This story was featured in the January 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Climbing Colorado’s 14ers is a rite of passage for many who live in the Centennial State. Over 50 peaks rise above 14,000 feet, so the task can equally intimidate and inspire. Colorado-based painter Dan Oakleaf, a nature lover and adventurer at heart, set out to paint the essence of the behemoths amid his journey to summit the peaks. The results are on view in his solo show at Evergreen Fine Art Gallery this month titled Colorado 14ers and Beyond: An Artist’s Alpine Journey.
The show, which features 15 new paintings, opens with a reception and gallery talk on Friday, January 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. and a demonstration on Saturday, January 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. It runs through January 31. Oakleaf’s works aim to bring viewer and mountain together, without the strenuous climb in the high country. “As both an accomplished artist and a climber, Dan brings a unique dual perspective to this series of paintings,” says Doug Kacena, the gallery’s director of exhibitions and curator. “This stunning collection of all-new landscapes captures the essence of Colorado’s scenic and untamed high country.”
Oakleaf continues to build his reputation in the Rocky Mountain region. Painting full-time for several years now, he won six awards at the Glenwood Springs Fall Art Festival from 2008 to 2010, was selected as Artist in Residence at Aspen Guard Station in the San Juan National Forest in 2008, and had a painting chosen for the Reflections of the Natural World exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2010.
Oakleaf’s self-described “chaotic” style reflects his love of exploring his medium. But nature is the force behind his inspiration, and also the main subject of his works. “It’s always been my desire to share this high-altitude environment with people who either can’t get there themselves or have gotten there and want something to remember it by,” Oakleaf says. “I’m trying to capture that feeling of the magical environment up there that not everyone gets to see.” —Joe Kovack
Featured in the January 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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