Release Date: June 11, 2020

Firehouse Art Center Open Now


JUNE 10 - JULY 26, 2020

Presenting a solo show of eight works selected from Helios Lucida’s Unusual Suspects series, each 
painting is 48x48” oil on canvas.

Born out of a “need to push portraiture beyond the figurative illustration of a subject and towards 
an abstract interpretation of the person” works in the show emphasize a physical revelry in color 
and material. The people chosen were mostly selected from images of various drag performers that I 
had been invited to photograph throughout a several year period, two paintings are self portraits, 
and one was envisioned.

[6:30 PM]

Artist Occupied South Gallery

By choosing subject matter to include drag performers and self-portraiture, Lucida allows us to 
contemplate the
various levels of representation, along a spectrum of self-expression with added layers of 
painterly creativity.

Using oils and mediums allows for an extended work process, a month or more devoted to each 
painting and its layers. From Lucida: “I build the image up in layers of paint until I have a 
traditional rendering of a portrait. Then, I start to add additional layers of paint that I distort 
with various mediums, brushes, palette knives and homemade tools. This is the high wire event for 
each one of these paintings; as I push it towards the edge I use my intuition as an artist to 
decide at which point to solidify the visual chaos at the desired moment.”

That moment in the process can be seen in the finished work and gives the paintings their energy 
and textures you could almost eat.

Helios Lucida currently resides in Conifer, CO.


June 2020 marks the return of our Artist Occupied south gallery residency - the ninth incarnation of the series.
Barbara Rudlaff will work throughout the summer on a series of 12”x12” oil portraits of lesbians within her
social circle wearing their protective face masks. The portraits provide an opportunity to discuss queer identity
and achievement, our current health crisis, and the relationship between identity and presentation. The series
culminates in a solo show in September that will present not only the completed paintings but short biographical
sketches written in partnership with the portraits’ subjects.
Rudlaff will work in the space, welcoming visitors and demonstrating her process, every Saturday this summer
from 12-5pm.
We’re encouraging anyone online to join us in sharing their own selfies with the hashtag #seenatfirehouse
Rudlaff has owned her own portrait painting business for over ten years and has been a painting and drawing
instructor both privately and for the Grumbacher Paint company for 6 years. She is the Chair of the Public
Art Commission in Lafayette, Colorado, and regularly volunteers for art organizations and festivals as well as
Boulder County LGBTQ organizations. She believes art plays an important role in community involvement and
enhancement and has contributed artwork to fundraisers for the Boulder County AIDS project, Gateway Battered
Women’s Shelter and the Fort Collins Art Museum. |