Heather Roth captures the human experience in downtown Denver and abroad

You can find art all over town -- not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.

Colorado native Heather Roth is a physician assistant who practices occupational medicine in Denver, dividing her time between clinics and the urgent-care room. When she isn't stitching up people or putting them in casts, she's capturing the city and its residents in photographs. Roth credits her artsy side to her father, scientist and painter Steven Arnold, who was always taking art classing during her childhood. That inspired a deep fondness for art in Roth, who went from viewing it to making it herself.

See also: Chemist Steven Arnold uses watercolors to explore his creative side

When she was in high school, Roth's grandfather gave Roth his old Olympic camera, and the rest is, well, history. Despite a special aptitude for science, Roth was immediately captivated by single lens release (SLR) photography, and the biology major went on to take several collegiate-level photography courses while attending the University of Colorado -- first CU Boulder, then CU Denver -- before heading to Boston for a masters in medical science. Between studies, Roth's taken five trips to Europe and gone "pretty much went all over the place," she says: Budapest, Prague, Spain, Italy, France, even Scandinavia. And during those travels, her photography hobby grew into something more. "I really like black-and-white photography of people," says Roth. "And I really like to capture expressions on people's faces of a moment or a mood." What Roth found most intriguing while photo-logging her travels, she explains, was that "you can see the whole human experience and how people everywhere have the same emotions." For the most part, folks have been happy to have her photograph them -- except for one time in Boston when an angry subject ripped the camera out of her hand. Keep reading for more from Heather Roth. Roth enjoyed her time in Boston and overseas, but she was happy to come home. "My heart was here in Colorado," she says. A biker, skier, snowboarder and golfer, Roth missed all of the outdoorsy stuff our state is known for. Since returning, she's married her long-time boyfriend and the two recently had a daughter. But she continues to pursue her art. "I finally broke down finally and got a DSLR camera two years ago," Roth says. She used to love the old equipment and working in a darkroom, and while she was hesitant to switch to digital, she's been pleased with the results. "You can do a lot of stuff with the photos digitally, and now you can also see how they are going to come out before developing them," she explains. Roth is relatively new to the local art scene, and her premiere show, a collection of European travels and downtown Denver photography, is currently hanging at Steam Espresso Bar. You can reach her by e-mail at roth.heather.a@gmail.com.

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