West by Midwest

Opening Reception

Dec 16 2022

6:00 pm

West by Midwest

Dec 16 2022 - Jan 12 2023

Tenet Podcast Showcase – Group Exhibition

Featuring works by:
Shannon Mello, Meghan Wilbar, & Mark Zimmerman

Bitfactory Gallery is proud to present West by Midwest a Tenet Podcast Showcase. Since 2019, likable podcasters Todd Pierson and Wes Brown have been posting weekly conversations with individual artists discussing their beginnings, influences, process, and how they make a living as an artist. Having been a guest on the show, Gallerist Bill Thomason was impressed with their support of and contribution to the art scene—especially in Denver—and wanted to express that appreciation by inviting them to choose a few of their favorite featured artists for an exhibit.

West by Midwest was born from the analogous aesthetic of the artists selected by Pierson and Brown. Curation of the works was handled by Thomason and Pierson resulting in a beautiful, varied, and sometimes haunting show representing wide-open, rural landscapes. The three featured painters— Shannon Mello of Colorado Springs, Meghan Wilbar of Pueblo, and Mark Zimmerman from South Dakota—depict the landscapes in which they reside and hold dear.

The public is invited to view the show at 851 Santa Fe Drive December 16, 2022 – January 12, 2023,during regular business hours Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 am–3 pm and by appointment, and for the following special events.

Opening Reception: December 16, 2022, 6-9 pm
First Friday Art Walk: January 6, 2023, 5-9 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 7, 2023, 6 pm

The title West by Midwest is a metaphor for place. Each with a different style, perspective, and geographic location, the common thread between the artists is the Western or Western-like landscape (in the case of South Dakota) they depict. South Dakota, while defined as a Midwestern State, perhaps falls culturally into that region more than geographically. Its diverse landscape, from plains to the Black Hills, and other geological formations, defies a typical Midwestern landscape, sharing more similarities with the Western states that it borders. The other two artists hail from Colorado, definitively part of The West.

Mello’s body of work explores the edge, or lack thereof, between land and sky— the manipulation of light and borders. It is blurry, indecisive, and serene at the same time. She loves to create ethereal landscapes that can be felt by the viewer, sharing her deep appreciation of spending time in the outdoors.

Wilbar draws the intimate story that exists by looking into the vastness of the open road and selecting the story through torn paper and drawn line. She received her MFA from the New York Studio School in 2005 and her BA from Knox College in 2002. She has received numerous artist-in-residences and a Colorado Creative Industries grant in support of her Veins of Steel project: a project chronicling the mining industry in Southern Colorado. Her works are included in corporate collections throughout Colorado and numerous private collections. She is currently represented by Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver.

Zimmerman searches the open space of the high plains for inspiration, journeys into the mountains for thin air, and into the badlands for solace, returning to his studio to produce abstract paintings and drawings that capture his experience of the western landscapes he loves. After graduating with a BFA in printmaking from Minnesota State University (Moorhead), Mark continued his education at Illinois State University, earning an MS in printmaking and an MFA in painting.

Tenet Podcast focuses on the visual arts and the business of art. Listen online at www.tenetpodcast.com or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and other platforms. Facebook and IG – @tenetpodcast.

Bitfactory Gallery, located at 851 Santa Fe Drive in the heart of Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, exhibits work by the best emerging and up-and-coming local, national, and international visual artists. It strives to showcase art that may not be a good fit for other galleries. Additionally, they host one major or renowned artist a year, bringing new and exciting work to Denver. Bitfactory also houses artist studios to offer space where artists can work and collaborate with others , Bitfactory Studios, as well as a pop-up event space, the Garage at Bitfactory. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Sunday, 11:30 am – 3 pm and by appointment. For additional information please contact Bill Thomason at[email protected] or (303) 862-9367. www.bitfactory.net