Reader: Marie Gibbons makes art -- and artists -- out of lumps of clay

Denver is full of amazing artistic visionaries who are changing the cultural landscape of metro Denver. And each year for the past seven years, we've been awarding five of these creative geniuses with MasterMind awards. Members of each class of MasterMinds have done amazing things with their awards, frequently using them to help other, struggling artists.

One of their missions is helping to pick the next class -- and that process is now under way. The MasterMinds have already come up with dozens of nominations for the five slots -- the awards are divided between visual arts, performing arts, film/video/multi-media, literary arts and fashion/design -- but we're still accepting nominations.

This just came in from Janey:

There is an artist in the Tenneyson art district that I believe deserves to be added to the MasterMind list for 2012. Marie Gibbons has a studio that to so multi-functional I marvel at all she can accomplish. Marie is a fabulous teacher and has encouraged a group of clay artists to take risks, question rules, and create art for art's sake. Her studio has a friendly atmosphere that welcomes individuals to step in, browse, talk about art; all who stop in leave with new understanding and appreciation for the world around us. All this in addition to Marie's work that stands alone in the clay world. Viewing her work is like stepping into another realm, one that tells a story, forces you to ask questions, illuminates reality. She is a MasterMind.

Read more about Marie Gibbons in this piece by Susan Froyd.

If you know of an artist or arts organization deserving of a no-strings-attached cash prize, feel free to make a nomination in the comments section below (or, if you're shy, e-mail the name to editorial@westword.com). We'll be announcing the next class of MasterMinds, once again sponsored by Metropolitan State College of Denver, at our annual Artopia event, set for Saturday, February 18.

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