Artists on the Ridge

Arts

Wheat Ridge Musician Releases New Album

Kevin DeForrest is the most interesting man you’ve never heard of. He reluctantly admits that he’d like to change that. “My brother asked me once ‘why do you write songs, anyway?’ I said ‘I just want to write better and better songs all the time, right?’ And he said ‘bulls*** — I think you want

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Arts

Edgewater Magician Carries On Casa Bonita Tradition

Family interest in magic led Gerald Robinson to achieve professional goals Like most Colorado natives, a young Gerald Robinson and his family enjoyed meals, cliff divers and magic shows at Casa Bonita. Now, the adult Robinson is part of the tradition at the recently reopened Lakewood restaurant. Robinson, 24, of Edgewater, now works as a

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Arts

Actor-Director Selena Naumoff on Theatre and Religion

“Acting is about trying on a different hat. Life is like that, too,” says Selena Naumoff, a founding member of the Wheat Ridge Theatre Company. “The idea is to challenge yourself to do something you’ve never done.”  With degrees in theatre and religion, Naumoff brings an unique set of skills to the theatre, where in

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Arts

Exploring The World Of Tattoo Artist Erik V

Gleaming plaques frame Erik V’s head as he leans over his client, eyes sharply focused on the needle.  Best Tattoo of Show, 2005. Best Back Tattoo, 2016. Best Overall Male, 2022.   But these accolades are not on Erik’s mind when he’s at work. For Erik, the art of tattooing lies not just in creating a

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Arts

Theresa Joyce Infuses Her Paintings With Excitement

“My paintings are about Colorado,” says Theresa Joyce, Denver-area artist. “Nearly every one of them is a painting of where I’ve been, where I hang out, or where I ski.  The first thing Joyce does before starting a painting is to ask herself why she wants to paint that particular scene. “I try to remember

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Arts

Wheat Ridge Native Welds Emotion Into Robots

Methodical. Intentional. Thoughtful.  It’s both how Chris Mora speaks and how he welds. He’d much sooner lapse into minutes-long silence than say something he doesn’t mean. And he’ll sure as hell never commit a weld that is messy, rushed or anything short of beautiful.  Mora is a metalworker and artist. He makes robots, primarily, along

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Arts

Western Singer Patty Clayton Is Making Music A Full-time Career

“The very first song I ever performed was Gene Autry’s version of ‘Buttons and Bows,’ in third or fourth grade,” says Edgewater’s Western award-winning singer and songwriter Patty Clayton. “I wrote my first song in 1976 – can’t remember the name of the song, but it was about riding a horse on a beach, trying

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Arts

Digital Artist Chase Seyfer Plans Her Own Video Game

“Don’t back away from the wall We together break the wall… Your legs hesitated but again Start, don’t stop Don’t be afraid Don’t lose your faith, run no more.” –Lyrics from the song “Break the Wall,” by Korean band Dreamcatcher Digital artist Chase Seyfer was inspired by this song to write a multilayered story that

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Arts

At 92, Cam Williams Enjoys A Rich Artistic Life

“I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, since about four or five,” says 92-years-young Wheat Ridge artist Cam Williams. “I recall I sat on my grandpa’s lap and asked him how to draw a woman’s shoe – why I asked that, I don’t know.” She recalled how, in first and second grade, kids would

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Arts

Liz Burns Finds ‘Uber-Presentness’ In Painting Abstract Art

“My passion for painting stems from the immense benefits it brings to my mental well-being,” says Wheat Ridge painter Liz Burns. “It lets me remain fully present in the moment and immerse myself in a state of pure joy.” A Wheat Ridge resident since 2011, Burns lives with her husband Nathan, son Miller, 11, and

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Arts

Jason McCullough’s Landscapes Speak To Our Connection With The Land

“Painting from landscape is another way to express the experience of humanity the only way I can: as a six-foot male walking on land. That is my perspective,” says Wheat Ridge painter Jason McCullough. He captures the people and spaces that inhabit his experience. Working in oil paints and various drawing mediums, the self-represented fine

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Arts

For Mona Taherynia, Painting Is Like Poetry In Colors

“As a little girl, I was always drawing. I had a love for crayons,” says Mona Taherynia, an artist who was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States when she was in her 30s.  Taherynia’s Iranian culture informs her paintings, “in terms of form and color,” yet her paintings also bear

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Arts

From Banker To Cop To Teacher To Artist

A winding road took colored pencil artist Diana Williams through the banking world to doing something “military-based,” then to being a teacher of art history, before eventually discovering her own talent for art. Williams says that through the years she has dabbled in painting with acrylics, but that her current and steady interest in art

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Arts

Photography For Jon Levy Is Both Art And Craft

“I wake up every morning an hour before sunrise, to be outside 15 minutes before sunrise with the Sony,” says photographer Jon Levy. The “Sony” he’s referring to is the Alpha 1, Sony’s flagship camera.  “I mainly go to the local parks – Belmar, the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, Main Reservoir in Lakewood. I find each

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Arts

Everything’s An Opportunity For Lori Ann Levy-Holm

“All painting is an abstraction,” says Wheat Ridge artist Lori Ann Levy-Holm, who teaches for the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  “My interest is not necessarily driven by subject matter but driven by the abstraction of light, color, shape, form and storytelling. I love animals, I love people, I

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Arts

‘Art Is Where My Passion Is’ – Pastelist Ken Lutes

“Making art is something intrinsic in human nature,” says pastelist Ken Lutes. “Cave drawings tell us that people have always made art. It’s essential to our spiritual makeup to have a way to express how we feel about life.”  Lutes says his style is “Impressionistic, leaning toward realism. I look at concrete events affecting my

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Arts

New 40W Arts HQ: A Little Grit, A Little Glitter

“Colfax Avenue has always been critical to our mission,” says Liz Black, executive director of 40 West Arts District. The move from their old location at 1560 Teller St. to the new building at 6501 West Colfax “is going to be really critical to the next five-to-ten years for the district, and even beyond that.”

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Arts

Mickey La Fave’s Art Is All About Color

“What draws me is super bright colors – what the eye does not actually see,” says artist Mickey La Fave. “Color is my whole thing. I couldn’t use a brown to save my life.”  La Fave’s paintings employ vivid colors to accentuate her subjects. She uses hydrus watercolors that come in a glass bottle because

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Arts

Art Workshops Provide Motivation For Shirley Nakamoto

Every artist can tell you what inspired them to begin drawing or painting, and Wheat Ridge Art League (WRAL) member Shirley Nakamoto is no exception.  “When I was little, I liked to draw from Walt Disney comic books,” she says. “I remember drawing Bambi and Dumbo, the Seven Dwarfs, and Lady from ‘Lady and the

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Arts

Ceramic Sculptor Tim Tindle’s ‘Found’ Creations Inspire Stories

The gnomes and creatures that inhabit Tim Tindle’s ceramic sculptures are sparked by his two young daughters’ imaginations. Tindle calls his style “narrative sculpture.” “The pieces are like found objects that make you wonder, ‘What’s behind that door?’ You look at it and your brain starts making up stories. “Like a knot at the bottom

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Arts

Judy Miranda Puts Life Into Her Images

“Whenever I walk into my studio, wherever it might be, I bring all of my past into it,” said Wheat Ridge Art League member Judy Miranda. With photographs and paintings beautifying most of her wall space, that statement comes to life when touring her home.  During a recent visit to Miranda’s home studio, this writer

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Arts

Painter Paula Weisz ‘Lets It Happen’ On Canvas

“I’m flexible when I paint because I don’t know what will emerge,” says abstract painter Paula Weisz. “If you always plan, if you don’t go beyond the borders, how do you know what would come out?” Weisz says she’s drawn to the abstract, whether it be interpreted realism or full-blown non-representational. She says her paintings

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Arts

Early Love Of Crayons Began Art Career For Sandra Davis

“I think trying to be perfect often stops people from learning what they could do,” says Wheat Ridge pencil artist Sandra Davis. “I think everybody can learn to draw, but if people don’t think they can draw, they won’t put in the effort to learn how. When you start drawing, it’s important to love the

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Arts

Painter Julie Midyett Keeps It Real

“I go into my zone when I’m painting,” says artist Julie Midyett. “I call it my happy place.” Midyett has had a talent for art since she was a child, but she stopped painting seriously as a young adult when “life happened.” Marriage, children and a career in accounting and tax preparation kept her busy

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