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Interviewing The Lumineers

My feature published 12 January 2022 in The Denver Gazette

Sometimes, the rock stars align.

The Lumineers happen to be based in Denver, but even if they weren’t, the band would be at the top of my list of favorites. So imagine my delight at having interviewed both of the founding members: Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz.

My article about Wes is published today in The Denver Gazette with a teaser on the front page. We had an engaging conversation about writing music for The Lumineers’ fourth studio album, “Brightside,” to be released this weekend. We talked about his dad, his go-to lullaby for his son, his mother’s advice for the new record, and The Lumineers’ ritual right before going on stage. We talked about the band opening for Tom Petty and U2, playing for President Barack Obama at the White House a couple of times and other highlights of the past decade since the release of their first record.

Here’s a link to the article. (Actually, it’s an excerpt from my longer piece.)

It’s always nice when on of my articles gets a mention on page one!

Years ago, I interviewed Jeremiah Fraites for The Denver Business Journal. As fate would have it, I met Jer in our neighborhood one day while I was walking to yoga and passed him playing guitar on his balcony. Here’s a link to that article.

As for the new music, I have been listening a lot over the past month to “Brightside.” It’s rare for me to like every song on an album, yet that’s the case with “Brightside,” a record consistent with the excellence of The Lumineers — a band that helps us feel all the feels.

Here’s a link to and excerpt from my article.

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A herd of sculptural horses

My article for Art & Object spotlights a sculpture by the great-granddaughter of a renowned sculptor.

AMY LAUGESEN’s artistic lineage makes her art especially interesting. As if her horse sculptures didn’t already harken to different places and eras, her family tree’s roots in sculpture lend a timelessness to her art.

The artist spoke to me about her childhood horse muse, her process and her definition of a successful sculpture in my article published by Art & Object:

Read here with no paywall or advertisements.

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Denver Art Museum director and two curators trace American painting to France

Photos by Colleen Smith

Here’s a link to my article published by Art & Object with no paywall and no ads.

“Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France” is a pleasure to behold with about 100 beautiful paintings by a number of well known artists.

Photos by Colleen Smith

One aspect I was taken with was the use of white in the paintings, particularly the colors used to paint the white dresses of women in the paintings.    all


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Coors Western art 2022

Researching and writing about the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale changed my mind about Western art and taught me that there’s a lot more to the genre than cowboys and Native Americans. The annual Coors show exhibits compelling Western art and also raises scholarship funds as part of the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.

Here’s a link to my article published in Colorado Expression magazine.

Detail of a painting by Clyde Steadman

For my article, I interviewed a painter I admire: Clyde Steadman, whose impasto paintings demonstrate an exuberant style and a wide range of subject matter.

I also interviewed a sculptor I admire: Amy Laugesen, whose mixed-media horse sculptures captivate the imagination with texture, patina and traditions that cross time and cultures.

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A “community optimist” leads in philanthropy, higher education and federal government

My feature in Colorado Expression magazine’s new issue of our new year, 2022.

Having tea with Morris Price, Jr. at the Clayton Club in Denver introduced me to one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever had the opportunity to interview: Morris Price, Jr. He’s a leader in higher education, philanthropy and our federal government.

We discussed the serious — George Floyd’s murder, gay-bashing, the “N” word — but also more lighthearted subjects — clothes, music and dogs.

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Why Realism remains relevant in art

One of the most in-depth art article I wrote this year was just published by Art & Object. The topic was realism, and the work brought the pleasures of delving into mind-bogglingly realistic representational art.

Read my feature at this link with no annoying paywall or advertisements.

“Six Butterflies” by Scott Fraser, who paints in a realistic or surrealistic style.
“Silverware” by Don Eddy, who prefers the phrase “representational art” to the term “realism.”

When my editor assigned this feature to me, I knew we were dealing with a broad topic in answering his question: “Is Realism relevant in the 21st century?” A big question.

I included three master painters in the Realism style, a veteran gallerist in New York City and a renowned art historian in my feature for Art & Object.

A still-life painting by Daniel Sprick

Sprick also paints the human figure and landscapes, as the image below, titled “Wake From Dream,” shows. For more about Daniel Sprick, click here for my recent feature published by The Denver Gazette with no paywall.

Wake From Dream” by Daniel Sprick demonstrates his mastery of painting both the human figure and landscapes in the style of realism.

Despite the art world’s shenanigans such as shredded paintings and NFTs and software that replicates watercolors and AI that creates “art,” Realism really is relevant. In the digital era, the sign of the human hand matters, and representational art continues to delivery something other than even fine art photography can present.

Read my feature here with no paywall or annoying advertisements.

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Daniel Sprick’s Realism is unreal

Daniel Sprick will exhibit his “Interiors” at Gerald Peters Gallery in New York City.

Daniel Sprick has given much of his life to painting, and his hyper-realistic art evidences the results of a man with not only talent, but also devotion. Along with being an exceptionally gifted painter, Sprick is articulate. Recently, we spoke of beauty, the smoke and mirrors of the art world, and aging.

On Christmas Day 2021, The Denver Gazette published my feature about the artist, linked here.

For the article, I also interviewed Sprick’s peer, another Colorado realist, Scott Fraser. I interviewed one of Colorado’s leading art collectors, John Madden. And I also interviewed Timothy Standring, Denver Art Museum painting curator emeritus. Everybody who casts a gaze toward a Sprick painting can see perfectly well that he is a master among us.

Sprick distinguishes himself via his versatility. He paints the human figure and portraits, still-life works, landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes, as well as still-life works.

To read the article, click here.

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Serving The Philippines and far beyond as a board member of Metro Infanta Foundation

My friend Mila Garcia Glodava and I met almost 30 years ago as communications colleagues. About 25 years ago, Mila showed me around her homeland in The Philippines–a place of beauty and poverty, of pristine islands and polluted cities, but overall a culture of beautiful people of warm hospitality and wide smiles. Mila is akin to the Mother Teresa of The Philippines.

When Mila asked me to serve on the board of the Metro Infanta Foundation she established 25 years ago, I couldn’t say no. Over the years, Mila and her foundation have accomplished a lot in three areas: education, faith-formation and cultural heritage preservation. I especially have a spot in my heart for the indigenous people similar to those pictured above whom I met while on my pilgrimage in Asia.

When Mila asked me to help her create communications for the 25th anniversary of her foundation, again I could not say no. But I had not idea until we got into the project how much she had accomplished, not only in The Philippines, but around the globe. We collaborated over the summer and produced a 24-page commemorative booklet in addition to collateral materials mailed just before Thanksgiving. The project was a lot of fun because we compiled all the foundation’s many wins. We also because we worked with the bright colors, rich indigenous textiles and tropical plants, as well as captivating images of The Philippines as we designed the direct mail package to reflect the islands.

Tired, but almost finished: Mila Garcia Glodava and me as we share a hug and celebrate out long history of collaboration.

Mila and I have a special synergy. We work hard together, but we always laugh hard, too. It’s been my honor to serve as a member of Mila’s Metro Infanta Foundation board since its inception 25 years ago and to contribute to this major project. Salamat Po! That’s Tagalog for “thank you.”

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History Colorado: the state’s memory

When a PR staffer from History Colorado contacted me to say they’d enjoyed my recent magazine article about the director of Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art, he also invited me to interview the new director of History Colorado. I was already overbooked, yet I wanted to help a fellow female who was taking on a top position, so I agreed to report the feature for The Denver Gazette. I learned a lot about History Colorado, an organization that does much more than I ever imagined. History Colorado’s presence is in all corners of the state. Here’s the compelling layout published by The Denver Gazette:

The Denver Gazette published the photos I shot while visiting History Colorado, and I especially like this image of the new director with historic woman behind her.
At the History Colorado Center in Denver’s Cultural District, an exhibit titled “Zoom In” presents an authoritative chronology of the Centennial State using just 100 objects. All told, History Colorado’s collections contain 15 million objects and documents. 
The oldest artifact in ‘Zoom In’ is a stone spearhead known as a Folsom point that’s almost 13,000 years old. The newest object is a glass marijuana bong from 2012. In between, everything from the history of the first Christmas lights to the first skier’s chairlift on Aspen Mountain.

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New Welcome Center adds to Denver Art Museum’s artful buildings

All three buildings on the Denver Art Museum campus: from left, a point of the Hamilton Building, the new Welcome Center, and the Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building at right.

My feature and my photography published by Art & Object spotlights the three architectural gems of Denver Art Museum. Read my article at this link with no paywall. I interviewed the DAM’s director, Christoph Heinrich, prior to the DAM’s recent reopening of the $175 million upgrade. Part of the project was the sprucing up of the DAM’s 50-year-old building designed by Gio Ponti. The project also introduced a sparkling new Welcome Center. The Welcome Center features curved glass windows nearly 40′ tall, a new application used for the first time in the building.

Downtown Denver as seen through one of Gio Ponti’s unusually shaped windows.

One of the best aspects of the upgrade is the opening of the Martin Building’s rooftop terraces with fresh air and fresh views of the city and, in the distance, Colorado’s Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The Civic Center Park amphitheater and the Colorado State Capitol as seen from the rooftop terrace of the DAM’s Martin Building.

On a mid-October day under Denver’s bluebird skies, flags fly atop the Gio Ponti-designed building that needed to fit on an unusual, triangular piece of real estate.

Photos by Colleen Smith

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