Are you ready to have some crazy fun? The duo-art show this month will be a circus for your eyes. The event took place in two locations: At Town Hall the 1st Quarter 2022 show is themed, ”Free for All… Whatever Floats your Particular Boat.” At the Lyons Regional Library, the second art show is “Working Duo” exhibit, and it features works by Jacob Adriaan Leeuwenburgh and Ann M. Hall. Opening Night, February 9, took place from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. There were light refreshment and drinks available for a donation. The eclectic art will continue to be on display for the next two months, till April 1st, during normal business hours. Jeremy Walker also has five wonderful pieces of stained glass art in the library till April.
The Town of Lyons Arts & Humanities Commission’s “duo art show” was delayed from January 12th to February 9th due to the Omicron virus cases rising rapidly. They are asking people to social distance and wear masks while viewing the art.
The large colorful paintings done by Ann Hall are hard to pinpoint. One might call the large pieces murals, but then they are not painted on a wall. Or, call them a caricature, but then they don’t make fun of the subject, but rather the fun is playful. Maybe it seems childlike, but actually the images can be regarded as serious subjects. So, let’s not label it. Let’s just stand in front of them, and absorb them.
“I always have been involved in art,” said Ann. “Always loved it. I have been self-employed all my life. I did go to college and graduated from CSU with a BFA, studying fiber. But I did not have any expectations as to how that would fit into my future.”
Ann let her life unwrap in front of her without forcing a direction. She soon became a mother, and was not active in art exhibitions. During that period, she started her own business and designed a reusable diaper. She would draw custom art, and it would be imprinted on the cloth diapers. People would then take the applique and embroider on it. She also currently does free-hand sewing machine embroidery on canvas, which she then stretches, and paints on it.
In 1998, she began working as a professional copy artist, working for a high-end handpainted needlepoint canvas distributor. It started as a Colorado company, but a woman in Georgia runs it now. She would receive an original painting on needlepoint canvas. Then she would make duplicates, up to 24, of the same image painted on tiny needlepoint canvases.
She has worked with some Colorado companies, doing niche art work. Last year, she and Jacob Leeuwenburgh, her partner, were working at Planet Bluegrass, and she was called upon to do some art work to delightfully freshen up the place. She did the folded hands sculpture by the river, and a painting of John Prine by the Wildflower Pavilion. Both drew great praise. She continued to do some other large paintings for them over the summer.
Ann likes to start with a drawing, and then paint on canvas. All of her newest paintings are with acrylics. She tries to delve into some storytelling imagery. One of her current pieces, which will be at the library, is the Universe representation of Mother Earth, over three panels.
“I do a lot of self-portraiture,” said Ann, ”not dealing with personal things, but as a model. I had some fun with animals recently.”
“Working together has many benefits,” said Ann. “Jacob helps make lovely frames for our work from reclaimed wood. We are always collecting wood and ideas since we spend so much time together in our life and art work.
“We have the advantage of brainstorming ideas, muscling large work, and encouraging each other to spend the time it takes to create art. We both have different approaches to our work, which makes it harder to work together. Jacob loves to start by drawing shapes and lines with a large bottle of glue. And his figures appear as he works with continual line. My images typically start from pencil sketches, storytelling, emotional response, and varying ideas. So, the approach is very different. That simple thing makes it harder to truly work together on the same piece. Easier to work side by side as a team.”
Jacob Adriaan Leeuwenburgh
You will discover a fun painting by Jacob Adriaan Leeuwenburgh at the Lyons Regional Library exhibit which is a colorful, large, ode to the Dutch Kissing Twins, which are usually small Delft Blue statues, and one of the most popular souvenirs from the Netherlands.
“To be an artist, you have to dare to go big,” said Jacob.
Jacob grew up in Holland. He did a lot of paintings with a group of artists, the Wasnar Group, who were active in shows, galleries, and in other artistic groups. He was self-taught and does his work on canvas.
“For years, I was making art here and doing my shows in Holland. I was shipping, and taking them in suitcases, and finally in 2015, I decided to stop the Holland work,” said Jacob.
Locals who have been here in Lyons a while will recall the giant wooden 3-D banjo that Jacob did, and placed in the front yard of his home in a downtown neighborhood of Lyons. He modestly said the work was “a little distraction.” He also did the charming lizard sculpture on Main Street.
“I like to make paintings,” said Jacob. “I use acrylic, mixed media, combine all kinds of elements I find here, like barn wood, mica (rocks), and give it a 3D texture to play with. The paintings are inspired by nature, very abstract, so people can see into it, can be playful.“
He enjoys working with Ann Hall, his partner, and says that he does bigger pieces, which are faster, and she does smaller ones that you can get lost in.
“It’s a big joy working together with Ann,” said Jacob. “Ann is more focused and personal, and paints from what’s going on in herself. Mine are less personal within me.”