Reprinted with permission from the Fort Collins Museum of Art.
The Fort Collins Museum of Art is celebrating the fact that the city of Fort Collins has named this Friday, Nov. 20, as Bob Coonts Day in honor of the retired CSU affiliate faculty member. The museum is opening a special exhibition that will display Coonts’ work since 2008 as well as a selection of work from 20 of his employees, friends and students over the years.
Coonts will be in the gallery from noon to 3 p.m., giving visitors an opportunity to meet him, see the exhibit and enjoy cake and beverages.
Coonts, who was a member of the Department of Art and Art History, has developed a style unique to his creative expression, one that is based on color, design, pattern and stylization. Coonts chooses bold, expressive color within his art and makes his subjects come alive through this intuitive use of non-realistic color. His subject matter mostly consists of animals, landscapes and abstract compositions. Mythology, nature, Native American, Celtic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman art are strong influences in his work.
Coonts uses geometric shapes, circles, triangles, squares and other forms, such as arrows and concentric circles. The arrow, used by early Native Americans in many of their animal images found on pottery and petroglyphs, represents the heart line. The heart line was believed to be the strength, source and breath of life for a particular animal. Coonts uses the arrow as a design element, which also imbues his paintings with a sense of movement as well as suggesting the four directions.
As much as this exhibition is about the artistic career of Coonts, it also celebrates his incredible legacy as a mentor and teacher through his business Bob Coonts Graphic Design, Inc., from 1974 to 1994 and his decades of teaching as an affiliate faculty member at Colorado State University from 1971 to 2006. Bob invited 20 designers to display a memorable piece of work as part of this exhibition.
The exhibit is sponsored in part by Gary and Carol Ann Hixon.