Visual Arts

Keith "Scramble" Campbell likes his art the way he likes his music: live and on the road

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The nickname Scramble is a nostalgic nod to a childhood fondness for roller-skating. When Campbell began making art in the '80s, he was focused on cartoonism, and the moniker reemerged. "It is like a scramble of all these different styles together, making what I do," says Campbell.

"Through my whole life, I've wanted to do something with visual arts," he continues. After high school, Campbell went to a commercial art school and he started doing design long before the days of computers. At first, he was going to galleries and trying to get into museum group shows with "this strange psychedelic art," he says, but when he couldn't find a place to showcase his work, twentysomething Campbell, who was working in the midst of the rave culture, began asking DJs if he could be part of their groupings. That started Campbell's live painting career -- "action through rejection," he explains -- and he switched over to doing bands in the early '90s.

He's been living off of his art since 1991, and proudly shown in independent spaces since the very beginning. "Especially since I create the art in public," Campbell says, "I'm more about showing it in restaurants, that kind of thing."

Campbell was living in Orlando when he launched his live art career. He started traveling around the U.S., hopping from festival to fair to festival again. "When we came across Red Rocks in 2000, I decided this was where I wanted to be located," Campbell says of the space that still takes his breath away.

He's glad to have a specific venue to focus on, but he occasionally still ventures to other festivals like Telluride Blues & Brew and an upcoming Las Vegas festival featuring BB King, among others. In the winter, you might catch him at other local venues, everything from the Bluebird Theater to Cervantes. Campbell also works with the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, where he even curates. Continue reading for more on Campbell's scrambles.

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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase