Magnificent Obsession | Shannon Robinson

Shannon Robinson

Evergreen, CO

What kind of artwork do you collect? My collection consists mainly of oil paintings and sculpture. The collection is somewhat eclectic in that I collect both representational and abstracts. Most of my works are by artists in Colorado and this region, including Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, California, and Washington. But I also collect works by the Putney Painters.

Shannon Robinson

How would you describe your approach to collecting? I am one of the founders of the Colorado Dominican Vocation Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the vocations of the artist and the Dominican Order via art-related events like our annual Windows to the Divine Exhibition [held this year from November 5 to December 3 at the Madden Museum of Art in Greenwood Village, CO]. I have acquired many of the works in my collection by my association with the artists in our exhibitions, salons, and paint-outs. I mainly collect works of living artists because I am passionate about supporting the vocation of the artist. The foundation is dedicated in part to offering hospitality and financial support to artists and encouraging everyone, regardless of means, to collect original art. I also believe in nurturing and supporting emerging artists. So, many of the works in my collection are by young artists such as Robert Coombs, Lu Cong, Trent Gudmundsen, Andrea Kemp, Daniel Keys, and Jill Soukup. My approach is to acquire works from many artists rather than limiting my collection to a few specific artists. This means I generally limit myself to no more than two paintings per artist. But I have exceeded that rule with some of my favorites, like Kim English, Ron Hicks, Quang Ho, and Ramon Kelley.

How many pieces have you acquired over the years? More than 200.

How long have you been collecting? Since 1983.

How did you get started? During my first year of practice as a lawyer, an artist representative came to our firm with works of art by a group of southwestern artists. After my initial purchases, the representative started coming to my home, and I was utterly hooked. My husband, Michael, tells people that he finally told her he would pay her a finder’s fee if she stopped coming. By then, it was too late, as I was addicted. I retired from my practice in 2006 to pursue my new vocation of promoting the arts and the Dominican Order.

What was the first piece you purchased? Probably a pair of pastel figures by John Flores and works by Scott Burdick.

What’s your most recent acquisition? I purchased two works from established artists, Dan McCaw and Danny McCaw, and works from emerging artists Daniel Keys and Mary Qian.

What’s on your wish list for the future? A Daniel Sprick.

What piece do visitors comment on the most? HYMN WITHOUT WORDS by Lu Cong and LAST LIGHT OF DAY by David Gray.

Is there a piece that got away? A landscape by Chen Chi that got away nearly 30 years ago.

(Photo credit: Marc Piscotty)