The Mizel Museum is launching the ultimate voyage of aesthetic voyeurism: Denver Collects, a series of programs that takes the public to the homes of local art collectors. These community members have graciously opened their homes to the events, which focus on collections of contemporary work by Colorado artists; each session will weave in personal stories about the work from gallery owners and curators.
Georgina Kolber, Mizel's curator of Exhibits, Programs and Collections, says a 2012 trip inspired the Denver Collects program. "In our Mizel Museum trip to Israel last year, we visited a few private home collections. People on the trip seemed excited by the stories collectors told about arriving to collecting, and how that piece ended up on this wall," says Kolber. "When you talk to any collector, you learn that every collection begins with just one thing -- it's not necessarily planned and I think that's an important thing for people to hear. I created this program to expose the world of collecting to people in Denver who are interested but maybe not yet familiar with how collections develop."
Though the specific locations aren't revealed until you're registered (the museum is working to maintain the privacy of those opening their doors for the program), the first edition on Sunday, October 27, will take viewers inside two homes of Denver art-glass collectors. And in keeping with the Mizel Museum's focus on presenting the Jewish perspective, the collectors involved in this inaugural series are Jewish -- although Kobler hopes future programs will grow to include many more members of the local art community.
Ivar Zeile, a longtime supporter of local art and owner and curator of Plus Gallery in RiNo, will be adding an educational component to the Denver Collects series. "Ever since I walked into Plus Gallery six years ago, I've appreciated Ivar's openness and enthusiasm in discussing the work he's showing," saya Kolber. "I admire his tireless dedication to his gallery and growing Denver's art scene, and I consider him an authority on contemporary art. He will host a discussion regarding collecting contemporary art, with a primary focus on how reputable galleries can assist as a positive resource. Concepts of patronage and how that relates to the success of artists and the health of the local scene will be discussed, with direct examples from within the gallery stable of artists."
The Denver Collects series, which runs through next June, is just one of many projects Mizel Museum has on tap for the community. But this program is especially meaningful, Kolber says, because it directly connects all people involved in the art community.
"The more collectors Denver nurtures, the more vibrant the entire arts community will become. I think museums and organizations have a unique ability to program with the outside world in different ways, and I personally feel a tie to the gallery owners who contribute so much to Denver's cultural vitality," says Kolber. "I put together this series to expose people to collecting in a way that's accessible, and also because I feel a duty to help cultivate new art enthusiasts."
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Denver Collects kicks off on Sunday, October 27. Registration is $18 per program or $60 for the full four-part series. Private collectors' names and addresses will be provided upon registration; for more information, visit the Mizel Museum's website or call 303-394-9993.