by Carol McDermott
A career in art which began with abstract paper straw and cup sculptures, created while sitting in Nashville bleachers and grandstands, has grown into a lifetime avocation for Austin, Colo., artist Missy Rogers.
Formally educated in the community of 14 colleges and universities, and one art gallery, Missy discovered the open spaces of the American West on a backpacking trip “I was born for out here.” She arrived in the Uncompahgre Valley in the 1970s, settling in to teaching art, first to high schoolers, then to elementary students and the whole community.
Elementary school art is an important aspect of a well-rounded education, according to Missy. Students who do not get into an art class until older are more inhibited. They have made choices for themselves which tend to limit their creative expression.
“Art helps you know what’s valuable. I like sitting quiet outside and painting. It can be a meditative experience. It’s not always blissful, however, because of the bugs and the climate.”
Art also helps heal. “I incorporate the healing aspects of art in my classes. I can focus on health, and my art translates my dream to canvas. You have to let it speak to you. It’s a form of complementary medicine.”
At the turn of the century, Missy took a four year hiatus from framing, matting and showing art. She spent time converting a derelict farmhouse and outbuilding into a home, studio and wood shop.
Missy paints landscapes and flowers, floors and doors, and tables, too. The latter may be enjoyed at Drake’s Restaurant in Ridgway, Colo. “We knew him (Drake) and he wanted new tables for his restaurant, something to tie together all the eclectic material. It was an unusual challenge, to create a new sort of chic.”
The 20-30 layers of paint gave a sense of depth and quality to the metallic/stone-looking wooden tables. Missy waitressed a winter at Drake’s and “got to see people caressing the tables.” It was the union of form with function.
Next on tap for Missy is a bit of welding for her outdoor sculpture garden, a kitchen makeover in Denver and one in Montrose, and lots of outdoor painting weather. Contact her at [email protected].