100 Colorado Creatives: Sculptor and Westword Artopia participant Jeff Erwine

#91: Jeff Erwine From massive outdoor sculptures made from wood and junked cars to iron-and-marble furniture, Jeff Erwine's aesthetic is a direct result of his chosen medium. The sculptor and metal worker is inherently "green" in his process -- constructing his pieces utilizing 95 percent rescued materials -- and Erwine's work often carries the identity of its previous life.

One of Westword's 100 Colorado Creatives and a participant in Artopia 2013 this Saturday, February 23, Erwine recently shared his ideas about the art world and who inspires him.

See also: - Event: Artopia 2013 - 100 Colorado Creatives: artist and Westword Artopia star Valerie Savarie - Brittany Gould talks about her piece for Design After Dark, "Dreaming in Another Language"

Westword: What are you most excited about presenting at this year's Artopia?

Jeff Erwine: A new piece called "Tobu." Tobu is Japanese for "to fly" or "to soar." The frame is made from an old trampoline I had as a child that I used to jump on and dream of flying.

Are you working on any project/collaboration coming up that you're looking forward to sharing with the community? Yes! I am in the process of developing "flash" sculptures in and around Denver and throughout Colorado. Shhh...

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

I would want to collaborate with Frank Lloyd Wright. I have always been inspired by his work, and it is reflected in many pieces I create today.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Chris Hardwick. He has gone from a stand-up comedian to building a multi-media empire encompassing all forms of art. And he's pretty damn funny.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

I'm not a big fan of "put a bird on it." What's your day job?

I'm an artist day and night. I not only work on my own creations, but I also partner with local businesses to help them with creative solutions for installations, signage and interior/exterior art placement.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

I would want to develop more youth art programs. Art is a teaching tool not only for creativity but also for mathematics and all aspects of learning. This is very dear to my heart. As a dyslexic, art helped me overcome a lot of learning difficulties and understand and comprehend what I was being taught.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Keep art in schools by increasing funding, promoting youth art shows, and bringing in a variety of artists. Over the years, art in schools has been cut, and it's sad to me to see the creativity taken out.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

Eric Matelski -- I am inspired by his drive and passion for art for himself and others. I wouldn't be a Denver artist without his help and encouragement.

Don't forget to use the hashtag #Artopia to tag your conversations on Twitter and Instagram. To buy tickets to Artopia, visit our Ticketfly site. Use the promo code ARTOPIA to get $5 off!

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