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HooDoos and Head Cheese: New exhibits open at the Museum of Art Fort Collins

The Museum of Art Fort Collins is hosting Colorado-based artists Sean O’Meallie and Anne Bossert at their new exhibits opening Friday. The show sees them at their most whimsical, with wood-carved balloons, striped spires and sculpted coronavirus molecules.

"The Last Piece" by Sean O'Meallie.
Courtesy Sean O'Meallie
"The Last Piece" by Sean O'Meallie.

O’Meallie’s show is titled Head Cheese: A 25 Year Retrospective. The show is a compilation of some of his works from his past 25 years as a sculptor. The show brings together work from private collections, the artist’s personal collection and includes some of his new work. The sculptures have changed over time; ideas have come and gone, and he transitioned from more neutral colors to the candy-colored hues of his more recent composition, but O’Meallie has always used wood as his primary medium.

“It's familiar to almost everybody on the planet and it's easy to touch,” said O’Meallie. “There's a lot of interaction with the things I create, so the medium itself is welcoming.”

What remained the same was the influence from his time as a toy inventor. He spent 10 years pitching ideas to toy companies, and said he learned about what makes a toy successful.

“It’s just a part of me,” he said. “I don’t even conceive of things that don’t include those aspects of what a toy is, what an object is.”

One of Bossert's HooDoos with some familiar-looking charms.
Courtesy Anne Bossert
One of Bossert's HooDoos with some familiar-looking charms.

For Bossert, the inspiration behind her show, HooDoos and Charms, came from the scraps of her furniture making. Bossert has a love of stripes and color, and she couldn’t let the leftover laminated plywood go to waste. Pulling from her love of Utah and the West, she created the HooDoos, named after the rock formations found throughout the region. She said the wood sculptures function as trophies that aren’t just for sports.

“I think that it’s a sweet idea to give ourselves trophies for everyday things.”

Bossert also created the HooDoos to be pedestals for her less-than-two-inch-large charms. One of the charms looks just like a coronavirus molecule – a likeness that the artist has confirmed.

“I’m thinking of that one as a pandemic participation trophy,” said Bossert.

The exhibits can be viewed at the Museum of Art in downtown Fort Collins from Jan. 21, 2022 to March 13, 2022.

As the host of Morning Edition at KUNC, I have the privilege of delivering you the news in two ways — from behind the mic and behind the scenes. In addition to hosting Morning Edition, I’ll report on pressing news of the day and arts and culture on the Front Range.