Curtis Speer Artist Reception Kinder-Padon Gallery Grand Opening:
Friday, July 5. 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Free  

The story of how the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly has long been used as a metaphor for the process of transforming states of consciousness from one dimension to another, from knowing something on the surface, then undergoing a deep experience that leads to a whole new capacity and perception. It is not necessary for all of our physical and civic structures to melt down completely into a chaotic state for us to make a profound change. 

What this exhibition describes best is a felt sense of how our psyches change or how our consciousness grows. It can feel like one’s beliefs and understanding are going along just fine, even optimally, and then suddenly they just stop working. People often withdraw at this time and feel like they are dissolving—not physically, but in their dreams, ambitions, and ideas that no longer hold meaning. There may be a long period of confusion and disorientation on the inside, even if it is not showing on the outside. “If Nothing Ever Changed” offers an integrating image of a new possibility past the feelings of dissolution and helps to draw attention to new ideas as they arise. 

In Speer's latest creations, the imagery is perfectly produced by the camera. The figure is not the true subject, but the placeholder that unites the composition and punctuates the empty space. The artist finds value in the very things people usually turn their eyes from like a sort of elation about sunlight as light is an important expressive force for Speer which make the shadows more luminous. The generalness of the figure made him more open to narrative interpretation. The figure was not what interested the artist; it was the light streaming down. 

Whether we wish it or not, we are all bound to the earth with our experience of life and the reactions of the mind, heart and eye, and by our sensations, but by no means consist entirely of form, color, and design. In this body of work, we share the mood of reverie. Speer's art is inner-directed, animated by an older American individualism that has no fear of isolation or of standing on its own simplicity. It is authentic, direct, independent, and timeless. Speer has not been seduced by art theory or clever technique, he has no fear of his work standing on its own simplicity. The art does not strive to be cosmopolitan. The critics have given him an identity and sometimes he even gives it a push. The work is always about composition, light and emotion. Good composition is like a suspension bridge, each line adds strength and takes none away.  

I born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. With a military base close by and a transient population, things never really seemed to happen in this seemingly small hometown. I began to pay closer attention to my surroundings at an early age. With a copious amount of self-prescribed solitude, I would spend time outside, far away from anyone. I tuned into the trees, the colors, the sounds and most importantly, the light.   

Seeing things from at least two perspectives would lead me to continue to create bodies of work that play with the mind and the eyes. Using Light as my main subject, I am able to capture the subtleties of life, death, color, contrast, texture and emotion. With a full college scholarship for drawing, I was taught to develop my own perspective which would later apply to my life as an artist using a camera.  

My work is a result of continued hard work and perseverance. Working with designers along the west coast and firms in New York, I never cease to get inspired by the people around me. I’ve worked as a prop and set stylist and design director for some of the best people in the field of design and visual display such as Neiman Marcus, Williams-Sonoma and Nike. 

I gained knowledge and appreciation for the sometimes laborious process and developed my own approach and technique. I was able to walk away knowing more about who I am and what I am here to do. As I continue on my journey, I can only hope my work resonates with the viewer and compels him or her to slow down a little and turn inward. 

 With continued support and partnership with Hewlett-Packard, I am able to evolve my process and approach to the fine art aspect of my photography. Breaking rules, pushing boundaries and getting people to ask the important questions is something I will continue to strive for.  


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Center for the Arts Crested Butte
606 Sixth Street
PO Box 1819
Crested Butte, CO 81224