The Arvada Art of the State 2019 is exhibiting a body pillow from this new series. The Arvada Center did a beautiful job installing the show of 154 pieces of art across three galleries, and made a custom shelf that shows of the pillow with perfection. In this installation image you see the works of Terry Maker and Nicole Banowetz in the background.

Follow me on Instagram: BonnieLebesch_stitch

Exhibit: 3 Square Art Studio Artists

3 Square Art's 2nd Annual Studio Artists Exhibition
October 11 - November 2, 2018

This Annual 3 Square Art Exhibition showcases artwork by resident studio artists. It is an excellent opportunity to see, purchase, and learn more about our exceptional artists.

Exhibiting Artists

Jim Benest
Brett Carr
Noreen Dixon
Kristen Harmon
Elana Hurwitz
Aristeo Jaure
Bob Lang
Bonnie Lebesch
Sally Mankus
Craig McKee
Kumiko S. McKee

Paintings by Bonnie Lebesch, Zippered (center), 47 x 47"
and Untitled (right) 10 x 10"

Painting by Bonnie Lebesch, Untitled (center), 19 x 23"

Painting by Bonnie Lebesch, Untitled (center left), 19 x 23"

Painting by Bonnie Lebesch, Untitled (center top), 10 x 8"

Workshop: Ekphrastic Poetry

Hosted by Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House
316 Willow St, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

Responding to Art
Movement in Stillness: Exploring the Drawings of Bonnie Lebesch

Have you ever been so drawn to a work of art that you just couldn’t look away or stop thinking about it? Join us on Sat., September 15th, from 3 – 5 p.m. to interpret, inhabit, confront, and speak to the drawings of Bonnie Lebesch, which are showing throughout the month of September at Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House. All artists are welcome!

Our 2018 Poet Laureate Natalie Giarratano will host this second edition of the responding to art workshop. Be ready to react, take notes, and listen to the artwork. And listen to the artist, too, who will be on hand to discuss her work and answer your questions.

This event is free and open to the public!

Natalie Giarratano is the author of Big Thicket Blues (Sundress Publications, 2017) and Leaving Clean, winner of the 2013 Liam Rector First Book Prize in Poetry (Briery Creek Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, TYPO, Tinderbox, and American Literary Review, among others. She edits and lives in Fort Collins with her partner and daughter and is the city’s 2018 Poet Laureate.

Open Studio: Fort Collins Studio Tour

This year Fort Collins hosted the Studio Tour during the last weekend of September, with the Preview Show at the Carnegie Center for Creativity.

Fort Collins Studio Tour: September 12-30, 2018
Preview Exhibit: Carnegie Center for Creativity
• Reception & Awards: Friday 5-7 PM, September 14
• Hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-6pm, 200 Mathews Street, Fort Collins

Tour Weekend: 3 Square Art, Studio 107, 2415 Donella Ct, Fort Collins
• Friday 5-9 PM, September 28
• Saturday 10-5 PM, September 29
• Sunday 12-5 PM, September 30

Exhibit: Wolverine Publik House

I can't wait to show you my newest artwork! On First Friday, September 7th, I'll be revealing a series of drawings at the Wolverine Farm Event Room. Grab a beer and join us upstairs for an evening of fun conversation and enticing artwork. Plus, at the Farm, live music is always a possibility. Just saying'.

It always starts at the beginning. This series began when I was teaching Mandala Drawing classes. In my own mandala explorations, I began drawing in this simplistic, repetitive, meditative way, and I thought, what if I could JUST draw this way for an entire drawing? What would it feel like to limit myself to this one constant expression? Could I maintain this composure without giving in to the whim of wild lines?

And so I continued like this for quite some time, and it was exquisite. I found the drawings to be grounded in a way my artwork rarely feels. They are like distillations of much more complex things, like nature, or sound. They could be cross sections or waveforms. They speak. I get still around them.

Recently I was talking with a friend about the nature of my studio practice. Actually, of my studios practice - as in, I have two studios - one at home and one at 3Square. The work I do in each place differs because I have each space supplied with different materials. At 3Square I paint. At home I do more technical, clean work.

When I paint, I tend to experiment and play and explore. I push those boundaries into uncomfortable places a lot, in an effort to get comfortable with new ideas, and to improve my technique.

When I do more technical, clean work, I often put on my designer hat and plan ahead. Not that explorations don't happen - they do! But the experience is more about setting constraints and working out solutions within those boundaries.

Which means my work gets pushed in two directions: one outward, one inward, simultaneously, or at least within hours or days of one another. It's a tug-of-war I have often thought I have to resolve, to commit to one direction in my studio practice.

But, it turns out, I don't have to decide after all. I can do both! And not just because I have two studios. I can do both, because, I can do both.

The show at Wolverine Farm will have two XXL large tiled drawings on paper. One is as still and simple as I could go. The second, well, I wanted it to be wild... but I could only go a certain distance towards wild within the same constraints of form and media. They represent two directions, the yin and yang of expression. I want to know what you think when you see them!
September 7-30, 2018
Reception September 7, 6-9 PM
316 Willow Street, Fort Collins
* Check their online calendar for scheduled events in the Event Room.

Exhibit: Artworks Loveland

In February-March, 2018, a subset of the series was on exhibit at the contemporary gallery. Lebesch hosted 2 public receptions and a demo of her painting technique.

Originally premiered in Fall 2016 in Fort Collins, the Love Letter Series is an immensely intimate body of work, with each painting focused on healing a personal wound through a mindful, transformative process. I developed a ritual that asks for a unique hurt to be healed, similar to hanging prayer flags, placing milagros on a shrine, or lighting a church candle — all of them put positive intentions into motion that facilitate shifts to happen.

I created each piece using layers of paint, wood cuts, and ripped veneer “shards” carefully repositioned. The series began with a painting that pushed me to the wall. For a long time I could not resolve it. Then, in a fit of emotional outburst, I let ‘er rip, quite literally, and in the process pulled up pieces of veneer. I eagerly tore them off, expressing my rage with each shred. Afterwards I realized the value of the “shards” that littered every inch of my studio floor. These precious bits were like muffled emotions finally bursting their way out.

Their intense energy released, the painted shards became more like poetry that is born out of the heart, so I gathered them up and lovingly attached them again. That was the start of a breathtaking journey transmuting my sludge-filled heartaches into works of beauty and brightness. They came straight from my heart, their titles reflecting my resolved, renewed energy.

Artwork: Love Letter Community Paintings

During the Love Letters Exhibitions I invite visitors to contribute to a painting in progress. People love playing with paint, which in itself can be quite transformative.

Afterwards, I complete the piece by cutting and reworking the painting. The underpainting is slightly visible beneath and in the cut pieces glued on top.


This piece is a community project. 

I invite you to write, draw, scribble, scratch... 
to express yourself, to lay your burdens down,

Like lighting a candle, or hanging a milagro, 
spinning a prayer wheel, or making a wish,

Just open your heart and let it out. 
That which weighs you down every day does 
not need to be a burden forever.

Release it.

Let it go.

Feel your heart be light.

I will complete the piece, with all your offerings 
remade into a work of beauty and brightness.
Thank You for your heartfelt contributions 
to this community healing.

Artworks Loveland, Community Painting install view, 2018

Completed Community Painting, 23 x 19"