Monday, November 28, 2011

Blurry Pictures and other Works

Pinhole Photography by Laura Brent

Opening Dec 02, 2011 | 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Valhall Arts, 201 S. College Avenue, Plaza Level 2, 
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Valhall Arts is pleased to present Blurry Pictures and other Works, an exhibition showcasing the recent works by Laura Brent. Over the last year, Ms. Brent has been making pinhole images with a variety of methods, including using film, handmade cameras and multiple pinholes. This will be the first time these images have been shown together.

Why Pinhole?

I have always been interested in photography’s historical processes and classical foundations. There must be an understanding of where an art form began, how it has evolved over time, to carry it forward into the future. By playfully exploring the processes, using all the possibilities, one gains an understanding of the medium. The practice is “limitless, inexhaustible, without stepping outside the natural boundaries of the medium”(Paul Strand, “The Art Motive in Photography”, 1923, pg. 287) and only through experimentally creating imagery, can photography reach its fullest potential.

Pinhole photography is a rudimentary process, slow and meticulous, something that takes perseverance, patience, and practice to perfect. The materials involved are basic, the methods very ‘hands-on’, with the sense of getting ones fingers wet with the photons of light. The experimental successes are an epiphany, moments filled with great joy, full of surprise at what the photograph looks like, intriguing imagery that is pulled from the elements of a particular time and space to leave its mark and energies on the final unique object created.

~Laura Brent

Visit the website to learn more,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Change and State of the Arts in Northern Colorado

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." ~C. S. Lewis
Image by surrealist painter Rene Magritte

Change is good, although some may resist it, others resent it, but none can avoid it. Growth can be a painful experience but only through change can one achieve progress.

At this juncture, Valhall Arts is undergoing a shift in the way it operates. Going forward, the gallery will no longer be showcasing other artists, but instead will serve as the working exhibition space for Laura Brent, the artist. I am hanging up my 'gallery director' and 'curator' hats for the time being. This change was brought on by the ever increasing demands on time and a prioritization of my artwork above the running of a gallery, and promoting contemporary art to Fort Collins.

The general climate in this area has been lukewarm in its support of the arts in general, and icy-cold when it comes to interest in contemporary art. Due to this lack luster reception of contemporary art in Fort Collins, I will be putting my energies into art creation, and distribution/exposure to other areas of the country. The gallery will still be open during the First Friday Gallery Walks, held the first Friday of every month, 6-9 pm, and my contemporary artworks will still be shown, however the shows will be a looser arrangement of current projects in process, instead of juried, group, curated exhibitions.

Why is there this lack of interest in the arts in Fort Collins? There are those in the community who would have this be an arts destination in the spirit of Santa Fe, but we have a long way to go to reach this high ideal, and need a better foundation, and extensive improvements in the types and qualities of artworks created, exhibited and received in our town, to make this goal a reality. There is a superficial embracing of the arts, and misguided support by a local (unnamed) arts promotional group. There are too many resources and dollars spent supporting art activities that do nothing to create lasting effects for the art community. The program supporting street entertainments over the past few summers, is, in my mind, a flip-flop of how this sort of thing should work. These opportunities, if made available to working performers through legislation, could actually generate income for the city (through license fees, for example). Instead, funds were spent to promote buskers to bring their entertainments to the migrant visitors to our city. Instead, these resources could have been better spent supporting local, existing, organizations to build a permanent infrastructure and take us further down the road toward our goal of being an "Art Town".

The wealthy donors in the region, those who give generously to these promotional organizations do not seem interested in supporting the arts, or there is a lack of understanding of art historical models and metropolitan art cultures. We do have our newly built (and almost completed) history and science museum, and the university has a wonderful arts center with world class performing and visual arts. But the private sector in general, the visual arts field in particular, is filled with amateur/hobbyist infused art co-operatives, and a few remaining commercial galleries, each offering the expected 'western' souvenirs, (landscape paintings and photographs of aspen trees in their fall colors), these mundane and tired artworks, offering little in the advancement of the arts. Art can expand one's mind, bring the world to one's community and teach us something of ourselves and our culture. Instead, it seems, our community is only interested in being entertained.

Why this lack of diversity and interest in the arts? Is this due to an un-enlightened or un-educated art audience? With the higher educational institutions in our town, I would expect a better informed audience, with a more diverse understanding of art history and the cultural importance of showing important works to enhance of our local community. How else are we to achieve our goals, without high quality institutions and private organizations to bring this to the public? How can these organizations survive with out the support and commitment from the public?

I've been smelling something funny in my local art scene, a rotten egg is among us, and only through change can we become the bird we hope to be and fly into the future to become an art destination. At this point its all just scrambled, and I am ready for the next change.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Fine Art of Letterpress Printing

Valhall Arts is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition featuring the Fine Art of Letterpress printing by Shelby Montross of Meadowlark Creative. The exhibition will open Friday, September 2nd, with a reception from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and continue through October 7, 2011.

"Sometime in-between the invention of moveable type and the proliferation of 24-hour copy centers, the craft of letterpress printing evolved from an essential trade to a forgotten one," states Montross. "Abandoned by all but a few craftsmen, the art of letterpress printing became that of a bygone era. Printing, it seemed, had lost its soul, its beauty, and its individuality. Meadowlark Creative is bringing it back."

Printing on a 1951 10x15 Chandler & Price (one of the last ever made) and a Vandercook 317 letterpress, Meadowlark Creative meticulously designs and prints custom prints, business cards, stationary, invitations, and announcements that are as unique and memorable as the message you wish to communicate.

Shelby Montross of Meadowlark Creative will relate her experiences as professional designer interested in the creative and commercial potential of letterpress, and will introduce general concepts, terms, and processes involved in creating personal and professional letterpress work.

During the gallery walk receptions on the 'First Fridays', (Sept. 2 and Oct. 7) participants will have the opportunity to create their own print, using hand-set type and print coasters on a Kelsey 3x5 letterpress with both metal and wood type.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Artist is not present.

The Artist has....
A. escaped down the rabbit hole.
B. left the building.
C. gone buffalo hunting.
D. __________________

Installation featured at Valhall Arts for the summer.
Stop by the Plaza level of the Fort Collins Museum of Art to see it.
(201. S. College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Closing Reception Friday May 6, 2011

Kerry Brooks is one of eleven artists featured at the gallery for the 3rd Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition. The exhibit closes this Friday with a reception from 6-9 pm. Please visit the website to learn more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"After Niepce"

This image was created by Laura Brent, using color film and a pinhole in a body cap on a Nikon FE2. The imagery is evocative of Joseph Nicephore's (Niepce) 1826 "View from the Window at Le Gras", the first photograph ever made. It is held at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, in Austin.

In this day and age of digital cameras, and high-tech methods of gathering and printing photographs, Brent enjoys getting her fingers wet with the photons, experimenting with the pinhole medium. The image was captured in Santa Fe, NM, and the film was developed in Durango, CO at Pennington Photo, a camera store that has been in operation since 1906, and plans to close at the end of April. This work is in homage to the historic makers and methods, and a gesture that these vintage processes are still a valid art form.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cathy Becker, one for eleven artists featured at Valhall Arts

Image Credits: Volume 18, Cathy Becker, Silver Gelatin Print, toned with Sepia.

The 3rd Anniversary Retrospective features eleven artists that have been part of Valhall Arts over the years. The exhibit includes photography, painting and drawing, sculpture and a video installation. See an article in the GO magazine, published by the Loveland Reporter-Herald by clicking here.

Exhibition continues through May 6. Gallery hours by appointment.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Artists Reception Tonight, 6-9 pm

Please join us as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary with a showcase of 11 artsits featured at the gallery over the years. Several of the artists will be present, including Rae Stimson (image credit, Antinea), Jennie Kiessling, Andrew Michler and Laura Brent, so stop in a say 'hello'!

Valhall Arts is located right on Oak Street Plaza, in the historic Post Office building with the Fort Collins Museum of Art. The building will be jumping tonight, with new exhibits opening on all four levels. You can find us on the Plaza level along with Kumiko Mckee, Joan Mangle and the new FRCC/FCMOA Continuing Education Program.

Visit for more information.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Opening April Fool's Day!

3rd Anniversary Retrospective Opens Friday April 1, 2011, 6-9 pm


Thom Bator
Cathy Becker
Laura Brent
Kerry Brooks
Camellia S. El-Antably
Jennie Kiessling
Griffin Marsh
Andrew Michler
Frank Stanley
Rae Stimson

Image credit: Andrew Michler, Phase Change, Video Still

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3rd Anniversary Retrospective

In a nod to all the artists that have helped to make Valhall Arts a success, I am pleased to announce the 3rd Anniversary Retrospective, opening April Fool's day, 4/1/2011, with a reception from 6:00-9:00 p.m., at the gallery.

Artists included are;

Thom Bator
Cathy Becker
Laura Brent
Kerry Brooks
Camellia S. El-Antably
Jennie Kiessling
Griffin Marsh
Andrew Michler
Frank Stanley
Rae Stimson

Your continued support over these last 3 years has helped Valhall Arts grow and prosper. With the recent changes in our local art community, we are proud to continue to bring thought provoking contemporary art exhibitions to you, the audience. Your participation is required for success, so please stop in, and say ‘hello’, and be a part of the art world.

We are located at 201 S. College Ave, Fort Collins, CO, right on the Oak Street plaza, in the historic Post Office building, with the Fort Collins Museum of Art.

Valhall Arts is proud to support the Fort Collins Music eXperiment, April 8th and 9th, visit their Facebook page, or website to learn more.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Work - A Million Little Pictures: Photomobile

This is an image in my project for Art House Co-Op in Brooklyn, NY, "A Million Little Pictures: Photomobile". My theme was 'the meaning of a photograph'. Shot in Colorado in February 2011 by Laura Brent.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Contemporary Explorations of Vintage Photography, Opens Feb. 4, 6:00 pm

Image details: Untitled (pillow fight), by Laura Brent, "Cliche Verre", Silver Gelatin Print, 2011.

Cathy Becker, Laura Brent, Griffin Marsh, and Rae Stimson are four artists featured at the exhibition opening Friday, Feb. 4th at Valhall Arts, 201 S. College Avenue, Plaza Level 2, Fort Collins, CO. The exhibit offers a unique look at contemporary art by regional photographers using historical techniques and materials.
Opening Reception Friday Feb. 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Exhibition continues through March 4th.
Visit for more information.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cathy Becker, another artist featured, from Casper Wyoming.

Cathy Becker's photographs demonstrate various processing techniques, including toning with selenium or sepia, and black gum and Van Dyke printing.

Image Detail:
"Reverie du Seul"
5 1/4" x 5 1/4
Silver gelatin print
Split toned in selenium and brown

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Griffin Marsh, "Ghost House"

Griffin Marsh, a student from Casper, Wyoming, is one of four artists featured in the upcoming exhibition at Valhall Arts, "Contemporary Exploration of Vintage Photography", opening Feb. 4, 2011 with a reception from 6-9 pm.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rae Stimson one of four artists featured at Valhall Arts in February

Rae Stimson, an artist from Boulder, CO, makes haunting little images, the small works evoking a feeling of times long since past, but with a contemporary twist.

Image detail: Specter, Hand colored vignetted silver gelatin print on matte fiber paper, 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Contemporary Explorations of Vintage Photography, Opens Feb. 4, 2011

Getting some great photographs for the upcoming exhibition. Open call ends Jan. 26, visit CraigsList to enter.

The exhibit will feature a broad range of styles, including black gum, cyanotype and other printing techniques; with pinholes, photograms, and hand colored silver prints, the old is new again!

Opening Reception Friday February 4th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Closing Reception Friday March 4th, 2011 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Contemporary Explorations of Vintage Photography

The new exhibit planned for February will feature images made using vintage styles and modes. In anticipation of the new dark room at Valhall Arts, photographs made with pinhole cameras, photograms and 'cliche verre' images will be exhibited. I am opening the exhibit to other local artists who would like to participate and are working with these historic techniques. See the call on Craigs List

Visit the website for more details.

Photogram image, The Circus, by Laura Brent

Friday, January 7, 2011

Expansion Opens at Valhall Arts

Opening Tonight, January 7, 2011, with a reception from 6-9pm, Valhall Arts has expanded! Tonight will feature a video installation by Laura Brent, "Moving Pictures", As well as the exhibition organized by the young curators from TR Paul Academy of Arts and Knowlegde, "Religions Around the World".

Stop in to see the new space, say hello and toast the New Year! This is also the closing reception of the TPAAK Young Curators, "Religions Around the World", so it will be the last chance to see this great show.

Visit for more information.