Comment of the Day

Reader: Mary Chandler Was So Crucial to the Arts in Denver

Mary Chandler and Michael Paglia.
Mary Chandler and Michael Paglia. Trine Bumiller
On Wednesday, Michael Paglia, Westword's longtime art and architecture critic, shared the sad news: Mary Voelz Chandler, one of the most significant voices in the history of Colorado's art and architecture scene, had passed.

A veteran journalist, Mary "got a job as a reporter at the Rocky Mountain News, writing on architecture, construction and historic preservation," Paglia recounts. "In 1990, she convinced her editors to add art reporting to her regular assignments and launched a weekly art column." She used that forum to cover everything from low points in city architecture, "including the pointless demolition of I.M. Pei’s Zeckendorf Plaza in the 1990s," to high points, "none more elevated than the Denver museum-building boom of the early 21st century. ... In her highly regarded art column, Mary reviewed and critiqued hundreds of art shows and covered the unveiling of countless public art projects."

And there's more, much more, as Paglia lays out in his memorial to a colleague and friend. In their comments on the Westword Facebook post of Paglia's piece, other friends and colleagues share more thoughts and memories. Says Chuck:
Heartbreaking news. Shared the newsroom with her at the Rocky. Loved and above all respected her beyond belief.
Adds Bob:
A wealth of knowledge...I'll miss seeing her at art openings.
Comments Jason:
What a loss of a Colorado icon. I had the privilege of working with Mary on Public Architecture: The Art Inside. I loved her sly humor and smile. She taught me a lot and I enjoyed our discussions on art over a cocktail when the work day was over. Thank you, Michael, for this wonderful tribute to Mary. RIP, my friend.
Offers Charmain:
Mary will be so missed - but her work in the arts will be remembered and honored.
Says Janet:
This is such sad news. She was so crucial to the arts in Denver and such a force.
Remembers Andrew:
No nonsense is right. If you were a PR person approaching Mary about a story/issue, you better have your facts straight and be prepared to answer questions. She was a gem. Damn. Another person I wished I would have stayed in touch with, but now it is too late. Her writing is a gift to all.
And Brendan concludes:
RIP, Mary. Thank you for everything you've contributed to make Denver better.
There will be a memorial for Mary Chandler at the Denver Press Club on Friday, January 20. Read Michael Paglia's tribute to his friend here, and share your own thoughts in a comment or at [email protected]
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