Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Art Wanted: Denver and Estes Park

While I was living in the middle of a postcard during this past week's Johnson/Grange family reunion in Estes Park, Colorado, seeking out the art of the area consumed the bulk of Randy's and my on-our-own time. Usually, I have a little time to research what's there before a trip -- but every moment was jam-packed until we boarded the plane at Dulles. So, no plans besides visiting with the people I'm lucky enough to call my relatives.

Sometimes no plans work out just fine. We had four art-related adventures -- full of plenty of inspiration.
Naomi Shachar's "Three Amigos" was my pick at the WAOW Exhibit Estes Park
  • Denver Art Museum -- where I found two of the best paintings ... ever seen ... with dead fish as a subject. If an artist can make me love a dead fish painting, look at intensely, admire it and wish it was hanging in my house -- well, there aren't enough superlatives. Amazing! This is a great museum. It connected the viewer with the art in many compelling, creative ways. The architecture of the space is amazing, and the choice of artworks equally so. I loved the Western genre pieces. Loved that contemporary artists were included. Loved the extensive collection of loaned works of individual artists. Tried to convince Randy to look at the video of Daniel Sprick's easel which looked like the very best easel in the world.
  • Cherry Creek Arts Festival -- We added one-and-a-half days to our stay -- Sunday and Monday after the reunion. Notoriously, Sundays and Mondays are tougher days to see art. The Cherry Creek Arts Festival captured our Sunday -- and was GREAT!  I got the feeling that it was a very successful event for at least many of the artists. Here we were visiting in the last few hours of the show with many of the exhibits pretty thin on pieces. Light packing. Perfect. I walked away from these few hours incredibly inspired. All I could say was wow, wow, wow in A. E. London's booth -- Alice combines her love of animals and art (two we share) in such beautiful work.  So honest. She works with any material she can get her hands on and turns it into something you ache to bring home. Oh my. Makes me want to use my morning coffee in a whole new way.
  • Women Artists of the West Annual Juried Exhibit (WAOW) at the Arts Council of Estes Park -- my uncle, Dr. John Olson, read the local paper about this exhibit's opening and he, Randy, Uncle John's granddaughter Bentley and I attended the show -- pre-opening reception.  It was an impressive show full of high quality work displayed beautifully. We all were in time to vote for People's Choice -- and all chose different pieces. I had four top picks -- including Shirley Hove's "Big Thoughts," Lyn Phariss's "Kelli's Morning Walk," Naomi Shachar's "Three Amigos" and Michele Usibelli's "Passing Time." I could have chosen more. That's a clear sign that it's an exhibit worth visiting -- and considering pieces for your collection. In the end, my vote was cast for Shachar's "Three Amigos." Those horses were standing right in front of me. Swear.
  • Madden Art Museum -- imagine walking into an office building (nice one) with a cafe on the right and an impressive art museum beaconing with a doorless, curtain-rimmed entrance on the left. Pretty cool, right?  What a treat. Randy and I squeezed a visit in on Monday before our departure to the Madden Art Museum showcasing the collection in about the friendliest setting possible (again in an office building) to the John and Marjorie Madden Collection.
View into the Madden Museum of Art -- in the lobby of an office building.  Greenwood Springs, Colorado.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Phone: 703.403.7435

Solo show at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA. July 1 through August 31. Over 20 original oils. Reception: Saturday, July 20, 1-4pm. Painting Demonstration (Painting ballerinas!!!): Saturday, August 10, 1-4pm

Solo Show at Greenberry's Coffee & Tea
6839 Redmond Drive, McLean, VA 22101
(703) 821-9501
Exhibit of six paintings including "Two Kittens," "Traffic Patterns," "Primary Colors," "Spanish Steps," "Second & Pine Streets," and "Sunlight, Sunflowers and Orange." Through June 30.


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