Colorado Creatives

100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Dustin Young

#60: Dustin Young

Dustin Young is a master draftsman of the dreamy side of real life, depicting the imprint of found imagery in a shower of mist and perceived memory. A native Minnesotan off an academic trail that led him from New York to Boston to Lincoln, Nebraska, Young is beginning a two-year residency at RedLine, where he'll further explore his inside-out version of real life in ink, graphite and atmospheric washes. Here are his answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Dustin Young: I would love to collaborate or just have a conversation about art’s emotive impact with artists who have affected my work. A short list would be Kathe Kollwitz, Mark Rothko and living artists like Vernon Fisher and Michael Borremans.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Colin Kaepernick and his recent protests of the national anthem. It is wonderfully fascinating that such a simple gesture like kneeling can ignite a national discussion while generating awareness of social inequalities in our country.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Undervaluing artist’s work in our society. People acknowledge how important the arts are, but often don’t want to pay artists adequately for their effort (exposure doesn’t count as payment).
What's your day job?

I work as the lead painter for Playtime, located in Centennial. We create really cool and innovative children’s play-area products. A great example of what we do is the dinosaur play area located in the Cherry Creek mall. I also teach whenever I can; most recently, I taught drawing at RMCAD.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Pay off my student loans! Most of my dreams/fantasies involve not having loan payments. After that, I would love to help start a new residency program/arts community. I honestly have no clue how I would do that or what it takes, but unlimited funding would certainly smooth out those wrinkles.
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

Absolutely love it here. The people, the sights, the weather, the arts, the food…I could go on and on.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

I am still getting acclimated and introduced to the local scene, so I can’t give a proper opinion on the topic, but any additional funding, whether it is toward art facilities/projects/institutions/museums, would be great. Funding the arts is funding progress.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

Don Fodness is killing it. He has co-curated some fantastic exhibitions recently (Jokes of Nature and Drawing Never Dies at RedLine) and currently has a drawing up at the Arvada Art Center. I love his work. The way he translates cultural references through his grotesque/hilarious drawings always makes for an interesting view that changes each time you see the work.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?

The RedLine residency will keep me pretty busy, but finding a proper balance between that, family life and work will be my number-one priority. Other than that, I will remain open to opportunities that arise.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

It is hard for me to give a definitive answer because I am only familiar with a fraction of the immensely talented artists in Denver and Colorado. But be sure to keep an eye on the RedLine artists; I am expecting great things from this group.

Learn more about Dustin Young online