Editor’s Letter | Strong Start

An exciting month on the Denver art scene

By Kristin Hoerth

Peace and Quiet by Deb Kaylor at Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale

Peace and Quiet by Deb Kaylor at Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale

This story was featured in the March 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art March 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art March 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

January was truly a banner month for visual art in Denver. It all started with the opening of the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The Coors show continues to impress me as one of the most dynamic western art events of the year, thanks to a constantly changing artists’ roster, the display of substantial and important works from many of the artists, and the energetic crowd that fills the gallery for the Red Carpet Reception.

Southwest Art was proud to be the show’s official Media Sponsor again this year, which means that my colleagues and I had the privilege of selecting the winner of the Southwest Art Award of Excellence. The award went to Denver’s own Deborah Bays, whose pastel still lifes grabbed our attention right away. Full of objects in motion, unusual vantage points, and dramatic lighting, they seemed anything but “still.” Two other awards were announced on opening night as well: Dinah Worman won Best of Show, and Logan Hagege won Artists’ Choice.

The organizers of the Coors show collaborate with the Denver Art Museum each year to present WinterWest, a celebration of western art. This year the program included a lecture on contemporary western art and a symposium that examined western art in the first four decades of the 20th century.

 Hill by Georgia O’Keeffe

Hill by Georgia O’Keeffe

Meanwhile, the Denver Art Museum was also examining—to great acclaim—an artist of a completely different time. The major exhibition Becoming Van Gogh, which was on view exclusively in Denver, did a masterful job of tracing Van Gogh’s early career, from his initial attempts at sketching figures to the influence on his work of artists like Toulouse-Lautrec and Pissarro. So popular was the exhibition, which required timed tickets, that the museum added more than 200 hours to the viewing times in the final weeks, including overnight viewing on the final weekend. I’m grateful that my tickets were for the civilized time of 2 p.m. and not for 2 a.m.!

Next up for the museum is another superstar artist. The exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico runs through the end of April and focuses on O’Keeffe’s interpretations of New Mexico’s Hispanic and Native American architecture, cultural objects, and landscape. She rarely exhibited these paintings during her lifetime, so many of them have remained largely unknown. With more than 50 works on view, it promises to be a worthwhile show, and a continuation of the great year that Denver’s art world is already having.

Featured in the March 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art March 2013 digital download
Southwest Art March 2013 print issue
Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!


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