Posted at 4 p.m. Sept. 8

Revealing the inner life

College hosts Fort Collins oil painter in Clay Art Gallery exhibit Sept. 10–28

Haley Hasler

Stories We Tell:

Artist Haley Hasler often uses her own likeness in her work, as she has in this oil painting.


While it may be difficult to teach people what can only be discovered from within, artists often hope to help reveal what is within by creating works that go beyond what can be observed.

“The Tooth Fairy and Other Women” from artist Haley Hasler, which will be on display in Laramie County Community College’s Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery Sept. 10—28, is designed to do just that.

A reception will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 followed by an artist lecture at 1 p.m. Sept. 10. The exhibit is a great opportunity for those who love art and are practicing the same style of art. Admission is free.

“We wanted to show art that would pertain to the work that students are doing on campus, which is figure painting,” said art instructor Matt West.

Hasler, a native of Fort Collins, has been working with this style since before grad school and would use her mirror image because it was not only available but convenient. “It came out of an interest in the human figure,” she said. Realizing the work became more and more autobiographical, Hasler became aware of what she wanted to portray in her artwork and that it wasn’t all about outer appearance. “I’m more interested in an inner life that may be more archetypal or even universal through a personal story,” she said. Along with an interest in painting figures, she has never strayed from the medium of oil painting either.

Though there are many other techniques she considers to be beautiful, Hasler believes it would take her whole lifetime to master another medium. She said she thinks painting is the most versatile because of its rich use in the past. She added she hasn’t “even scratched the surface of what oil painting can do.”

Art history is another interest that developed into love for Hasler. She said she noticed many paintings of women are painted by men and wanted to try it for herself, as she thought there has always been a voice missing in the portrayal of women. “Rather than painting the female observed, my whole work has been about the inner life and the inside looking and interpreting the exterior from within,” she said. As a mother, she said she has always related to the portrayals of motherhood in art history but also questioned it. “There’s a lot of ambivalence in that and the question of who we are, what is the self and how does that contradict the outward appearance.”

Hasler is represented by Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York, and Alpha Gallery in Boston and has also shown her work around the country in academic locations and museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper.

“The Tooth Fairy and Other Women” features work Hasler has never shown before including “Portrait as Stories We Tell,” “Nocturnorum Animilium” and “Portrait of Sunday Brunch.”

If you go:

When: Sept. 10-28, with a reception at 7 p.m. Sept. 9

Where: The Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery

Cost: Free