Freelance curator Rose Fredrick came up with the idea of putting classic nineteenth- and twentieth-century Colorado landscapes together with contemporary ones, and the result was Masterpieces of Colorado Landscape, a traveling show that stopped at Foothills Art Center in Golden last spring and is now on view in a somewhat retooled version at the Denver Public Library. The show highlights the ongoing attraction of the Rockies to several generations of artists and demonstrates their diversity with the wide range of styles they used to capture our beloved scenery.
Artfully blending contemporary concepts with Western images is a popular pursuit for many Colorado artists, though few have been doing it longer or more successfully than Boulder artist Don Coen. The magnificent Don Coen took over the entire first floor of the Havu gallery and featured the artist's depictions of ranch animals, which are often monumental in size and hyperrealist in style — sort of like pop art with a rural twist. In this way, Coen avoids the sentimentality that characterizes most of the Cowboy-and-Indian junk that typically makes up new art about the American West.
Museum of Outdoor Arts
Part of Lonnie Hanzon's charm is in the way the visual designer seems to reappear like a flesh-and-blood Dumbledore — here and there, from time to time, fully wound — holding court over a magical world of his own invention. He's created spectacular Parade of Lights floats, over-the-top Christmas displays in Hong Kong and the whimsical "Evolution of the Ball" sculpture at Coors Field, but Hanzon's recent appointment as house artist and creative director at the Museum of Outdoor Arts puts the pointed cap squarely atop his serendipitous career. In addition to bringing back MOA's winter Ice + Snow holiday installation this year, the erstwhile Merlin will have his own show at the museum in October, and his "maximalist" style will help drive the renovated institution's visual direction when it reopens in April.
Trained since the age of six in the art of classical Chinese guzheng music (the guzheng is a plucked zither with an ancient history), this virtuoso Beijinger now living in Boulder works with one foot firmly planted in tradition. The other foot has walked off into a brave new world of contemporary fusion, a wide-open genre that Wu Fei fell into during her stint at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. In the years since, she's worked all over the world with the likes of Fred Frith, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Lukas Ligeti and other celebrated experimental/new-music cronies. She'll travel back to China in August as guest of the month-long Beijing Olympics Performance Series, and she also has invitations to play in Dublin and Sardinia. Let's enjoy her while we can; Wu Fei plans to move to Berlin in the fall.

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