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Finding Place: Ransford’s and Meadows’ art at Anderson Ranch

Dec 14, 2015

One of Alleghany Meadows' balanced plate pieces.
Credit Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

“Finding Place” is a show about being able to put things in order. To find that one space where you can feel comfortable with life and your place in it.

“It totally gets me centered,” says Sara Ransford, one of the artists in the show. “If I’m scattered or I’m frustrated, or whatever, if I go into the studio and I start working, I settle right down. I feel I can get out there and meet all the challenges that life presents after I can be in the studio.”

When she came to Anderson Ranch for her residency, she realized how much her work affected her state-of-mind. She was able to be at peace during her practice. Now, that peace is realized in her exhibit at the Center.

One piece is a collection of ceramic squares. They look like an aerial view of a canyon might, with random ripples creating complex patterns that curve and sway as water moves through rock. On another wall are sketches that are the counterparts to the ceramic pieces. They’re not duplicates, but they reference each other. The sketches hang on the wall in the same way that the ceramic pieces do. They have similar patterns. Think of them more as sisters, than twins.

Alleghany Meadows is also a ceramic artist, but his work is mainly plates and bowls. He is the “Meadows” in the Harvey/Meadows Gallery. He has arranged plates and bowls onto trays in a way that each piece holds the other up. Each one is angled so that when all of the different components are put together, they resemble flowers in different stages of bloom.

“I wanted to figure out how the sets could fit together or do something different where they took up less physical space,” says Meadows. “Because the bowls were all the same size, as I started to stack them around they suddenly connected up in a circle and it was one of those lightning striking moments.”

There isn’t much room for error. Each piece is made of identical plates or bowls, and if they don’t match up, then the structure won’t stand up.

“If the shape of the base were just slightly more splayed out, it would change the overall form and how those elements fit into it dramatically,” he says.

The show opens tonight at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass.