Denver Art Matters

Fashion Celebrity Hosts, Tim Gunn & Mondo Guerra March 02 2015

What do you get when you cross a - fashionister in skinny pants, polka dot bow tie, thick curled pomaded, tri-color hair with -  a skinny, hip, young & clever looking, green-haired fashionista girl wearing black from head to toe?   Why of course, it's photographers at the 2015, fundraiser fashion show. 

The En Vogue Goodwill Fashion show, welcomed Emmy award-winning Tim Gunn and Denver's own Mondo Guerra, to the cirque d'cool on Thursday night.

Of course it was snowing like a tasmanian devil outside. But that mattered little to the sold-out extravaganza, where fashionistas of all ages gathered at Union Station, come hell or ten foot snow. 

Always a sell-out, this event benefits Goodwill's career development programs. Mondo Guerra, wearing a self-designed tight-fitting Matisse-inspired black & white suit, polished off his look with spit-shined patent leather shoes and no socks. He told the audience how he loves Goodwill thrift stores. When he was just falling in love with fashion & design he spent lots of time and, little money, in thrift stores. He'd take the clothes home, take them apart to study the design, the stitching and fabric. It paid off. He was winner on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. Today he has a clothes line and an exclusive eyewear collection inspired by pop culture. 

Tim Gunn, "Under the Gunn," a co-host and mentor of Lifetime's Project Runway, met Mondo during season eight and, as they say, the rest is history. Gunn said each year when he's en route to the west, he starts to think of Denver girls. He envisions them in jeans, boots, hats, big winter coats. But when he gets here, he is thrilled to see the fashion conscience females in this Western metropolitan city. He mentioned great taste in boots, sweaters, scarfs, jewelry and the creative mixing of stylish vintage and high fashion. Pat yourself on the back Denver Girlie Q's.

The select fashion designers were high school students under Mondo's directions. He suggested they create designs that were reminiscent of fleeting fashions which passed through these marbled walls of the hundred year old Union Station.  They listened and went to work; elegantly mixing a Great Gatsby look with hip, sassy Western style that showed maturity and serious fashion-astute design talent. 


                                                           The audience was pretty cool too.  

Fashion in Denver. Pay attention. Next up, the Paper Fashion show next month.

Merrily We Move Along February 25 2015

My dear subscribers, 

Wherever you live I hope you are warm with a drawer full of clean tights & socks (you need both for really cold), and at least one pair of Uggs (fur lined boots any brand); one pair of thermal pants (any color), a down coat with a hood or a Prana hat (the best hat in the world) and of course a supply of ice cream, several bags of Doritos, hot chocolate, coffee and wine. Otherwise, bless your heart, it is too cold for you. Get on a plane and get out of there.
888MarketStreet is growing despite the weather. We’re happy to introduce the latest artists to join the gallery. We think they are amazing. Here they are: Art Silk, Allison Pickett and Ken Pledger.  All three have traveled their own unique path. Art is presently on a bird kick; Allison is into indigenous plants and, Ken spends his days in beautiful meadows.
Art Silk, was formerly known as a fine art photographer. After years behind the lens he took a detour. Instead of capturing a bird in flight on his camera, he now brings his paintings to life with excellent color, shadows and highlights. Look at his birds, you’ll think the bird & Art know something we don’t.  Make sure you click on one in Fine Art on menu, to see for yourself.
I am also excited to introduce Allison Pickett to the gallery. She lives in Boulder, but hails from Memphis, my old stomping grounds and the go-to city for BBQ & Beale Street blues. That’s why I liked her work. No really, what drew me to Allison’s work is its freshness, her free-flowing brush strokes, and the detail she executes with vivid acrylics and ink. If you’re looking for colorful, lively art, Allison's paintings will make your wall pop. Check out her aspen trees on
Ken Pledger is a long time 'plein air' painter with years of study and experimentation behind him. From his early photorealism style in oils and pastels, to an era of loose landscapes and Western desert paintings twenty years ago, Ken’s palette has continued to evolve. Painting plein air well, is what every artist strives for...taking the viewer to a beautiful setting of lush trees, snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, the scene of a storm approaching or the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Ken Pledger has always been an exceptional artist who has the talent to delve into different genres and mediums when the urge occurs. The paintings on 888 show a softer, mature, at-peace artist who just wants to paint. Every day he finds an open space, sets up his easel and gets to work. Keep an eye on Ken. His paintings are versatile - with the hand and eye of an old pro.
Have a great rest of your week everyone and think lovely art. It will take your winter blues away. 

Love Coconuts & Chocolate February 09 2015

Hola everyone,

FYI. We made a quick trip to Mexico last week. Today I am relaxed as if I had a shot (well, two) of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey whiskey and, I'm ready to face the rest of winter.  

A few Sunday’s ago we were watching the snow and wishing we were at a beach.  Then, like magic our friends called from Puerto Vallarta and asked us to visit. They didn’t believe it, but we hoped on a plane.
I excitedly considered this my first shopping trip for 888 and, it was. I jumped right into scouring the streets for unusual items: jewelry, wooden bowls, paintings, purses all in the name of

I found extraordinary jewelry, hand-made purses and art. What was interesting to me, the artists and vendors all had printed business cards. A couple did not, but each readily gave me their phone number and email. Getting in touch with them may be a task and frustrating as well, dealing with the language, Mexican tele & internet but, I’m in possession of obscure Mexican artist’s phone numbers and emails. 
I discovered two very interesting Mexican beach towns with 888 art potential. Both were in the hills outside PV.  Sayulita is described by surfers world-wide as the best surfing in the world...that’s one thing I’ll never know. The small rustic town with cobblestone streets was swarming with towns people, tourists, street vendors, surfers. There were many open air restaurants that were no more than a bar with swings for seats. They served fresh juices, beer and rum. No vodka or wine. The menu’s were simple, offering eggs, quesadillas, corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, tacos.  I had a the best chocolate ice cream bar in the world. I wanted coconut (I’m crazy about coconut) but the chocolate looked so rich I couldn't decide. The girl waved her hand, ‘no problem,’ and simply dipped my chocolate bar in a chocolate hard shell covering then dipped that into fresh coconut. I wanted to bring a truck load of those home. What I did bring home was the hand-carved Sayulita cutting boards. They are small and perfect for a patio party and expertly designed as a 2-in-1, cut & serve board. I think you'll like them.
Next, Karen and Patrick took us to San Pancho, which is actually San Francisco, but everyone calls it San Pancho. Go figure. This is where I found the clutch purses designed by Layne Moon. She divides her time and work between San Pancho and the San Francisco Bay area. Her uniquely designed purses are hand woven and a perfect complement to a casual or semi-dressy vacation outfit. They are especially great for travel because they are lightweight, flat and easy to pack. Think cruise, beach, spa to get through the rest of the winter months in style.

I loved San Pancho and it proved to be perfect for my research. Besides the clutches, I found exquisite beaded bracelets made by the Huichol Indians. The quality of craftsmanship was superb but it was the colors that caught my eye. The Huichols work with sparkling, colorful beads creating elegant, flowing bracelets. Like the clutches, they are, oh, so stylish. I can envision my friends with a woven clutch tucked under their arm wearing an accent bracelet to top off their runway look. 
While I was south of the border, I did more than shop and eat.  I heard from one of my favorite artists. Kevin Robb. If you haven’t noticed, he is on now. We are so honored to have him join the gallery. 
Robb’s graceful, modern designs have grown with sophistication through the years. His work today, has achieved what every artist strives for - soul and monumental importance.
The Calypso Series featured on 888MarketStreet is clearly a reflection of the last 10 years. After a severe stroke, Kevin kept right on designing, working with his welders and finishers turning out more art and ideas than most sculptors see throughout a life-long career. Take a look at his whimsical bright sculptures. You can’t ride on them, but you will want to.
Thank you all for being on the newsletter list. If you decide you have better things to do, simply click unsubscribe at the bottom of the page.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Give your sweetheart something to love forever: a work of art. Then everyone will be happy.

Best wishes, beautiful art, rich chocolate & fresh coconuts to you,

Interesting segment of a painting found in Buscerias. The artist was finishing a large painting but I was entranced with the top left hand corner.
A Layne Moon original clutch. Perfect for a winter cruise or South Beach. You'll have the hippest purse around.
Huichol Indians create luscious, elegant bracelets that are in style in any season.

YeeHaw, Ya'll January 12 2015

You're probably not a cowboy or cowgirl but that's ok. When January rolls around in the West, everyone wants to be one.

Coincidentally, the 109th National Western Stock Show opened January 10, 2015, with one of the best displays of Western art in the world. The Coors Western Art Exhibition & Sale premiered to rave reviews and enormous sales. That seems to be the case each year. And here's to tell you the historic stock show has much more than livestock and boots to experience and purchase.

Featured Coors 2015 artist is Teresa Elliott. She's in good company with: Tony Angell, Duke Beardsley, Allen Birnbach, Gordon Brown, Sophy Brown, George Bumann, Kenneth Bunn, G. Russell Case, Dan Chen, Len Chmiel, Neil Clifford, Don Coen, Mark Daily, Glenn Dean, John Demott, Caroline Douglas, Sharron Evans, Scott Fraser, Terry Gardner, Ulrich Gleiter, Brent Greenwood, David Griffin, David Grossmann, William Haskell, Rocky Hawkins, Quang Ho, Tony Hockstetler, T.D. Kelsey, Steve Kestrel, Amy Laugesen, T. Allen Lawson, Richard Loffler, Kim Lordier, Leon Loughridge, Michael Lynch, Jerry Markham, Walter Matia, William Matthews, Dean Mitchell, Jim Morgan, Julia Mulligan, Arlo Namingha, Dan Namingha, Joel Ostlind, Howard Post, Susan Raymond, Karen Roehl, Brad Rude, Jo LeMay Rutledge, Tim Shinabarger, Preston Singletary, Jill Soukup, Michael Stano, Don Stinson, Karmel Timmons, Susan Tirrell, Kent Ullberg, Barbara VanCleve, Skip Whitcomb, Laura Wilson, Seth Winegar, Dinah Worman, Melanie Yazzie, Dan Young.

Here's a sprinkling of the fabulous art to be seen at the stock show's Coors Western gallery. 

  High Noon, Teresa Elliott

    Duke Beardsley 

  Leon Loughridge

  Skip Whitcomb

  Seth Winegar

   Barbara VanCleve


Downtown at Abend Gallery, the gallery that miraculously stays on top of the West's best emerging artists and, the best selling like Dave Santillanes, Elsa Sroka, Lorenzo Chavez, Lindsey Bittner Graham, Bruce Gomez, Stephanie Hartshorn, Elizabeth Sandia, Clyde Steadman, opened their Western show featuring pop and tradition. 

The stylistic paintings of David Kammerzell, Travis Walker and Stephanie Hartshorn are a stretch from the very traditional Dave Santillanes or Bruce Gomez classic western genre. A comprehensive taken from this show is temperament. The show has personality created by first class painter's narratives which follow a Western theme.

 Old Traditions / New Frontiers, was no doubt designed to coincide with the stock show and, without gushing, it's a very good show. The West is 'in' in January. Christine Serr, gallery owner, just gets it. Traditions/Frontiers combines classic Western landscapes intermingled with campy, retro styles and subject matter reminiscent of Gene Autry and Pecos Bill illustrated story books. The interesting mix creates a full bodied show of classic landscapes topped with humor and color.


   David Kammerzell A real cowboy. Model for Lindsey B Graham

  Dave Santillanes  Lindsey Bittner Graham   Stpehanie Hartshorn  Michelle Conrad  Bruce Gomez

Denver galleries are numerous and the owners have great taste in art and artists. If you're thinking rodeo, think art too. An art trip to Denver is a trip in itself. 

The Coors Exhibit is at the National Western Complex off I-70 & Brighton Avenue; from downtown, just north of Coors Field. Abend Gallery is at Colfax & York, east of the Capitol Building.