Coors Western Art show corrals best of the west

The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale rounds up the best of the west in terms of paintings, sculpture and other fine arts in contemporary Western realism. The exhibit, free with a stock show ticket, includes paintings and sculptures from Western contemporary artists from across the nation. Learn more in my piece published by Art + Object:

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Plexiglass saddles by Maeve Eichelberger exemplify the edge of contemporary Western realism in the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, part of the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

#KarenRoehl #LeonLoughridge #MaeveEichelberger #CoorsWesternArtShow #NationalWesternStockShow #contemporaryWesternartists #stockshow #DenverStockShow #DenverColorado #contemporaryart #horsepaintings #stockshowart #Denverartists #Denverart

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The golden age of yoga mats

We live in the golden age of yoga mats. When I began practicing asanas almost 28 years ago, sticky mats came in only a few colors: pea green, turquoise blue and violet. Today, yoga mats are available in every color of the rainbow, as well as wild patterns. Sticky mats are made from different materials, some of them much more eco-friendly than petrol-chemical-based mats of old. A yoga mat is a highly personal item, once a practitioner gets past using the communal mats provided by a studio. For Yoga Digest, I wrote this essay titled “My yoga mat, my bridge to myself” about yoga mats I haveknown:

#ByColleenSmith #YogaDigest #YogaMat #YogaMats #Yoga #Ecofriendly #Asanas



Beach warrior: no mat required

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An executive VP and attorney offers her tips from the top

Anne Lee Benedict has a little boy and a big job. A single parent, she’s executive vice president and chief legal officer of Summit Materials, a construction company. Consequently, she’s something of an efficiency expert, and she shared some of her success strategies in this article I wrote
for Denver Business Journal:
#ByColleenSmith #DenverBusinessJournal #DBJ #AnneLeeBenedict #SummitMaterials #Starbucks #LifeInBalance #Business #Construction #DenverBusiness


“I try to take a more holistic view of the different areas of my life.”

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Coors exhibit corrals best contemporary western artists

For the past 27 years at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale has rounded up some of the best contemporary artists. Featuring paintings, prints, sculptures and more, the exhibition is free with stock show admission.

For Denver Business Journal, I interviewed Rose Franklin, curator of the show for the past 24 years, as well as two of my favorite Denver-based artists: painter Karen Roehl and printmaker/watercolorist Leon Loughridge.

Dive into the full article here:

#KarenRoehl #LeonLoughridge #CoorsWesternArtShow #NationalWesternStockShow #contemporaryWesternartists #stockshow #DenverStockShow #DenverColorado #contemporaryart #horsepaintings #stockshowart #Denverartists #Denverart

Details of horse paintings by Karen Roehl, a Denver-based artist in her sixth Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale.

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Details of horse paintings by Karen Roehl, a Denver-based artist in her sixth Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale. Photos courtesy of Karen Roehl

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Oil painter Karen Roehl portrays horses using her process of layering strokes of realism rendered in neutrals over colorful abstract mark-making. Photo by Kathleen Levine, Denver Business Journal

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Ninja Nation CEO stretches physical and mental limits

Wayne Cavanaugh is Type A+. Driven and disciplined, the founder and CEO of Ninja Nation creates obstacle courses and knows how to overcome his own obstacles.

“Nobody is born good at anything,” he said. “You learn through repetitive hard work.”

Interviewing Cavanaugh for Denver Business Journal, I asked him, “What is your superpower?”

He responded, without missing a beat, “To authentically communicate and connect with people around me positive motivation to help kids and adults to find the hero version of themselves they never thought possible.”

For Cavanaugh, his company aligns with his life purpose.

“Ninja Nation is not just a business with a fun brand, but the culmination of my soul-searching to find a way to combine career and make a tremendously positive impact on the people around me.”

More details in my article published by Denver Business Journal:

#DBJ #DenverBusinessJournal #LifeinBalance #NinjaNation #WayneCavanaugh #Obstacles #ObstacleCourses #CEO


Wayne Cavanaugh cited his meditation practice using Coherence HeartRate+ and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle as two of his favorite inspirational tools. 

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Zachary Zorn Designs: An emerging artist creates sculptural furnishings

Zachary Zorn’s designs mingle unexpected materials including reclaimed walnut trees, vintage airplane wings and piano parts. An emerging artist, Zorn brings an element of Zen to his simple yet captivating works, many of which are functional furnishings such as tables. My feature for the December-January issue of Colorado Expression magazine offers more details, along with photographs of the art and the artist.

Read the full story here:

Visit Zachary Zorn’s website:

#ZacharyZorn #ZacharyZornDesigns #RecycledMaterials #Recycle #ReclaimedWood #Furnishings #Sculpture #Steampunk #CustomFurniture


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Denver Art Museum opens blockbuster Monet show

Being an arts writer has its advantages, for example, media previews of the hottest
exhibitions in town. Last week, I got a sneak peek of “Claude Monet: The Truth of
Nature” now open to the public until February.
“This is the most comprehensive Monet exhibit in the U.S. in the past 25 years, and
this is the only venue in the U.S.,” said Angelica Daneo, Denver Art Museum chief
curator and curator of European art before 1900. “This is going to be a big show
with 125 works from all over the world: private collections and public institutions.
It will encompass all three exhibition spaces and activate the whole Hamilton
The DAM co-organized the exhibition that will show only in Denver and at Museum
Barberini in Potsdam, Germany.
“This is not a canned show, not a show we bought,” said Daneo, who added that
DAM will make a fresh contribution to the already immense scholarship on Monet.
Daneo, who grew up in Italy near the border of France, also is fluent in French,
which allowed her to read Monet’s letters without the fog of translation.
“The layout and design of the show is divided into galleries and groupings looking
at places roughly chronologically, but by place,” said Daneo. “We try to use materials
from the time. We use lithographs and color as good ways to signal transitions, but
we also focus on the art and some breathing room around the paintings.”
For Daneo, the excitement of the exhibition lies in providing the opportunity for
visitors to appreciate more deeply one of the world’s most popular artists.
“Many have been given a Monet mug or poster. He’s an artist out there a lot visually.
He’s everywhere,” she said. “My wish is for people to enter the exhibit and look at
the art in person and form their own opinion. They may come to the same
conclusion that Monet is a great master and incredible innovator, a bridge from the
19th to the 20th century, and there is a reason he endures.”

Delve into the full article here:

#ByColleen Smith #MonetAtDAM #DenverArtMuseum #MuseumBarberini #ClaudeMonet #MonetWaterLilies #DenverBotanicGardens #FrenchImpressionists #Monet #Impressionism #DenverArt


Monet was a masterful gardener. His water lilies at Giverny are famous, but his letters also express concern for his roses and Japanese peonies.

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Interviewing one of my heroines: Missy Franklin

When I got the assignment to interview four influential Colorado women for the
magazine Colorado Expression, I was particularly excited that the short list included
Missy Franklin, the standout swimmer from the U.S. Olympic team who made a big
splash in the 2012 games when she won four gold medals and set world records at
age 17. During our interview, Franklin and I shared some belly laughs and also
some quiet tears of reminiscing because about an hour beforehand, her 7-year-old
backstroke world record had been broken. Shattered, in fact, by another 17-year-old
swimmer: Regan Smith
Franklin is as bubbly and gracious as she seemed during the Olympics. She did not
begrudge the breaking of her record, but talked, instead, about the nature of elite
athletes constantly improving performance possibilities. Franklin praised Smith,
happy for her accomplishment and hoping her own career had somehow in some
small way inspired the younger swimmer.
As a former lifeguard and a devoted lap-swimmer, interviewing the ebullient
Franklin left me especially buoyant. For more about Franklin, check out her website
and also the documentary film “Touch the Wall,” which chronicles her life in and out
of the pool.
The feature on Colorado’s influential women also includes the following:
• Mimi Roberson, CEO of Pivot Denver
• Beth A. Brooke-Marciniak, an executive named 11 times to Forbes’ list of “World’s
100 Most Powerful Women”
• Diane Boyer, president of Skea Limited, a women’s skiwear company
The new issue of Colorado Expression is now in newsstands, in professional offices
and elsewhere.


Dive into the story here:

#ByColleenSmith #MissyFranklin #USOlympics #USOlympicSwimming #ColoradoExpression #PivotDenver #Skea #TheTrevorProject



“There’s a beautiful cycle of inspiration in sport,” says Missy Franklin.

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The Lumineer in my Neighborhood

The Lumineers’ new album “III” drops this Friday, September 13, and the band gave fans a preview when they christened the Mission Ballroom in Denver last month, the first band to play the groovy new AEG Presents venue in RiNo Art District.

I had the opportunity to interview Jeremiah Fraites, a founding member of The Lumineers, for the Denver Business Journal. DBJ published my feature for their A&E page last month.

I met Jer one day while walking to yoga class with my ear buds in and my Pandora Thumbprint Radio on. But when I heard a guitar strumming between songs, I looked up and saw a man with a guitar and a dog on a balcony. I took a couple more steps, then stopped in my tracks, stunned. I backtracked a couple of steps and looked up at the balcony to have another look. I recognized Jeremiah because I’d covered a Lumineers concert for The Denver Post and was close enough to the stage to see the players’ faces. Jeremiah wasn’t wearing his trademark hat or suspenders, and I knew he typically played drums or piano, not guitar.

I looked at Jeremiah. Jeremiah looked at me. His dog, Spaghetti, barked.

“Are you who I think you are?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“Well, who do you think I am?” he asked.

“You’re Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers,” I said.

He nodded. I gushed. Starstruck.

About a year later, I passed the same balcony on a walk and saw Jeremiah again, this time with his wife and their baby. We chatted, again, and eventually scheduled our interview.

Awaiting the new record by The Lumineers feels extra special knowing the music is created not just by a favorite band, but, in part, by a friendly neighbor.

You can read the full article here if you are subscribed to DBJ.

#byColleenSmith #AEGPresents #MissionBallroom #RiNo #RiNoDistrict #TheLumineers #JeremiahFraites #DenverBusinessJournal


Jeremiah Fraites: The Rockstar in the neighborhood. Photo by Alexis Rankin

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CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens on growth, ascension and his home garden

While interviewing the Denver Botanic Gardens CEO for this feature (link below) in Denver Business Journal, I asked about his garden at home.

“I have a rock garden with ice plants, penstemons, mystery plants, a lot of volunteers,” he said. “I have a dry creek bed with ornamental grasses and large boulders. I have two [shrubs known as] witch’s brooms.”

When I inquired about his favorite plants, he said, “Penstemons. When you plant them, they look great, and then they move during winter and scatter in the garden and make it naturalistic.”

He also has a high-minded approach to leadership and has cultivated the growth of DBG since he took over as CEO. And the plants aren’t the most important aspect of his job, he said. The people are.

“I love these people. I try to express how inspired I am by them, but I don’t know if they get it,” said Vogt. “I get choked up a lot. As a leader, my job is to build everybody’s morale and make sure they’re raising bar and thinking bigger every year I find this group lifts each other well and protects our culture so powerfully. My job is to find them support they need to live their dream.”

Learn more about Vogt’s dream in my Q&A with the CEO in DBJ:

#ByColleenSmith #DenverBusinessJournal #DenverBotanicGardens #PublicGardens #DenverTouristAttractions


Denver Botanic Gardens received the 2018 Award for Garden Excellence by American Public Gardens Association.

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