As a contemporary-art curator in Denver, Brooke Tomiello is interested in non-traditional gallery models, underground spaces where she prefers to mount shows. Currently the director and curator at Lane Meyer Projects, Tomiello also co-curates the house gallery Grand Opening with artist Paul Keefe and at times works independently in other spaces, giving wall space to artists on the brink without the weight of commercial expectations. We asked Tomiello to weigh in on her favorite artists and the state of the gallery and art scenes by answering the Colorado Creatives questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Brooke Tomiello: The thing that continually draws me back to art is having an inner dialogue with artworks that are challenging and forgiving at the same time. Artwork is most successful for me when there is a push and pull with the viewer, and I can learn from that experience.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
I would invite Sheri Pasquarella, who taught me many things about the art world, but most importantly how to champion artists while maintaining the integrity of their work; Brian Lehrer from The Brian Lehrer Show, for his patience and conversational skills; David Bowie, because it is a party.
What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?
The politeness of the local creative community is both its strength and its weakness.
How about globally?
“A Month After I Published a Book About How to Run an Art Gallery, I Closed Mine. Here’s Why,” an article for Artnet by Patton Hindle, sums up the best and worst things about the global art world for me. But I also want to mention the gender and race inequality and lack of transparency, which are brought to the forefront by instagrams like @gar_la.
What’s your dream project as a curator?
What's your day job?
Currently, I’m a full-time executive assistant at a health-care company in the Denver Tech Center area.
As a creative, what’s your vision for a more perfect Denver?
I think Denver would benefit from more outside art mixing with local art. That is part of the mission of the gallery I direct, Lane Meyer Projects, as well as Grand Opening, where I co-curate with Paul Keefe. I find the mixture benefits everyone and creates a wider dialogue with artists who may not know Denver has a thriving art community.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
John Roemer, Chris Bristow, Marsha Mack, Rick C Riggans, Jessica Langley, Bradley Benedetti, Shayna Cohn, Steven Meyers, Don Fodness, Jennifer Arnold, Paul Keefe, Masha Sha, Dylan Griffith, Arielle Myers and Zach Reini.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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We have a really exciting year at Lane Meyer Projects. The exhibitions I’m spearheading are solo shows of Meg Lipke, Marsha Mack, Paul Keefe, a two-person show with Elizabeth Glaessner and David Mramor, as well as a juried exhibition by Caroline Larsen. We will also have Tatiana Mateus, a guest curator, coordinating a show in the fall. Paul Keefe and I are currently working on an upcoming show at Grand Opening that is slotted for sometime in March. We also are in the very beginning of outlining a print program for Lane Meyer Projects.
Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?