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Cheri Vilona

Berthoud, Colorado, United States



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About the Artist

Playful colorful abstractions organically come from her work, which begin with a reference photograph and move towards gestural movement and expression. She works color and form into each piece, responding to initial instinctive marks, and continues keeping movement of line, shape and color choice vibrant and unexpectedly soothing at the same time. Her paintings evoke and relay deeply rooted feelings and memories; the expansive colors and textures of our lands, mountain and valley vistas filled with atmosphere and mystery, the warmth of our sunrise and sunsets, dramatic seasonal skies and clouds, gardens filled with local color and texture.

Cheri often incorporates mixed media elements into her work, giving her additional communicative tools to respond to on the canvas. The finished paintings, through assertive gestures and artist marks, create a further expansive sense of imagery connecting emotion and recognition of natural shapes together; a final abstracted sense of place.

Cheri Vilona has resided in NJ, NY, California, Oregon, Florida, and now makes her home on a farm in Northern Colorado with her sculptor husband James Vilona. She draws daily inspiration from western mountain views and local historic farmlands. Her work is displayed in private and corporate collections through the United States.


Artist Statement

“I’ve been making art since before I can remember, first through photographs and film processing, studying graphic arts and advertising, finally realizing my voice with oil on canvas and linen. My early years were spent in New Jersey and New York State and our family often travelled the east coast by car. Watching outside the window, I enjoyed the varied beautiful sceneries and seeing life and landscapes through a soft-focus lens. I challenge myself in my work with these perspectives, varied subjects, playful new materials, not being easily satisfied until all things are uncovered, initial references and final subjects laid out to be seen and experienced through my point of view.

My focus lies in evoking and sharing these deeply rooted feelings of all things landscape; expansiveness of our lands, mountain and valley vistas filled with atmosphere and mystery, the warmth of our sunrise and sunsets, dramatic seasonal skies and clouds, gardens filled with local color and texture. As a small child, I was exposed to planting wild flowers and watching their progress and growth and came to love gardens for their mystery and constant natural changes.
The landscapes and gardens I paint are abstracted, moving from literal points of view to gestural reactions in line placement, land mass, composition, color. I often start each painting with a photograph I’ve taken of a place I’m inspired by, drawing key lines and shapes on the canvas. Then I work colors and gestures into each piece, keeping movement of shapes and color choice vibrant and unexpectedly soothing at the same time. Always looking for that soft focus through abstraction.

Recent works may incorporate mixed media materials, yielding an array of playful and instinctive discoveries I am compelled to push and continue. The finished paintings, through assertive gestures and artist marks, create a further expanded sense of imagery connecting emotion and recognition of natural shapes together; a final abstracted sense of place.”

Cheri has an AAS degree in Graphic Arts and Advertising and a BS in Business Management, and has continued undergraduate studies in SUNY New Paltz NY, San Jose State and Portland State University. She has furthered her artistic training working with notable painters including Ken Elliott, Casey Klahn, Krista Harris, Larissa Aukon, Douglas Fryer, Mitch Alballa, and Jill Soukup. Cheri has been juried into The Breckenridge Artist In Residence Program in both 2013 and 2016. She is a member of the Arts Students League of Denver, and paints full time in her studio in Berthoud, CO.


Exhibitions

Galery Shows
Mill Contemporary Solo Show May 2019
Mill Contemporary Group Show, Summer 2018
BreckCreates, Breckenridge CO Solo Show, July 2016
Vilona Gallery Group Show, Boulder CO 2015
Boulder Chamber Orchestra, May 2016, Live Painting during Symphony Program
Open Arts Exhibition, Boulder, CO 2015

Public Presentations
Juried Fine Art Festivals including Park City, Utah, Plaza Art Festival, Kansas City, MO,
CherryArts, Denver, Crested Butte, CO, Boulder, CO
Artist in Residence Program, BreckCreates 2013 & 2015
Photographic Artists of CU Boulder-Visiting Artist Lecture 2015
Professional Photography-Article for JCK Magazine 2007


Education

Education
AAS Degree Graphic Arts & Advertising, NY
BS Degree, Marylhurst College, Oregon
Atelier Workshops- Don Sahli, Larissa Aukon, Casey Klahn, Ken Elliott, Mitch Albala,
Jeff Wenzel, Krista Harris, Douglas Fryer
Member of the Arts Students League of Denver, CO


Gallery Representation

Mill Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Element, Denver, Colorado