Skip to main content

Commissioners' Choice

Commissioners’ Choice

An art piece by Mark Friday
an art piece by Craig Marshall SMith
An art piece by Karen Scharer
An art piece by Deborah Jang


Four long-time, Colorado artists with extensive resumes have interacted for an exhibition featuring both two and three-dimensional paintings and assemblages that include a diptych specially created for the exhibit, as well as four unique pieces all titled “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that incorporate a common color. New work by West Pueblo painter Karen Scharer, Highlands Ranch painter Craig Marshall Smith, and Denver assemblage artists Deborah Jang and Mark Friday will be on display.

Opening: Friday, July 19, 2024 from 6pm-8pm

Dates: July 17-September 23, 2024

About the Artists

Karen Scharer’s work reflects decades of art study with a wide range of artists, informed by diverse experiences from travel, a degree in natural resource management, and a 17-year career in technology. During her more than 30-year successful painting practice, Scharer’s work has transitioned from realism to abstraction, and from watercolor to acrylic to oil, a medium which has now completely captured her focus and passion. Scharer’s large, colorful abstract paintings have been featured in dozens of solo and group shows across the U.S.

Karen Scharer is based in Pueblo West, CO where her home and studio sit beneath dramatic skies just minutes from the beautiful Arkansas River, and a short drive from some of Colorado’s most spectacular mountain peaks. The stunning and varied Colorado landscape is a constant source of inspiration for her intuitive painting approach.

Deborah Jang builds sculptures from repurposed materials. Many are wall-mounted pieces, some are freestanding. Her materials of choice – wood salvage, metal scrap, and thrift store odds & ends – are items that catch her eye for their form, texture, intrigue, or familiarity.

Deborah also writes poetry and has had two books published. In addition, she creates designs for t-shirts and textile products. In all her creative pursuits, it’s the moments of discovery and connection — within herself and in community — that bring on the Joy.

She earned a BFA from the University of Colorado at Denver. Based mostly in Denver, Colorado, she also enjoys extended creative spells in Oceanside, California.

Mark Friday takes an additive approach to creating assemblage sculpture, often starting in the middle and working his way out. His materials, mostly wood and metal, are found, scrounged, miscellaneous bits and pieces from the discarded, unwanted leftovers from our mass-produced world. The challenge is to transform the ordinary into the unique.

Friday’s methods of attachment are primarily physical, joining parts together with screws, bolts, nails, and only occasionally using adhesives. His works are usually painted or stained and then a final water-based coating is applied to enhance and protect. In addition to the found objects and pigment, Friday incorporates screen printed and collage imagery.

Craig Marshall Smith is a Colorado Abstract Expressionist painter. He was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1947. He received an MFA in 1973 from UCLA, where Richard Diebenkorn was his painting professor. Smith’s inspirations have been the paintings of Diebenkorn, Franz Kline, and Jim Dine, as well as draftsmanship and calligraphy. Smith taught drawing at the university level until retiring in 2003 as a Professor Emeritus.

“I paint because it keeps me out of trouble and I’m good at it.”

The Commissioners’ Choice program is an artist invitational which provides a unique exhibition opportunity at the Lone Tree Arts Center. Each year, the Lone Tree Arts Commission supports emerging and professional Colorado-based artists by providing a venue to display their work in a public setting. Please see below for more information for this specific show.

The Lone Tree Arts Center is open to the public from 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday, and two hours prior to any scheduled LTAC show.  If you have any questions, please email or call the Box Office at 720-509-1000.