The Fort Collins Museum of Art welcomes Colorado artists Sean O’Meallie and Anne Bossert to their new exhibits which open Friday. The show sees them in their most whimsical form, with carved wooden balloons, striped arrows and sculpted coronavirus molecules.
O’Meallie’s show is titled Head Cheese: a 25-year retrospective. The show is a compilation of some of his works from his last 25 years as a sculptor. The exhibition brings together works from private collections, the artist’s personal collection and includes some of his new works. The carvings have changed over time; ideas have come and gone, and he has moved from more neutral colors to the candy-colored hues of his more recent composition, but O’Meallie has always used wood as his main medium.
“He’s familiar to almost everyone on the planet and easy to touch,” O’Meallie said. “There’s a lot of interaction with the things I create, so the medium itself is welcoming.”
What remained the same was the influence of his time as a toy inventor. He spent 10 years pitching ideas to toy companies and said he learned what makes a toy successful.
“It’s just a part of me,” he said. “I don’t even design things that don’t include those aspects of what a toy is, what an object is.”
For Bossert, the inspiration for her show, HooDoos and Charms, came from offcuts from his furniture making. Bossert loves stripes and colors, and she couldn’t let the leftover laminate plywood go to waste. Leveraging her love of Utah and the West, she created the HooDoos, named after the rock formations found throughout the region. She said the wooden sculptures work as trophies that aren’t just for sports.
“I think it’s a good idea to give yourself trophies for everyday things.”
Bossert also created the HooDoos to be pedestals for his less than two-inch-wide charms. One of the charms resembles a coronavirus molecule – a resemblance the artist has confirmed.
“I think of that one as a pandemic participation trophy,” Bossert said.
Exhibits can be viewed at the Museum of Art in downtown Fort Collins from January 21, 2022 through March 13, 2022.