Art News

Brian Vogt on the Denver Arts Scene and How His Gardens Grow

Denver has more than one winning team: The Denver Broncos may be the national champs, but this city’s artists and arts organizations keep scoring with audiences not just in Colorado, but around the world. And while the football season is over, the 2016 arts season is just beginning, so we’ve checked in with some of the scene’s stars to see what they’ll be watching — and watching for — this year.

Up next: Brian Vogt, chief executive officer of the Denver Botanic Gardens

Westword: What are three things any newcomer to Denver should know about the arts scene?

Brian Vogt: (1) It’s more diverse and dynamic than many would suspect: Local, regional, national and global artists are all celebrated here. (2) The entire region, prairie to mountains, is teeming with creative exhibits and productions. (3) The metro Denver region does not play second fiddle to any major American market.

What developments on the arts scene are you excited about this year?

Collaborations will yield some very interesting opportunities. More institutions than ever are addressing environmental and socially responsible topics.

Who/what are the artists/arts organizations to watch this year?

The Black Cube Nomadic Museum, Museo de las Americas and RedLine.

What’s exciting at your own organization/institution?

Wonderful collection of masterworks from the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: Moore, Nogouchi, Segal, Nevelson et al. Also, a great exhibit by Viviane Le Courtois.

How are you working to grow your audience?

It touches every element of what we do, all aimed at reducing barriers and creating relevance. The most recent new step will be free shuttles from regional community centers throughout the year. Find out more about the Denver Botanic Gardens here.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun