October 2018

Gallery Talk

by Myrna Zanetell

Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns

10th calendar to be last one for EP artist

Ten has become a significant number for Pat Olchefski-Winston. She has decided that her 2019 calendar, the tenth yearly offering, will also be the last in the highly popular series. So the soon-to-be released edition has been christened “The Grand Finale.”
The title represents the end a of decade during which Pat published a selection of collectible calendars that visually celebrated her favorite landmarks, landscapes, people and places. Original in their inspiration, these yearly offerings not only provided her audience with unique interpretations of local landmarks, but also gave them insights into Olchefski-Winston’s own inner being. As a departure from her normal watercolor paintings, her 2011 calendar, comprised of 12 collage creations, was simply titled “The Girls.”
Having put brush to canvas since the age of 28, Pat emphasizes that the subject matter of her works generally has paralleled her own life. Once more traditional in scope, her work later evolved to creations she describes as more abstract, free and daring. Feeling relaxed as a person these days, she notes that the transformation of her style has made her more adventurous in her use of color, form and texture. In an earlier interview she related, “Artists should be like children, free to play and make believe. In this way, the hidden thoughts of the mind are released in their creative entirety.”
Out of the 100 paintings showcased in previous years, local landmarks have comprised the majority of her calendar imagery. In 2015, her rendition of St. Ignatius Catholic Church marked the creation of her 75th painting of an El Paso landmark.
“Over the past decade, I have painted everything from restaurants to schools, churches, corner grocery stores and even barbershops. I guess my interpretation of a landmark is something that is of interest to a number of people.”
Pat has long been a multi-talented individual. She is also a professional yoga instructor, an aspirating writer and actor, a major supporter of the local arts community, a Master Gardener and a passionate animal rights advocate. She has held the presidency of groups such as the El Paso Art Association and the Rio Bravo Watercolorists.
For the past three years her primary focus has been her partnership with her husband, Buddy Winston, in the Star City Recording Studio, and her own OM Gallery. “Being co-owner of Star City along with Buddy (who has yet to completely retire from his career in medical physics) is, in itself exciting, innovative and inspirational. Running the recording studio has brought us into contact with amazingly talented singers, song writers, recording artists, film makers, dancers and even painters and sculptors.”
During the few years the studio has been in operation, Pat, Buddy and their “Star Team” have attracted “big name stars” from far and wide, offering a wide variety of talent in concert on an almost weekly basis. Their schedule is on the studio web site: www:starcitystudioproductions.com.
Studio visitors also can experience Pat’s Zen Garden to the right of the Star City building at 120 W. Castellano. Pat describes it as a sweet, little garden containing structures fashioned with bamboo type grasses from the Upper Valley. This is a private nook where she and others can have a quiet space to sit, meditate or simply get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Pat’s 2019 “Grand Finale” calendar will be available by mid-October at both Collectible stores, So El Paso, Art Masters and at Star City Studio. She is also planning a “Last Calendar Party” for late October. Attendees can see a majority of Pat’s original calendar paintings and purchase a cross-section of available prints. She can be reached at: magenta@elp.rr.com or pat@starcitystudioproductions.com.

Chalk the Block

In just over a decade El Paso’s annual “Chalk the Block” celebration has grown from a one-day event in mid-July that featured 12 artists, with an attendance of about 5,000 visitors, to a scintillating three-day “happening” that showcases the talents of more than 200 artists, vendors and musicians. Erin Ritter, public affairs coordinator for the city’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, reported that 42,000 people attended the 2017 Chalk the Block, resulting in an economic impact of $1.2 million on the downtown arts district.
The 11th Annual Chalk is Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14. Admission is free. Further information can be found at chalktheblock.com or on Facebook.

Arts International 2018

Congratulations to Karla Zanelli and her cadre of volunteers and sponsors for bringing another awesome art show to life. The 2018 Arts International exhibition, which opened Sept. 8, showcased a total of 132 works of art created by the 62 artists who were juried into the show.
Steve Hastings’ painting, “Rio Grande Sunset” was named Best of Show and Jorge Martinez was awarded a first place ribbon for his portrait, “Autorretrato Pensando.” The second place ribbon went to Corrine Spinner for her landscape, “El Paso’s Rio Grande,” and “Mill Rust” by Robert Dozal was awarded third place. Those who attended the opening reception cast ballots for the “People’s Choice Award,” which went to Lorenzo Braulio Zepeda for a charming piece depicting a baby under a tree called “Hummingbird on the Left.” The 26 awards presented, including a sizable list of jurors and special awards, totaled more than $5,000.
The entire exhibition can also be viewed online at www.elpasoartassociation.com.
More than 600 people attended the opening at the International Museum of Art on Montana. “This was nearly twice the number who attended the exhibition in 2017,” Zanelli said, “which was surprising since that was the year that the El Paso Art Association was celebrating its 50th anniversary.”
Four pieces have already been sold, Zanelli said, and hopefully more art lovers will purchase artwork before the exhibition closes Sunday, Sept. 30.

Myrna Zanetell is a freelance writer
specializing in the visual arts.


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