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Ars Nova Singers Presents “Shared Visions” in 2024 – Part 2

Shared Visions returns in 2024! This is an interdisciplinary collaborative project featuring works by Colorado visual artists, poets, composers, and performers, coordinated and presented by Ars Nova Singers. First presented in 2016, and again in 2019, this project brings together Colorado artists in a unique way, building a community of artistic inspiration and culminating in a performance of new music by Ars Nova Singers in June 2024.

We have assembled an online gallery of 24 works by eight Colorado visual artists. Colorado writers and poets: we invite you to access the visual art works, and select one (or more) as a basis for writing new poetry. New poetry must be submitted by September 1st. If you or someone you know might be interested in writing for this, complete details can be found on the Gallery page on our website:  https://arsnovasingers.org/shared-visions-2024-gallery/


Visual artist Sara Rockinger spent her childhood in the rural midwestern U.S., her teen years in Europe, and has called Colorado home now for over 30 years. She earned a BA in International Relations from the College of Wooster in Ohio and an MFA in Fiber Art from CSU in Fort Collins. This combination is her stepping off point for the socio-political fiber/installation artwork she has exhibited across the U.S. and Canada. Her work had been included in over 50 exhibitions including The Textile Museum in Washington, DC.

Sara’s work has been published in Fiber Arts Magazine, Surface Design Journal,  and the books Freestyle Machine Embroidery by Carol Shin and Dimensional Cloth: Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists by Andra Stanton. Her work has been highlighted on Colorado Public Radio as well as Fox News in Mesa, AZ. She is a recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation grant and the Bernina Award for Innovation in Machine Embroidery, among others.

About her work and process, Sara says, “Most of my work is based on layering, generally pre-meditated to start but I want my subjects and materials to express their own voice, to take me on a journey. We rarely end up where I expected.”

Michiko Theurer cultivates spaces for shared experience in the intersections of visual art, musical performance, and community transformation. Her ink- and water-based paintings are motivated by embodied gestures and rhythms that she developed through her training as a violinist. Michiko holds a doctorate in musical arts (DMA) from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied with Harumi Rhodes and Edward Dusinberre, and she is currently a PhD candidate in musicology at Stanford University, where she is creating a multimedia installation project based in collective creativity and social movement.

Artist’s Statement:
“As a biracial and multi-modal artist, educator, and researcher, I’m drawn to in-between-spaces, and to the ways that these in-between spaces (of disciplines, of media, of cultures) can support collaborative engagement with ecological and social complexity. I am motivated by a desire to reshape colonial narratives of erasure by making space for joyfully embodied presence, wonder, and collective movement.”

Kevin Johnson is a Colorado-based painter, concept artist, graphic designer, sculptor, and animator known for his striking employment of vibrant colors and depictions of everyday people progressing, evolving through life. A native of Louisville, KY, Johnson pulls his images from childhood memories, life experiences, and his active imagination, with friends and family inspiring several works. Primarily working in acrylic but known to “dive into oil paint from time to time,” Johnson paints positive figures and images, ones that leave us hopeful, enchanted, inspired.

Kevin says, “I love using bright colors and painting images of people and how they move through life. It’s amazing, to me, how we can change from day to day.”

A retired 21-year member of the U.S. Army who actively served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Johnson graduated with a BS in computer animation from Full Sail University before returning to school to study media design. Mentored by contemporary figurative artist, LaShun Beal, Johnson also studied under world-renowned fine artist and illustrator, Thomas Blackshear, for seven years. His gallery appearances include shows at Colorado’s Southwinds Fine Art Gallery, G44 Gallery, Bella Art Gallery, and the Beauty of Blackness Fine Art Show. In late February 2021, Johnson’s art was included in the historic reopening of the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) as part of the exhibition Fresh and Contemporary: Moving Forward.   

Johnson, whose work has been purchased by the likes of celebrity collector and former NBA baller, Grant Hill, lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and six children.

Chris DeKnikker is an artist primarily working with collected wood and lumber. This familiar material invites the viewer to access his work and get lost in the intricacies of its construction and story. Each sculpture is created from hundreds, sometimes thousands of small, individually honed pieces. Each tiny piece is no more or less important than the piece next to it, all contributing to the overall concept. Chris states, “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing my work spark the curiosity of the viewer, even if only for a moment or two.”

Inspiration is everywhere, according to Chris. He finds it in the lichen, in the shadows on the bark of a tree, and in the light shining through the petals of a flower. Chris doesn’t mimic these observations, but rather uses the stimulation to fuel his creativity.

Chris DeKnikker was born and raised in Chico, CA, cradled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Chris made his way to Oregon and received a BFA in graphic design before heading to Colorado where he earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree. Chris lives in Colorado where he enjoys camping, hiking, mountain biking, and gardening with his wife and son.