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People We Should Know

Someone You Should Know in Wheat Ridge… Judy Maxfield

By Nancy Hahn

Judy Maxfield is a Colorado native with beautifully-styled silver hair and fashionable, ladylike attire. She is, also, an indispensable volunteer at the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Sara Spaulding, Public Information Officer, says Judy is so valued because, “Judy has such willingness to step in and do whatever is needed. She lends a hand with so many things and is a vital part of WRPD. Her smile lights up the department.”

She and her husband raised a family in our area. After the children grew up, began their own families, and Judy retired, she began to look for something to do with her time. She noticed that the police department was offering a Citizen Police Academy (C.P.A.). All the police departments in our area offer these academies, one evening a week for about 12 weeks. The Academy provides adult citizens with first-hand understanding of how the police department works including topics from court procedures and code enforcement to ride-alongs and ID theft. Many engaging activities and demonstrations are part of the Academy:  firearms demonstration, law enforcement history, ethics, elder abuse, sex offender registration, SWAT, and a Taser demonstration are only a few of the topics covered. Judy explained that the firearms simulator training is the same simulation the police use. “As you watch the screen things happen and people appear. You have to instantly decide to shoot or not,” she explained. This fall, crime scene analyst, Beth Daniels, presents crime scene investigation activities. If you are a fan of CSI, this is the real world version.

Judy and a friend attended their first Citizen Police Academy. They enjoyed it. So, they attended one at every police department in the area. Judy decided after attending the C.P.A. to volunteer at a police department. Wheat Ridge Police Department was looking for volunteers and Judy signed up and has been volunteering for the Police Department since 2014.

The Wheat Ridge Police Department has a core group of volunteers and Judy Maxfield is one busy volunteer. She began in Records. Wayne Hammond, Records Supervisor shares that “Judy was wonderful during a period of time when we were short due to retirements and staff seeking other types of work. Thank goodness, Judy was able to spend some of her volunteer hours in Records with data entry, filing and helping citizens at the window. She truly provided the help we needed as we rebuilt our team in records.” She has removed patches from old uniforms and organized closets - whatever job needs to be done. Sergeant Brian Wilkinson says, “Judy is an extraordinary person and is a wonderful volunteer. We depend on dedicated volunteers and don’t know what we’d do without them. Judy is one of those people who work hard behind the scenes, never expecting any kind of recognition, despite how much she is appreciated.”

Judy is now often found smiling in the window answering questions and directing people when they first enter the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Wheat Ridge has many community gatherings; like the Criterion, Ridge Fest, and the Carnation Festival. At these community activities, she is found in the WRPD booth providing information on crime prevention. Right now, Judy Maxfield is busy with organizing the upcoming Citizen Police Academy beginning on Wednesday, August 23.

“The police,” Judy says, “are delightful.” She does have one rule though, “I can work whenever I’m needed, but never ever on Friday. Friday is for my grandchildren!”

MuralFest Artist Bobby Magee Lopez – Inviting the Viewer In

By Nancy Hahn

Bobby Magee Lopez worked on his mural in Lamar Plaza, as he explained how his life led him to becoming a muralist. Growing up, he traveled the United States.

“My father taught me to sketch before I could write. Since then I have had an affinity for art. I continued to draw my entire childhood and began training in calligraphy at age ten.”

After high school, Bobby made a choice between baseball and art. Bobby chose to play baseball in college in St. Petersburg, Fla., but still kept in touch with his artistic side. In college, he found inspiration in Salvador Dali.

“I felt a deep stirring of emotions visualizing the thin veil between waking life and dream states. I worked at the Dali Museum during college in order to immerse myself in his genius.”

After college and working in finance, Bobby came to Colorado for another round of college. This time he focused on art. Artist, muralist, and social activist, Carlos Fresquez, was teaching at Metro State. Bobby studied mural painting with him, earned a Fine Arts degree, and opened Innerspace Art Gallery in the RiNo Art District. Bobby produced and enjoyed many types of art during the time at Innerspace. He visited Santa Fe, Burning Man Festivals, and Hawaii. When his younger brother graduated from high school; the two of them decided to take a trip to travel Europe. Travel helped Bobby shape his future plans as an artist.

Bobby considered two main factors: lifestyle and location. The most important lifestyle factor was the ability to grow as an artist, while making a living as an artist. He liked the idea of traveling as an artist and he liked street art. Creating murals was a street art style that, unlike most street art, the artist gets paid for creating. Murals, also, enable him to introduce elements of calligraphy which he continues to enjoy, but Denver was not the ideal location. A location must appreciate art and have ocean beaches. Denver has none. Bobby visualized the factors of lifestyle and location twisting around each other like strands of DNA and noting connections made between the strands. New Zealand and South Africa have beautiful beaches. Nice, France has seven months of ocean swimming yearly and appreciates art. Barcelona, Spain has beaches and a history of art. Bobby decided, though, that staying in the United Stated was the best choice for a time. In 2014, he moved to the island of Maui.

Maui had advantages: no winter clothes, lovely beaches and art is valued. A disadvantage, though, was the cost to travel to create murals – for example, his travel to paint a mural in the 40 West Arts District in 2015. Bobby is still considering locations.

Check out his mural in Lamar Plaza, created during MuralFest 2017. The mural shows Bobby’s interest in calligraphy and perspective enables the viewer become a part of the scene. Share your appreciation. Maybe, Bobby will stay in the 40 West Arts District and be part of the scene.