The instructors at the Art Students League of Denver practice what they teach, as evidenced by Revisiting: Celebrating 10 Years of the Visiting Artist Series at ASLD, a special exhibit opening this weekend.
Offering art classes for every medium, the 25-year-old ASLD is a community-centric, non-profit, non-accredited art school right in the middle of Denver. Modeled after -- but not affiliated with -- the Art Students League of New York, the league teaches art to amateurs and professionals alike. "Anybody at any level can come and take art classes," says gallery manager Robin Whatley. "We have people who have never picked up a paintbrush in their life, and are curious about creating art. They are welcomed just as much as an advanced professional artist."
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With funding from the Olson-Vander Heyden Foundation, the ASLD added a visiting artists series in 2004, bringing accomplished artists from across the United States to teach classes in Denver. Revisiting will celebrate this group, bringing about fifty of the league's teachers together in an exhibit that opens with a VIP Preview on Saturday, December 7. The show features works by Jenny Morgan, who has been gaining international interest, and the late Luis Jimenez, who created DIA's "Mustang."
While some of the art is new, private collectors and galleries around town have loaned older works for the show. Revisiting also features some artists whose work has never been shown in Denver, including Robyn O'Neil, whose drawings hang in many major museums, realist portrait painter Jenny Dubnau and sculptor Arthur Gonzalez.
"What makes this extra-special," says Whatley, "is that this is the first time we've had the opportunity to have all of these artists who have taught at the Art Students League, and exhibit their work that ordinarily would probably be shown in a museum. I highly encourage people to buy a ticket, because it's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have all of these artists in the same room."
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If you buy a ticket to the Saturday VIP Preview of Revisiting: Celebrating 10 Years of the Visiting Artist Series at ASLD, it starts at 4 p.m. December 7 at the ASLD's Carson Gallery exhibit space. There will be valet parking as well as hors d'oeuvres; the family vineyard of ceramicist John Balistreri will provide wine. Tickets are $75 and available at blacktie-colorado.com. The show will open to the public on Wednesday, December 10, with a Third Friday Artist Reception on December 20. For more information, visit asld.org.