I share all my secrets for making ice lanterns in my feature published in the new issue of Taproot magazine.
Ice candles are ephemeral. Part of their charm lies in their every-changing nature subject to the weather. One of the nicest aspects of teaching people to make these lanterns of fire and ice is when they succeed and send me a photo of their own ice candles. It sets me aglow to know others enjoy this simple yet elegant winter tradition and add a bit of warmth and light to the dead of winter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.