Best curatorial gesture linking Colorado with the outside world (2000)

Ron Otsuka's Takashi Nakazato

In recent years, the Denver Art Museum has been under the gun to present more Colorado art. Now, honestly, no one -- not even the DAM's shrillest critics -- would expect Ron Otsuka, the accomplished curator of Oriental art, to feel the need to respond. Oriental art is associated with the Far East, whereas Colorado is Out West. But Otsuka's something of a treasure, with crackerjack creativity tied to a seasoned connoisseur's eye, and he actually accomplished the seemingly impossible -- and made it look easy. He organized an Oriental show about Colorado. The gorgeous Takashi Nakazato exhibit, still open on the fifth floor of the DAM, features the ceramic art of that famous Japanese potter, all of it made in Snowmass Village's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, where Nakazato has been a visiting artist once a year for nearly a decade. Otsuka's deft exhibit was an East-meets-West stroke of genius.


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