Featured Artists

The Featured AAFC Artist section of the gallery is dedicated to those consignment artists that have gone above and beyond in their support of Academy Art & Frame Company. It is our way to give an extra "Thank You!" for their time and dedication.

Vinda G. Robison

Vinda G Robison has dabbled in art and design since she was a young girl. She created her own clothing for years until 1990 when she made her first quilt. She started making art quilts in 1994, loves manipulating fabric and patterns and changing them to her whims. She paints on fabric for her quilts and loves making realistic images to fit her ideas. She has won several awards for her Art Quilts, with eight having been on national tours.
She started working with acrylic paints with her first Flight Aluminum butterfly in 2014 and loves that she has been able to make it work. In 2014, she started Doodling based on the Zentangle art format. Using Ink and Pencil she creates images filled in with whimsical patterns and designs using her imagination. In 2015 she won two awards in a judged show for two of her VinDoodle pieces. She continues to learn, teach, and create new treasures expressing her art in quilts and VinDoodle renderings.

You can see Vinda's amazing creations from April 12, 2017 until June 7, 2017. She will be in attendance for both the 3rd Friday Receptions in April/May

April 21, 4-8pm

May 19, 4-8pm

joe bishop- March/april

Joe Bishop is the Featured AAFC Artist for March and April. His exhibit will be on display March 11 to May 6, 2017 and he and Pat will be in attendance for the 3rd Friday Receptions March 17 and April 21, 4-8pm.

Joe was born in Portland, ME in 1982. He has always been in a wheelchair and unable to speak, due to a rare birth defect. In 2006 Joe discovered painting. He prefers oils because they are forgiving and rich. He paints with the help of adaptive equipment, such as a splint to help him hold his brushes, a windmill easel and a palette holder.

Painting has opened up a whole new world for Joe and has quickly become his passion. Because he is nonverbal, art allows him to voice his feelings, opinions and ideas and connect with his world. Painting also allows him to give something back to his community. Most of all, art gives Joe an identity; he is now Joe, the artist.

Joe loves color, textures, and opposite concepts and his paintings reflect his interests. He loves the outdoors and especially water. He finds inspiration from the world around him. Joe also uses the metaphor of “being trapped inside a bottle” in his art to describe his feelings about his disability. Joe has a studio at Cottonwood Center for the Arts and has earned a BFA from CSU Pueblo in 2014. He hopes to continue learning and growing as an artist, as well as a human being.
You can see more of his work at his studio and website:
Cottonwood Center for the Arts, studio 237


Elane Graves- February/March

"Nature’s vibrant and infinite color palette inspire me the most. I am at peace outdoors, in the quiet of the wilderness or overlooking the grand landscape. It’s where I recharge and is essential to my soul. My work as an artist reflects this and my goal is to create beautiful, serene images for people to enjoy. Like most artists, I often compose images in my mind long before I ever find myself at the right location. And as I walk along a trail, suddenly it will hit me- that’s it, that’s the shot and I will sit there for as long as it takes to capture what’s in my mind. As a photographer, I don’t feel that one should be constrained to merely documenting the scene before them. I see the camera and post-processing software as tools to express my vision of the world that surrounds me."

Elane's work will be on display February 8 to April 7, 2017. She will be in attendance for both of the two 3rd Friday Receptions, February 17 and March 17, 4-8pm.

Rhonda van pelt- January/february

"I earned my bachelor’s degree in Art at the University of Southern Colorado, where I studied with professors including Lew Tilley, Ed Sajbel, Robert Wands and Orlin Helgoe. I returned to college a few years later to earn my bachelor's in Mass Communications.
Since then, I have been a graphic designer, copy editor, freelance writer and always, always an artist. Currently, that means taking photos, some of which I incorporate in hand-sewn quilts. My current day job: managing editor of the Pikes Peak Bulletin, Manitou Springs’ weekly newspaper, where I often write about art and photograph the people, places and events that make Manitou so unique.
My life goals include using my skills to bridge the two worlds of art and words. I try to do something creative every day."
Rhonda's work will be on display January 10th to March 7th, 2017. She will be in attendance for the 3rd Friday Artist Reception on February 17th, 2017.

Linda Case- December/January

Linda Case is a whirlwind supporter of Academy Art & Frame Company and considers herself an amateur photographer. Her work ranges in subject matter from flowers to cyclists to Pikes Peak. She is a member of Peak Digital Imaging Society helping president Cas Foste with organizing field trips and has two pieces displayed in the Black and White Exhibition. She is also a great friend and mentor to Kim Costello.

Linda is also a published author and her most recent book Bold Beliefs in Camouflage is for sale at AAFC. She is also one of the major players in organizing the Veteran's Day events throughout Colorado Springs.
Linda's work will be on display at AAFC until February 7th, 2017 and will likely be in attendance for the 3rd Friday Reception on January 20th.

Darcy Lee marquis- November/December

"Writing about ones self is a challenge and is like trying to creat a self portrait with a dull pencil and a broken mirror. Here I will touch on just a few high points.

Recognizing my talent early, (and I suspect hoping for some Darcy-free time) my parents sent me to Bemis School of Art when I was quite young. There I was taught by a force of nature named Helen Owens. Ms. Owens was larger than life with a passion for art and a sparkling personality. I am still influenced and in awe of this lively lady.

My poor college timing still haunts me. . . I arrived at college in the middle of the non-objective and abstract period. My heart belonged to Charle Russel, Renior, and David. For four years I was a fish out of water, drawing squared on canvas and using rulers to make portraits while I dreamed of painting flesh like Ingres and fabrics like Holbein.

My teaching experience included college continuing education classes at places as diverse as Fort Lewis College in Durango, Hila Pueblo College, and in Globe, Arizona in Six Shooter Canyon (I kid you not). My husband's Gypsy blood took us to jobs on the Apache and Navajo reservations where I also taught and was influenced by the rich southwestern cultures.

My husband's death brought me back home to my family in Colorado Springs where I taught in public schools. During this time I began traveling with Joyce Webb and teaching through her classes for the Colorado School of Mines continuing education classes. I have been fortunate enough to make multiple trips in the great cities of Europe, and to teach and lead tours of the incredible museums of those cities. My degrees in art, history, speech and drama have given me an unique view of teaching and creating art."

Darcy Lee's exceptional artwork will be on display through out the months of November and December. She will be in attendance at the reception for each month, November 18 and December 16th, 4-8pm.

Lindsay Laxton-Nadeau- October/November

Lindsay was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO and attended the Art Institute of Colorado in 2005/2006 emphasizing Photography. She has displayed her artwork in a number of galleries and restaurants.

In 2013, Lindsay entered the Colorado State Fair Fine Art Exhibit winning a special award from Steel City Gallery and has entered consecutively since. Photography was her first love, studying it in college but eventually moved into watercolor painting and stained glass. 3 years ago, she again stepped out of her box and started doing furniture sculptures and welding incorporating her 3D stained glass flowers, a concept she originated.

Lindsay's work will be on display throughout the months of October and November and she will be in attendance for both monthly receptions, October 21 and November 18, 2016 4-8pm.

Guy Moore- September/October

"From my earliest recollections I always had a love for all things photographic. My parents blessed me with Brownies, Polaroids, Instamatics, and later in my late teens I bought my first full-size SLR. Photography has been a gift to me in that I am quite ADD, and taking photographs has been a way of helping me slow down mentally and focus on the magic of the moment. There is a serenity and a sense of transcendence I find when engaged in photography that is only rivaled by fishing . I hope that at least some of the joy and peace I experience in my photography resonates with you when viewing my work."

A small portion of Moore's huge collection of photographic images will be on display at Academy Art & Frame Company from September 8th to November 9th. Moore will be in attendance during the October reception Imagination! All That's October! on Friday, October 21st, from 4-8pm.

As an extra bonus, Moore has decided to reduce his stock of unframed images so until November 9, 2016 every purchase is eligible to receive an 11x14 Guy Moore image of your choice, FREE. Ask for details!

Karen Simkiss- August/September

Karen will have her Polaroid manipulated photographic work on display at AAFC from August 10th to October 5th, 2016. She will be attending the HDYSG? reception on August 19 and would love to explore the ideas of her work with you! She also has an encaustic in the HDYSG? exhibit.

Karen has been painting and exhibiting her art work for the past thirty-five years. She has taught art for twenty-five years in many different arenas.Her students have ranged from pre-school to adults. She has been an instructor in public and private schools and taught private lessons in and around Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Presently Karen is teaching art and photography at St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"I am interested in any medium that involves processes! This is how fell in love with Polaroid Photography.
In 1948, Edwin H. Land introduced the Polaroid Land Camera. The story goes he was walking with his daughter taking pictures and she wanted to know why she couldn't see the pictures right away. So, Land invented a camera that was based on traditional photography; however, it was the first instant print camera. Sometime after the invention a golfer was taking pictures whild out on the golf course. He shoved the photo into his pocket with some tees and when he got home the tees had marked the photo. The emulsion stayed soft enough to manipulate for up to 4 hours. While the golfer thought the photo was ruined, the artist grabbed onto this new process.
I don't know for sure if the golfer story is true but since I am a golfer and artist, I like to believe it is! When I learnt the process I did do my manipulations with a golf tee."

Carol Losinski Naylor- July/August 2016

Watercolor batik artist, Carol Losinski Naylor, specializes in creating exquisite paintings on various types of fiber paper using hot wax and watercolor. Carol has won many awards in local, national and international shows. She teaches the technique and is available to teach anywhere in the world. She is currently the President of the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society. Carol's work will be on display at Academy Art & Frame Company from July 11, 2016 to September 7, 2016. She will be a part of the Artist's Reception on July 15th, 2016 from 4-8pm.

Gregory Kelley- June/July 2016

I'm now a sixty-nine year old native of Colorado Springs and I am still deciding what to do with my life. My art career started when I was a mere three years old. My mom repainted my bedroom for me. It was a beautiful white color. I was inspired by this blank page. My medium of choice at that time was crayons with the emphasis on bright colors. My inspiration seems to have come from a Jackson Pollock painting. The work was exquisite, filled with multiple colors and many varied and abstract shapes. My mother laughed for a week. She repainted the walls. I spent months regretting the loss of my first masterpiece.

The startling beauty of this state is why I am an artist. I remember the crisp air when you are having a cup of coffee in the high mountains. Aspen, Telluride, Vail, Longs Peak, and Pikes Peak are all terrific to look at. I have watched wild horses run. I want to capture all that in paintings, with the emphasis on colorful and Colorado.

I have been a digital artist since 1997. I could finally get the control over color. Went to classes in high school, and later I went to Taos, New Mexico to study Southwestern style art and watercolor classes. The computer crashed a lot. I studied more. After years of work, I got it mostly right. I hope you enjoy my art. I hope it reminds you how beautiful the mountains are. I hope it reminds you what a great place Colorado is.

I am a self taught digital artist. I use Corel Painter most of the time, and Photoshop a little bit. When you use digital art, you can control the colors and the paint strokes. You don't have to clean your brushes. I was hooked.

I have sold paintings for almost two decades. I sold at The Great Indoors at both the Park Meadows Mall and at the Flatirons for five years. I was their number one Colorado artist, and averaged selling three to five paintings a week. I have paintings hanging in the Broadmoor Hotel, at the United States Air Force Academy, and numerous private homes.

I won first place in the digital painting category at the Colorado State Fair several years ago. There were 10,000 entries that year. I also won the People's Choice Award for the same painting in the same year. The State Fair people told me I got 5 times as many votes for People's Choice as the second place finisher. I entered a Vail Colorado Art Festival, and finished in the top five sellers with over 130 artists participating.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife used my trout paintings in one of their monthly magazines. I've been married for forty five years and I have two grown children. I am slowly recovering from the brain damage teenagers' cause. It's been a wonderful life and I am doing well.

Best Regards,
Gregory Kelley
DBA GregorPaintings.com

Gregory Kelley's work is now on display at Academy Art & Frame Company and will be displayed throughout the months of June and July. Come and meet Greg on Saturday, June 18th from 11am-4pm at the June Extravaganza! You can also check out his work on his website at www.gregorpaintings.com. For more information contact Academy Art & Frame Company at 719-265-6694!

Steve castle - May/June 2016

Watercolorist Steve Castle grew up in the rural snow country of upstate New York along the Mohawk River. The influence of this beautiful area, where the winter can often be six months long, is apparent in his nostalgic snow and country scenes.

He has been drawing and painting as long as he can remember. After college Steve entered the Air Force and one of his first assignments was in the beautiful city of San Antonio, TX where he displayed his watercolors in front of the Alamo and along the Riverwalk. In 1978 he moved to Colorado Springs, which he has called home ever since. The spirit of the west can now be seen in his watercolors. He is continually driving the back roads in search of that old ghost town, covered bridge, train, depot, barn or mill that waits to be painted.
Steve is a former president of the Randolph Art League in San Antonio and the Colorado Springs Art Guild. He has also been a member of the San Antonio Watercolor Group, Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors and Pikes Peak Art Association.

Steve's watercolors have won numerous awards and can be found in collections throughout the country. They have been displayed in galleries in Texas, Ohio, Mississippi and Colorado where his winter landscapes have become his trademark. Steve has taken workshops from internationally recognized watercolorists but he continues to strive to maintain his own individualism and unique style in his watercolors.

Steve Castle's work is now on display at Academy Art & Frame Company. You can also check out his work on his website at www.stevecastlefineart.com. For more information contact Academy Art & Frame Company at 719-265-6694!