GENE SOBCZAK

Gene Sobczak left the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities last fall to return to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, where he's now president and CEO.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? One of the many qualities of the region's arts and cultural community is the enthusiasm which we share in collaborating with one another. Most, if not all, of us are doing really interesting work in that regard at present.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? My appetite for cultural experiences is voracious. During the course of any week, I may attend the Larimer Lounge to see Slim Cessna or the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to see the latest productions of Opera Colorado or the Colorado Ballet. What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? Acknowledging the audiences that arts and cultural organizations respectively cultivate, I'd like to see us aggregate these individuals into a greater, yet structured, targeted consumer market for the arts.

SCOTT O'NEIL

Scott O'Neil is the resident conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? I am particularly fond of the Colorado Ballet and artistic director Gill Boggs's work. They are unrelenting in their commitment to greatness. I also consider food as an art form. Among my favorite restaurants are Il Posto and Osteria Marco.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? Since my full-time job includes music day and night, silence plays a big part in my experiences outside of work. The Clyfford Still Museum has become one of my new favorite places.

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? Despite the generous support we already receive, a broader participation from all parts of the community would be beneficial for everyone.

COLLIN PARSON

Denver native Collin Parson is the exhibition manager and curator for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and a member of the historic Pirate: Contemporary Art cooperative. His current curatorial projects are Women of Influence: Colorado Artists and Curators and Intimate Dialogue: 7 Women/7 Voices, at the Arvada Center through November 11; his own work will be featured in a solo exhibition at the newly renovated McNichols building at Civic Center Park, opening in November.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? The metro area has too many talented artists to single out individually. Instead, I'll focus on the organizations and venues that consistently produce some of the most interesting exhibitions, featuring noteworthy artists whose work fits the exhibition space appropriately. Kirkland Museum has always been a great place to see the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Colorado arts scene, while newer co-ops such as Ice Cube have pushed the definition of how a co-op can excel. RedLine's creative vision of mentors and Denver's next generation of artists sharing studio spaces side by side means that the conversations coming out of that arrangement are at the same time new and timeless. Pirate, Edge and Spark continue to feature some of the region's most cutting-edge artists, and one can't forget the consistency of Ironton and the "rawness" of Hinterland.

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? On a typical Friday night, I try to hit some RiNo galleries, and then head off to the Navajo Arts District. Usually I'm on a bike, cruising with friends, so you have to plan ahead to make sure to see the openings that you need to see. Too little time, so many venues. Many nights it starts with the visual arts and ends with a concert — and a brewery stop or two never hurts.

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? I feel the local scene just keeps getting better. Galleries and art districts are working together, artists are getting more exposure, and that's great. The real conundrum is how to get local residents involved while helping them understand how approachable and vibrant our arts community really is. That is the ongoing challenge that we as gallery and museum managers face every day, and I don't know that there's a simple solution.

THERESA ANDERSON

Theresa Anderson is a painter/ installation artist with a full-time studio practice who's exhibited nationally and is in numerous private collections.

Who is doing the most interesting work in Denver right now? There are quite a few really important arts organizations that support local artists with quality programming and opportunities to advance their work. My top three (besides my own gallery) are PlatteForum, Pirate: Contemporary Art and RedLine. 

When you go out, what's your favorite cultural activity? I attend a lot of exhibitions, from museums to art spaces and galleries. I look at and talk about art 24/7. The Denver FilmCenter and local restaurants are a great pairing for a night out as well!

What's the one thing you'd like to see happen to improve the local scene? I hope over the next year, funding for arts education is strengthened at all levels. Art is a vital connector keeping kids focused in school as well as supplementing the strength of all academics. I'd love to see some big donors fund small grants for art criticism as well as artist projects. 

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1 comments
popeye12345
popeye12345 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Don't show artwork at Forest Room 5. I had pieces in there years ago for a special show and they lost half of them. There staff didn't seem to care either. Avoid St. Mark's Coffeehouse as well to hang art. Their baristas are rude basically throw your art in the trash.

 
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