American Museum of Western Art houses the unrivaled Anschutz Collection in Denver

An impressive private art collection made public in an ideal historic building combine for one of Denver’s hidden art gems: the American Museum of Western Art — The Anschutz Collection.

Details from paintings in The Anschutz Collection at American Museum of Western Art

And if you think Western art means all cowboys and Native Americans and landscapes, the depth and breadth of The Anschutz Collection might surprise you with works by notables such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Maxfield Parrish, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Helen Frankenthaler, Thomas Hart Benton, Childe Hassam and N.C. Wyeth.

Details from landscape paintings at AMWA, which includes more than 600 works of art

AMWA’s headquarters are artful, too. The building’s storied past is almost as colorful as the paintings, with reproductions of turn-of-the-centuries parlors well appointed with period furnishings.

Have a look at my article published by Art & Object with a number of images of the art and the museum, but no pay wall and no pop-up adds. Just click here.

As if the sumptuous art collection in the period setting weren’t enough, the museum also provides plenty of outreach to school groups, people with Alzheimer’s and their caretakers, and others with special needs. The museum has a wonderful website, too. Click here to visit the website where you can learn more about the collection, the building, virtual lectures and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A bronze sculptor’s wabi sabi story: a tragic fall, a triumphant rising again

“Gateway,” a graceful loop of bronze, one of the pieces in Yoshitomo’s Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens — Photo by Scott Dressell Martin

In November, Art & Object published my piece about the bronze sculptures in Yoshitomo Saito’s exhibition titled “Of Ground and Sky” at Denver Botanic Gardens. Here’s a link to that article. I was happy to learn at the end of December that one of the sculptures, “Gateway,” a graceful loop of bronze resembling bend aspen branches, had sold. The photo I saw on Facebook, where the artist and I are friends, showed the piece perfectly installed on an ideal site at a major art collector’s home in Denver.

Yoshitomo Saito with his sculpture “Gateway,” installed the day of his tragic fall from a tree.

But shortly after, I saw a notification that Yoshi had fallen, broken his back, his femur, and had pneumonia. William Havu Gallery had launched a Go Fund Me campaign, and I made a small donation. Having recovered from serious, life-altering injuries sustained in a skiing crash about six years ago, it was the least I could do, well aware of his long road to recovery. I felt good about helping if only in a small way.

But after I closed the lid of my laptop once my contribution was confirmed, I thought, “What if I write a story?” So I did. With the help of Yoshi’s friend and gallerist and the art curator at Denver Botanic Gardens, I wrote an article for The Denver Gazette, which published my piece ahead of the paywall so it can be easily shared.

Here is a link to my article about Yoshi’s fall and his rising again.

Yoshi’s friend, fellow artist Heidi Jung, and his gallerist, Bill Havu, both mentioned to me that because his art is so expensive to create, Yoshi sometimes grinds and melts down sculptures to use the bronze for another casting. “It’s kind of a reincarnation,” said Bill Havu.

Coincidentally, I had recently listened to an audio book titled, “Ikegai,” about Japanese concepts for a purposeful life. Sculpting is Yoshi’s ikegai, and writing is my ikegai — or part of my life’s purpose, at least — and this article came together as a combination of the two. I hope the article will generate more support for the William Havu Gallery’s Yoshitomo Saito Go Fund Me campaign and will provide the artist will succor as he begins his physical therapy and begins his return journey to his studio.

Here is a link to the Go Fund Me campaign for Yoshi.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

       

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized