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About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e    August 2008


Glowing Reviews

Keith Walden turns lampshades into fine art.

In her Common Ground gallery, housed in the historic John P. Risque House that she calls home, Paula Geisler is getting ready for a unique reception for local artist Keith Walden.

Keith Walden with samples of his lampshade art.

"Well, one of the purposes of art is to shed light on life, so Keith's work is perfect in that regard," Geisler says with a smile. "It'll be a 'dark of the moon' celebration," she says, flipping through her calendar book and noting that August has the distinction of two new moons. "It's a special time, astrologically, with lots of good energy," she says. "What better time to showcase the works of such an illuminating artist!"

"Illuminating" because Walden creates one-of-a-kind lampshades, decorated with striking black ravens, delicate fleur-de-lis designs and lush Monterrey florals in dusky, subtle tones. Throughout the front room in the gallery, Walden's works adorn lamps on nearly every table and shelf.

An interior designer and fine artist, Walden did decorative painting for clients in Los Angeles before moving to the Silver City area three years ago. One reason he began creating lampshades was so that he could ship his artwork easily anywhere in the world.

Walden explains that he first treats the large arcs of archival paper with an acrylic resin to keep the paper translucent and strong. Images are stenciled on or painted free-hand — sometimes a combination — then the paper is affixed to the frame to create the shade.

The images Walden paints range from antique-looking to classic to modern, affording a wide range of options to fit different tastes and interiors.

"I love the design process," Walden says. "It's fulfilling to create a special piece of decor like this, and people really appreciate the special touch of something like this in their home."

Common Ground will host a closing reception for Walden's lampshade art Friday, Aug. 8, 4-6:30 p.m. The work of 20 other artists will also be on display.

"Oh, I think I should serve moon pies!" Geisler says whimsically, then adds, "No, not really. It'll be the wine-and-cheese gallery fare."

— Donna Clayton Lawder

Common Ground Gallery, 103 W. Kelly St., Silver City. 534-2087.



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