Visual Arts

Dana Cain's Art Collection: Brandon Borchert and Kym Bloom

Dana Cain is the lady with her thumb in a million pies: The local maestra of event-planning throws several well-attended collectors expos, art shows, parties, chocolate fests each year. Her latest -- and biggest -- project is next summer's Denver County Fair. But Dana is also an avid art collector who's made a conscious decision to collect works by Colorado artists on a regular basis, especially after seeing the 2008 documentary about collector couple Herb and Dorothy.

Dana estimates that she buys an average of two to four pieces a month, when she can afford it. And her house is one big gallery/art installation, with themed rooms arranged and designed to best show off her growing collection. Over the coming weeks, we'll be exploring the individual works and why they belong to Dana Cain.

Dana pretty much invented the annual Art District Best of 2010 Exhibition, which showcases artists showing at galleries along Santa Fe Drive, but while she leaves the major judging to both a serious art expert (Westword's Michael Paglia had the honors this year) and to the public, there's one award she's claimed as her own: the Brandon Borchert Pop Art Award, given each year in memory of the brilliant local artist Borchert, whose career ended in suicide four years ago. A staunch supporter of the artist in life, Dana not only owns several Borchert works, but she also maintains an online tribute that celebrates his life and work. For 2010, she gave the Borchert award to Kym Bloom, who also has a place in her collection. Brandon Borchert, Dana says, was "into pop art, into surrealism, into the whole Dada/random thing, which is basically everything I'm into, too. Everything I love about art is what he put into his art. He was one of my very favorite Denver artists of all time -- when I first saw his work at CORE, I fell in love with it, but then when I heard him talk about it and understood his process, I completely, utterly fell in love with Brandon and what he was doing." At the time of his death, she explains, Borchert painted imagery dictated by his own self-created deck of 59 numbered lotto cards: He would choose a set randomly, based on the week's lotto numbers, and he'd incorporate the allotted unrelated images into a painting. Dana owns seven of the lotto card images, as well as a collaborative piece Borchert made with fellow artists Matt Doubek and Jason Needham, but the pièce de résistance of her Borchert collection is "Teen Angst Tailspin," a work she long coveted before she owned it and which hangs over the piano in her living room, on a wall painted orange solely to complement the painting.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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