Tag Archives: colleen smith

Interviewing a legend: Ursula von Rydingsvard

Ursula von Rydingsvard, an American sculptor, was born in Germany in 1942, to a Polish mother and a Ukrainian father. Weaned on the destructive acts of war, she rose to acts of peace and creativity and established herself as one of the most esteemed sculptors of our time. What a thrill to sit down with her one-on-one in a gallery at Denver Botanic Gardens, where she’s showcased in a solo exhibition running through Sept. 11, 2022. Here’s a link to my article published 30 April by The Denver Gazette. Click here to read.

Ursula von Rydingsvard and I had a comfortable connection and a deep conversation, and she gave me a hug at the end of the interview. I was star-struck and almost asked her to take a selfie with me!

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Art aficionado frames the art of collecting

This feature article involves some cross-pollination. The article is published by one of my publishers — Art & Object — about the publisher of another magazine I publish in titled Western Art & Architecture.

Entrance to the Salmagundi Club, houses in a brownstone mansion in New York City

WIKEPEDIA

Tim Newton has as artful pedigree. In addition to serving as publisher of the slick, large-format magazine, he also is chairman-emeritus of the famed Salmagundi Club in New York City. He brings to art collecting his background as a kitchen designer for 30 years, a profession that honed his sense of design.

Click here to learn Newton’s tips for art collectors. No pay wall and no pop-up ads!

PS One of Newton’s main points is that collecting art is not for wealthy people only. He began his enviable collection of preparatory studies, oil paintings and sculptures with meager means, but an abundance of passion.

Click here to read my feature on Art & Object.

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A painter with range: Susiehyer

Western Art & Architecture published my profile of the painter known as Susiehyer in the new issue. Susiehyer is an avid outdoors woman, as well as a passionate painter who works in oils. She’s also a character as colorful as one of her landscapes, and we shared some laughs during our conversations.

Susiehyer paints both a wide range of subject matter — landscapes, still lifes, nocturnes — and in a range of styles from full abstraction to representational works. And she paints everywhere from the American Southwest to Tahiti. But she always paints in oils. “There’s a difference,” the artist says. “Acrylics are plastic, and they look like plastic.”

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Denver’s RiNo Art District named Street Art Capital of the U.S.

Denver’s RiNo Art District is home to more than 200 murals, and the outdoor collection adds more each year.

Denver’s RiNo Art District is proof of the powerful impact of public art. The art district’s mural project draws visitors to an industrial corridor once less desirable, but now hip and happening. The murals not only beautiful the buildings in the art district, but also support the growth and expansion of businesses. The mural project supports artists, as well tis the RiNo Art District tagline: “Where art is made.”

RiNo Art District: Where art is made

Reporting this story, I learned the difference between street art and graffiti: Street artists have permission. Graffiti artists do not. In the case of RiNo, both sorts of artists are at work. Graffiti artists are known to tag murals. “That’s the street talking to the street,” said Tracy Weil, the RiNo co-founder and director who admits he’s put up both murals and graffiti.

More about RiNo Art District’s olinnovative, creative and wildly successful mural collection in my article published by Art & Object:

Click here — no pay wall and no advertisements.

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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.

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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.

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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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