I met Chandler Romeo at a backyard cookout at a mutual friend’s house when I was just starting my journey as a fiber artist. Little did I know at the time, how famous she was and how accomplished and recognized in the Colorado art scene. Chandler was friendly, warm and encouraging, even though I was a newbie to the art business! She was very approachable and gave me some good tips about finding a studio outside my home.
But I haven’t seen her since. Until I saw her work at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Greenwood Village, CO on the last day of her exhibit. All I can say was I was blown away.
Chandler is a ceramics artist (although she has also worked with other media including fiber) but the works shown in this exhibit were all ceramic and obviously represented years of work. In earthen hues, the colors and glazes she uses created amazing richness and depth to the pieces and I had to keep reminding myself they were not made of wood.
In one room, she mounted hundreds of identical sized squares although the surface of each square was uniquely “carved” to create exciting small compositions that all worked together. To say it reminded me of a huge “patchwork” quilt would not be what she was going for but I think it shows show strongly this “patchwork” theme plays out in many ways — in nature and in art. In her own words, Chandler says, “Patterns, laid out by surveyors in varying geometric shapes, have greatly influenced our view of the Western landscape.” As we fly over our great west, we can see these earthen patterns on the ground, reminding us how man continues to try to shape our environment to his own means and for his own purposes.
In the center of the room was a table showing the contours of the land from the sky point of view. Equally interesting was the ability to walk around this landscape and see it from different angles. Kind of like Google maps!
If you ever get a chance to see one of her installations or exhibits, run. Don’t wait as I did for the last day because I would have liked going back again. This is art that will continue to fascinate and intrigue. Chandler Romeo is a master at communicating her ideas through her artistic expression. Something I think about and aspire to in my own work.