Category Archives: What’s New?

Adams State University Acquires Rita Roberts Painting

Rita with Painting

“Stormy Skies Over Cut Wheat, San Luis Valley”

Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado celebrated the grand re-opening of historic Richardson Hall, which was recently renovated through state capital construction funds.

This piece was acquired for the university’s permanent collection and displayed the main floor of Richardson Hall through the Colorado Art in Public Places Program. The program requires one-percent of capital construction funds for new or renovated state buildings be set aside for the acquisition of works of art at the project site.

About the painting…

A subtle grid pattern appears and disappears through layers of clouds above a harvested field in this landscape. It is indicative of the San Luis Valley’s agricultural heritage. The grid is integrated with the clouds as a statement of how closely related farms and crops are to the weather in this high elevation valley. The square format of the piece, plus the squares of the grid represent the patchwork of farmlands which cover the San Luis Valley like a quilt pattern, as seen from the sky.

Monte at Denver Art and Frame in Colorado Springs built and designed this custom frame specifically for this piece. He always does a wonderful job for me. Thank you, Monte!

Richardson Hall is the perfect place for this painting. I am honored to have my work in this beautiful, historic building. At 48″ x 48″ it is the largest piece I’ve ever painted so the fact that it’s in a public collection is a wonderful recognition. I hope all present and future students, faculty and staff as well as campus visitors find a place of contemplation and calm with this painting.

Also posted in Collectors, Featured, Uncategorized, What's New?

Paint-Out to Celebrate the Wilderness Act

50th Wilderness Paint Out FLyer copy


The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

14-2 Mountain Buddies_RRoberts

“Mountain Buddies” 10″ x 10″, Oil on Canvas. Available after the Paint Out at Frame Shop Creede.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–577) was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected 9.1 million acres (36,000 km²) of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness and to create a formal mechanism for designating wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964 after over sixty drafts and eight years of work. — from Wikipedia

The two equine friends are regulars to the Park Corrals. Friendly, always ready for a pet or a treat. Carrots are on my list of supplies to take some carrots to the paint out.

See you there!


Also posted in Blog, Events, Featured, What's New?

Online Auction Slated for November 1st, 2014

This painting will be up for auction in a “live” 13 hour period over the internet.

Oil on Linen, 16 x 24″ Low clouds at high altitude slide along the valley floor. This scene appears to be embellished, but these cloud formations are typical of March in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, the largest alpine valley in North America.

Details for the site and log in information will follow soon.

Skirting the Neatherlands_RRoberts

Skirting the Netherlands #2

Also posted in Blog, Events, What's New?

Tiers of a Storm in the Land of Contradictions

Tiers of a Storm_RRoberts

Tiers of a Storm, 48″ x 48″ Oil on Canvas

Tiers of a Storm has been submitted to the Colorado Public Arts projects for consideration to be included in the collection of a local institution, Adams State University. More than a typical sky-scape which the San Luis Valley is known for, this painting is also about the agricultural lifeblood of this area. The grid pattern which recedes into the clouds throughout the piece represents the inorganic grid pattern of the SLV, which creates a land of one-mile, perfected, quilt-like squares in what is otherwise a harsh and wild climate. The cut wheat slashes a bright accent line under a cold, threatening sky. The San Luis Valley is a land of contradictions, as is this painting. Not only in its composition, but as one still moment captured in paint, but when viewing it, the clouds appear to move.

Also posted in Blog, Collaborative Works, Creative Process, Events, Featured, Uncategorized, What's New?

Chance Encounters Exhibit

Exhibit Opens November 30th!


Firedworks Gallery is pleased to present Chance Encounters,
an exhibit with the artwork of Rita Roberts and photographs of Andoni Canela.

Some of the paintings and photographs can be seen at:

Opening Reception and for the artists:  Friday, November 30th, 7 – 9 pm
Video and presentation at 7:30 pm
Show will be on view through the holidays.


Twenty-two paintings and photographs that reflect the incredible diversity of the San Luis Valley will be on view at Firedworks Gallery in Alamosa. Two masters experience and observe together, the rhythms of art and nature, as an integral part of their creations. Each, in their own way, generate images in devotion to the wild, as well as the personal.
Both artists have contributed to land and wildlife conservation efforts. The Chance Encounters collection includes habitats protected by the Rio Grande Headwater’s Land Trust (RiGHT), the Nature Conservancy, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Monte Vista and Alamosa Wildlife Refuges, and Colorado State Wildlife areas.


Andoni Canela.
Inline image 1

For 20 years, Andoni Canela has been working as a wildlife photographer, traveling throughout the world in search of endangered species – such as polar bears, grey whales, Bengal tigers, Iberian wolves, pandas, grizzlies, condors and quetzals. His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time, Geo, The Sunday Times, Newsweek, La Vanguardia and El País. He is the author of a dozen books and has made several expeditions to the Arctic, Amazon, Himalayas and the savannas of Africa. Beginning in the summer 2013 he has a touring exhibition with his 5 year work on the Arctic. This exhibition will be on view in more than 40 cities in Spain.

Rita Roberts.
Inline image 2

Artist, and long-time resident of Monte Vista, Rita Roberts, has teamed up with this master photographer. As a naturalist and landscape painter, Rita’s work has gained national attention. She is a signature member of Oil Painters of America and has been featured in national publications including, Southwest Art, American Art Collector, and The Artist’s Magazine. She holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and will complete an MFA at the Academy of Art University in 2014. She shows regularly in prestigious exhibits like Salon International in San Antonio, Women Artists of the West Invitational, Tucson and Wendt Gallery Invitationals in Laguna Beach.

Gallery hours are 10 am to 6 pm seven days a week through December. For more information please contact Carol Mondragon or 719-589-6064. Some of the paintings and photographs can be seen at:

Inline image 3

Firedworks Gallery
608 Main Street
Alamosa, CO 81101
719-589-6064    Email:

Also posted in Blog, Collaborative Works, Creative Process, Events, Featured, What's New?, Writings

A new project coming soon…

Accidental adventures and chance encounters often create the best results…

Light, Landscape and Wildlife of the San Luis Valley





Also posted in Blog, Collaborative Works, Events, Featured, What's New?

Portraits from 2012








Check out the newest paintings on the Figurative page.

2012 has been filled with figures, portraits and writing.

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Character Designs

Meet Coral, one of many new characters created in the fall of 2011. She is a tropical fish trapped in the body of a bass.

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