Visual Arts

Dana Cain's Art Collection: Susan Meyer and Riva Sweetrocket

Dana Cain is the lady with her thumb in a million pies: A local maestra of event-planning throws several well-attended collectors expos, art shows, parties, chocolate fests each year. Her latest - and biggest - project is next summer's Denver County Fair. But Dana is also an avid art collector who's made a conscious decision to collect works by Colorado artists on a regular basis, especially after seeing the 2008 documentary about collector couple Herb and Dorothy.

Dana estimates that she buys an average of two to four pieces a month, when she can afford it. And her house is one big gallery/art installation, with themed rooms arranged and designed to best show off her growing collection. Over the coming weeks, we'll be exploring the individual works and why they belong to Dana Cain.

Today's selections focus on a couple of Plus Gallery artists:

Riva Sweetrocket: Comfort Food

This is a favorite purchase of Dana's, and it's not hard to see why. After all, she's the kind of person who, in her own words, "has peak experiences at the drop of a hat." It's a large-scale work, six feet tall and rendered in soft pastel, placed in a prime spot on a pink wall in a room carpeted with AstroTurf, and it is splendid. "The first time I saw it was in a little tiny one-by-two-inch, black-and-white image in Westword. I had no idea how big it actually was or what the colors were or any of that, but I just loved it. I gravitate toward utopian imagery, and I love the quality of seeing magic in common everyday things. I love the way she venerated the ramen noodles to a holy status - - I really find that inspiring. I love all of her work, but I gotta tell ya, man, this one is still my favorite." Ours, too.

Susan Meyer: Hot Springs
"I love mod, and this is so mod. I love the juxtaposition of the cut lucite and geologic strata. And then she infused it with those tiny naked people doing all these perverted things. I had seen a lot of her work, and I could only afford a small piece, but when I saw this one I knew it was for me. The lime and green color palette just blows my mind. It reminds me of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Other little known facts about Dana: She's fascinated by geology and science. Her brother is a geologist, and for thirty years, she's edited the World Geophysical News.

Like what you see? Future installments are imminent. Watch Westword's Show and Tell blog for more.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd