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Nard Claar and Sheary Clough Suiter

Meet our June/July members of the month: Nard Claar and Sheary Clough Suiter

Fine Arts Center Members for 16 years

Sheary: I moved to COS in 2011 from Anchorage, Alaska. I’d always been a member of the Anchorage Museum of Art, and so naturally one of my first acts was to join the local museum. And of course, as a visual artist for over 30 years, it’s a given that I would support any and all community arts programs.

Nard: To support local art and local art interests. This is the premiere art venue in the region.

When did your interest in the arts begin?

Sheary: Even though I didn’t start painting until my 30’s, my interest in arts began in early childhood. In fact, my paternal grandfather’s given name was “Art.” He was a wood carver whose work is held in public collections at both the University of Oregon and the Oregon State Capitol.

Nard: When I was young. I started with crayons and pencils and kept going; even today, my art practice includes lots of drawing, drawing helps me see. I started painting at age ten and never stopped. I cannot remember a time when creating and art was not a part of my life.

What has been one of your favorite plays, classes or exhibits at the Fine Arts Center and why?

Sheary: Favorite recent exhibition: Nora Naranjo Morse: Gathering Ground (Feb. 23–Aug. 25, 2019). I loved her use of aerial space and recycled materials. Favorite recent play: Fun Home. I had actually seen the Broadway production of Fun Home in NYC with our daughter, prior to the FAC’s presentation. I’m not shy to share that I felt the FAC’s stage set and production were superior! Favorite classes: Well, I’m prejudiced, because I teach “Painting With Encaustic” at Bemis School of Art. I love sharing my knowledge of the medium with students, and of course, as every teacher knows, you learn from your students, as well.

Nard: Annie. The cast, the story, the whole thing was perfect. Church and State. This was my kind of thinking and was so professionally delivered. I have enjoyed all of the productions and Curtain Call thanks to the show that Scott puts on, his great enthusiasm and energy.

What is your favorite work of art at the FAC?

Sheary: There’s simply no way to narrow my answer to one favorite. I’m drawn primarily the museum’s collection of contemporary painters, but I also want to give shout outs to both the Deco Lounge local artists exhibitions, as well as to the FAC’s Museum Shop. I’ve enjoyed collecting some lovely artwork from local artists represented in the shop, and of course, I’m proud that my own encaustic paintings have been featured as part of the Colorado Originals collection.

Nard: Virgil Ortiz comes to mind, the power of the work. The blending of historical, political and social commentary. The work always makes me think and gives me the opportunity to see things differently.

What else do you like to do for fun in Colorado Springs?

Sheary: Biking the local trails and neighborhoods with Nard is my favorite fun activity. Colorado Springs is blessed to have so much open space and so many parks to enjoy.

Nard: Hike on the wonderful trails, ride bikes on the trails, streets, and hang out at some of the wonderful places like Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. Colorado Springs offers great diversity of parks and land you can walk into.

How have you been keeping busy during the quarantine period?

Sheary: The “staying in” has not been a hardship for either of us, as our art studio is attached to our residence, so we’ve both stayed busy creating new art!

Nard: Garden, bike rides, and hikes where people are not. Reading and painting a lot.