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Smoky Hill Library, part of the Arapahoe Library District, is at 5430 Biscay Circle, Centennial. Taylor’s “Shadows” exhibit will hang there through the month of April. Library hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. 303-542-7279; arapahoelibraries.org.
Marlea Taylor said, “For 31 years, my world was a classroom. Now, my classroom is the world.” She was once a printmaker, as well as a teacher (including at All Souls School in Englewood) and now also works with the ancient art form of mosaic, which she said is “on the floor of Midas’ Palace and on the walls of St. Peter’s Basilica.” She creates new pieces in her light, color-filled home studio in Englewood.
During the month of April, a special selection of her artwork, an exhibit called “Shadows,” will be displayed on the walls of the café at Smoky Hill Library, 5430 S. Biscay Circle, Centennial.
Since her retirement, a focus on travel has carried Marlea and her husband, Bob, across many miles, in many directions, and the mosaics in “Shadows” reflect some favorite photos shot “in wonderful places” — each with the shadow made by the figures depicted. “My modern materials include tile, glass, metal and porcelain,” she says. And a look at her website brings up some really skillful applications of her craft: helmets, coffee table, kitchen backsplash, hanging lamp, mail slot and a suitcase! (Just to see if she could?)
She lectured at the PACE Center in Parker in 2015 about “Modern Mosaics,” related to an “Assemblage” exhibit, and participated in constructing a beautiful panel that hangs at Children’s Hospital Colorado, a Colorado Mosaic Artists group project.
The exhibited artworks at the Smoky Hill Library are framed and hung on the café walls. They reflect visits to Beijing, Alexandria, New York, London, Venice, Copenhagen, York in England — on sunny days — hence the shadows. Each location is identified in this exhibit, Taylor said, adding that the wall at the library is “beautiful and well-lighted.”
Other favorite locations include Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy (including the trading spot, Ancient Ostia, near Rome, which is filed with mosaic examples in former baths, commercial and domestic buildings and a theater), Sicily, Spain, Germany …
An active member of Colorado Mosaic Artists, previous exhibits-group and solo-include: ”Cutting Edges,” a CMA show at Highlands Ranch Library (2013), as well as a solo “Retrospective Show” at Highlands Ranch Library in 2010; “Art of the State” at the Arvada Center (2012); and “Earth, Air, Fire and Water” at the NCAR Gallery in Boulder (2017).
The Taylors are happily planning the next excursion: a river trip in Russia that will include St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as some less-traveled canals and waterways. It is a tour operated by a Russian company, with accommodations reminiscent of an old Pullman car, including a long corridor and bunks — NOT one of those huge cruising ships, the Taylors emphasized.
There will no doubt be videos of this next adventure added to the artist’s website, which now contains records of previous happy travels, filmed by Bob Taylor: visit MarleaTaylor.com.
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