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The original item was published from 6/11/2012 9:56:17 AM to 8/16/2012 12:05:00 AM.

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Town of Parker News

Posted on: June 8, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Horse art exhibit at PACE

The PACE Center is proud to present “Pure Spirit: Focus on Contemporary Equine Art,” a group art exhibition in conjunction with the Colorado Horse Park. The works of Suzanne Betz of Taos, NM, Tracy Miller of Manitou Springs, Karen Gerhardt of Vail and Lyle Nichols of Palisade appear in the Bellco Credit Union Art Gallery and in the atrium gallery located inside the PACE Center.

Growing up in a military family, Suzanne Betz developed an imaginative life to offset the childhood isolation and instability of frequent relocations. Within her fantasies, horses came forward as companion, spirit, and subject for her youthful drawings. Through her intuitive connection with this independent creature, Betz found both strength and liberation, which was channeled into her art she creates from her studio in Taos, NM. “All of my work is about what happens when we move outside the structure and the known. Images shift, change, obscure and reveal the surprise, humor, mystery and celebration of life,” Betz said.

Bold, expressionistic and colorful are just a few of the words used to describe Tracy Miller’s contemporary Western paintings of horses and wild animals of the West. Miller loves to drive the back roads of Colorado and National Parks to seek inspiration for her works and view Pikes Peak from her home in Manitou Springs. “My Contemporary Western Expressionist paintings are based on my love of the West,” Miller said of her work. “My dad exposed me to the great outdoors, instilling a love of the land and wide open skies. My mom influenced my love of art and culture.”

Karen Gerhardt is a sculptor working primarily in ceramic, with a special focus on equine art. Her horse sculptures average 8” tall and are created one at a time, by hand, using the ceramic slip-casting process. Each earthenware china piece is glazed by Gerhardt in her Vail kiln to one-of-a-kind colors and finishes. They are all unique and most are created as bespoke commissions for collectors.

Lyle Nichols’ home in Palisade is a converted barn surrounded by an assortment of glass, steel, iron and stone lawn sculptures where this unpretentious artist turns chunks of sandstone and rusted metal into unusual and often humorous works of art. Nichols specializes in stone, steel and wood sculptures for mostly outdoor installations. His life-size horse sculptures appear in many cities such as Cheyenne, WY, Moab, UT and Grand Junction.

All four artists’ works are on display in the Bellco Credit Union Art Gallery and throughout the PACE Center from June 8 to Aug. 15, 2012.

Located in historic downtown Parker, the PACE Center is home to a 536-seat theater, 250-seat amphitheater, art gallery, event room, dance studio, culinary kitchen and several classrooms. The 1,000 sq. ft. art gallery is managed by an Art Curator on premise and sponsored by Bellco Credit Union. The PACE Center provides a wide variety of local, regional, national and international cultural, arts, scientific and educational programming and serves as a rental venue for community, business and social events. For more information about the PACE Center, visit

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