38th Denver Film Festival, 2015!



Mo = Sinking

Ken = Water


This enchanting and, beautifully filmed documentary unveils the Moken, a nomadic people living on the Andaman Sea eight months of the year.

The film unveils an engrossing underwater world that allows us to learn a few things about the sea and survival. Watching the rare Moken society, you’re in disbelief that a group of people can remain so innocent in this world today. Fishing, cooking, eating, building and repairing their boats is their life. There is no pretense of schooling, reading, writing.

Sailing a Sinking Sea gives us a brief glimpse into an existence far removed from the modern world. The Moken are sweet-natured people who live in a world of make-believe, ghosts, evil gods, living myths, legends, and shamans.

The Moken are also equality-minded people. No last names are used in the culture and there is no record of age. Surprisingly, they do live by a few strict rules. Girls can marry when they start growing breasts. Boys can marry once they build a boat of their own. If he cannot build a boat on his own, he cannot marry. There is no ceremony. When a couple falls in love and the boat is built, the girl receives three silver bracelets and the boy a sarapi.

The legend of the Moken, we learn, says the island was once covered by a wave. Only two people, a man, and a woman survived. They had one dog and one cat and eventually produced twelve children.

I am still curious about a few things seen in the doc, like, how do the people have electricity, colorful clothes, plastic toys and even a small tv set? True, they didn’t have a lot of modern items, but even the few I saw had me asking, how’d they get these? 

Today there are only 3,000 Moken left. Olivia Wyatt’s documentary characterizes a little-known people who survive solely on human instinct, the law of the sea, and basics: food, shelter, water, family. Sadly, their existence is being threatened by the decline of fish and shells in the sea. One sage Moken surmised, “This is the last generation of Moken.” 

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Are Glue Guns Legal?


Photo by Tom Hofmeist

           The 11th Annual Paper Fashion Show was a fabulous debut for Denver’s one and only, one-of-a-kind, spring fashion review. Don’t go looking for linen, poplin, silk or satin. This show is where one finds the hip, authentically underground fashionistas, designers and artists who believe in paper. Each year their talents make Denver a force to be noted.  There’s more than one fashion show in Denver but nothing says chic, Art, original design or high fashion like the Paper Fashion Show.

This year, it was held at the Bindery on Blake Street in lower downtown. It coincided with the first Rockies game and it could have been a nightmare. As fashion folk were coming in, baseball fans were leaving downtown in droves. What we suffer for fashion!

Inside, the bare brick walls and polished concrete floors looked hip & modern.  The large dock doors were opened to the site of the nearby RiNo railroad tracks. Once inside I followed a trail of six-inch stilettos to my seat.

From high couturier elegant dresses to dragon wings and angel IMG_4329wings, e v e r y t h i n g was made of paper. There’s always one or two creations that are so unbelievable you want to take them home and wear. Then there’s always a few that are so off the wall, you just want them to hang on your living room wall.

I’m mad about this event, and every year I leave impressed and bewildered at the improbable yet impeccable clothe’s designs trotting down the runway. It’s hard to believe every shred of the outfits are made of paper. It is mindful. It’s something to see. It is truly one of the most creative events anywhere.


Probably not one tree in this creation.IMG_4393


4th Place, Coeur De Cristal, Team Chapparral Fashion Club, Swatch – YUPO Synthetic









Award: That’s Made of Paper? Team, Flying Pigs, Swatch FiberMark Suedetex


DAVA’s Choice – Victorian SteamPunk, After the Apocalypse, Team, Triple J Design, Swatch, French Paper Speckletone


1st Place – Valkyrie – Team – SLYNN, made of Neenah Classic Linen


3rd Place – Falcon Fancy – Team, Da Ream Team, Made of Mohawk VIA


2nd Place – Arachnophobia, Team – Carlos Valles, made of Neenah Classic Lai2_Arachnophobia_CarlosVallesd

Paper Fashion Show – A M A Z I N G

This is the Paper Fashion Show last year, March 2014. See for yourself. It is so fabulous, you won’t believe your eyes.

It was an Ooh, La, La visual wonderland. The 10th Annual ADCD ( Art Directors Club of Denver) Paper Fashion Show happened last night at the Seawell Grand Ballroom. And, it was a WOW. I had attended a luncheon in the Seawell Ballroom on Wednesday but last night the room shared no resemblance whatsoever. It was transformed into a vision of feminine colors, whimsical fashion illustrations, frills and outrageous dresses made out of P A P E R. The designs were absolutely amazing. I took photos for you …. see for yourself.


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Fashion Celebrity Hosts, Tim Gunn & Mondo Guerra

What do you get when you cross a – fashionister in skinny pants, polka dot bow tie, thick curled pomaded, tri-color hair with –  a skinny, hip, young & clever looking, green-haired fashionista girl wearing black from head to toe?   Why of course, it’s photographers at the 2015, fundraiser fashion show.

The En Vogue Goodwill Fashion show, welcomed Emmy award-winning Tim Gunn and Denver’s own Mondo Guerra, to the cirque d’cool on Thursday night.

Of course it was snowing like a tasmanian devil outside. But that mattered little to the sold-out extravaganza, where fashionistas of all ages gathered at Union Station, come hell or ten foot snow.

Always a sell-out, this event benefits Goodwill’s career development programs. Mondo Guerra, wearing a self-designed tight-fitting Matisse-inspired black & white suit, polished off his look with spit-shined patent leather shoes and no socks. He told the audience how he loves Goodwill thrift stores. When he was just falling in love with fashion & design he spent lots of time and, little money, in thrift stores. He’d take the clothes home, take them apart to study the design, the stitching and fabric. It paid off. He was winner on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. Today he has a clothes line and an exclusive eyewear collection inspired by pop culture.

Tim Gunn, “Under the Gunn,” a co-host and mentor of Lifetime’s Project Runway, met Mondo during season eight and, as they say, the rest is history. Gunn said each year when he’s en route to the west, he starts to think of Denver girls. He envisions them in jeans, boots, hats, big winter coats. But when he gets here, he is thrilled to see the fashion conscience females in this Western metropolitan city. He mentioned great taste in boots, sweaters, scarfs, jewelry and the creative mixing of stylish vintage and high fashion. Pat yourself on the back Denver Girlie Q’s.

The select fashion designers were high school students under Mondo’s directions. He suggested they create designs that were reminiscent of fleeting fashions which passed through these marbled walls of the hundred year old Union Station.  They listened and went to work; elegantly mixing a Great Gatsby look with hip, sassy Western style that showed maturity and serious fashion-astute design talent.





…And the audience was pretty cool, too.


Fashion in Denver. Pay attention. Next up, the Paper Fashion show next month…

Merrily We Move Along

My dear subscribers,

Wherever you live I hope you are warm with a drawer full of clean tights & socks (you need both for really cold), and at least one pair of Uggs (fur lined boots any brand); one pair of thermal pants (any color), a down coat with a hood or a Prana hat (the best hat in the world) and of course a supply of ice cream, several bags of Doritos, hot chocolate, coffee and wine. Otherwise, bless your heart, it is too cold for you. Get on a plane and get out of there.

888MarketStreet is growing despite the weather. We’re happy to introduce the latest artists to join the gallery. We think they are amazing. Here they are: Art Silk, Allison Pickett and Ken Pledger.  All three have traveled their own unique path. Art is presently on a bird kick; Allison is into indigenous plants and, Ken spends his days in beautiful meadows.

Art Silk, was formerly known as a fine art photographer. After years behind the lens he took a detour. Instead of capturing a bird in flight on his camera, he now brings his paintings to life with excellent color, shadows and highlights. Look at his birds, you’ll think the bird & Art know something we don’t.  Make sure you click on one in Fine Art on menu, to see for yourself.

I am also excited to introduce Allison Pickett to the gallery. She lives in Boulder, but hails from Memphis, my old stomping grounds and the go-to city for BBQ & Beale Street blues. That’s why I liked her work. No really, what drew me to Allison’s work is its freshness, her free-flowing brush strokes, and the detail she executes with vivid acrylics and ink. If you’re looking for colorful, lively art, Allison’s paintings will make your wall pop. Check out her aspen trees on 888MarketStreet.com.

Ken Pledger is a long time ‘plein air’ painter with years of study and  experimentation behind him. From his early photorealism style in oils and pastels, to an era of loose landscapes and Western desert paintings twenty years ago, Ken’s palette has continued to evolve. Painting plein air well, is what every artist strives for…taking the viewer to a beautiful setting of lush trees, snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, the scene of a storm approaching or the Eiffel Tower at sunset.

Ken Pledger has always been an exceptional artist who has the talent to delve into different genres and mediums when the urge occurs. The paintings on 888 show a softer, mature, at-peace artist who just wants to paint. Every day he finds an open space, sets up his easel and gets to work. Keep an eye on Ken. His paintings are versatile – with the hand and eye of an old pro.

Andy Warhol RePOPulates

There’s never a dull moment at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.

January kicked off the rePOPulated: Contemporary perspectives on pop art, featuring solo shows by Phil Bender & Sean O’Meallie. Other participating POP artists include Tony Ortega, Louis Recchia, Floyd D. Tunson, Margaret Kasahara.

“Art in America,” by Louis Recchia


To add ‘original pop art’ to the list of artists, the Center successfully procured original pop art from the CU Art Museum. This addition gives visitors a sprinkling of art by the pioneers of POP: Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol.

“Hello Dali,” by Evan ColbertIMG_3746

Walking through the galleries gave me goose bumps. There it was. Pop art 2014-2015, by our artists.  The influence was there. The visual experience had all the essential elements to wow you, whether it was created fifty years ago or months ago.

“Thank You for Your Business,” by Mark Penner-HowellIMG_3735

Phil BenderIMG_3751

Sean O’MeallieIMG_3756

Upstairs, the galleries featured the work of Phil Bender and Sean O’Meallie.  Phil and Sean, are well-known Colorado contemporary artists who brought together a combination of colorful whimsey and vintage symbolism.


The Center was also showing the vintage stage production of “Harvey” by Mary Chase, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Denver native. The beloved author was born & raised in West Denver and was intrigued by the silly, social standards of the city in the 1940’s. Especially as she became more acquainted with central Denver and the Capitol Hill, Quality Hill areas where she lived and worked before her phenomenal success as a playwright.

I always wanted to see “Harvey” on stage and Arvada has created a  delightfully funny and chaotic stage romp with Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend Harvey. The audience had a great time with the timeless, clever, Chase dialogue as  Elwood, etc., turned Capitol Hill into an afternoon of drink induced misunderstandings and Keystone Cops frenzy.

There were references to Charley’s Bar, and the Fire House on 1st (Speer).  I left Arvada determined to find 1443 Gaylord Street, Elwood’s house, in my neighborhood. I looked, but found no large potted ferns on the veranda, no sign of Elwood P. Dowd, no sister, nor, was friend Harvey anywhere in sight.


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Charlie Burrell knows jazz and a thing or two


Charles Burrell, Jr. left, Charlie Burrell on right. Photo taken at First Friday Jazz brunch, January, 2015. (Purnell Steen can be seen heading toward the piano for the brunch concert)

You’d think he’d write exclusively about playing the stand up bass or, jazz or, Denver Symphony Orchestra or, Five Points in the 1930-40’s.  He does. Yet Charlie gives that and more to his readers. What you won’t read is the typical WWII musician’s escapades on drugs, jail, or complaints about the situation.  Don’t be fooled though, he was not an unobservant slouch. This musician took it all in, like, it was better to avoid small town America if you’re a black man. He knew, if he were stopped, it was likely he would miss his gig. It wasn’t easy for a black man to get out of jail in those days for just driving through rural America or, East Denver for that matter. Despite a less than perfect childhood, Charlie Burrell went on to share the stage with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton.

His book, The Life of Charlie Burrell, Breaking the Color Barrier in Classical Music, is testimony to a fine man and true artist. The book proves without a doubt that Charlie Burrell is a gentleman, a hero, a kind educated man, a talented musician, the no-bull-shit-don’t-you-mess-with-me-or-my-friends-you m-f, kind-of-guy.  Born into the ghettos of Detroit, Charlie Burrell, in my opinion, is in every sense of the word – a hero and a legend.

Burrell had the passion and where-with-all to learn everything he could learn about classical music & instruments, rifts, rhythms, tone, style & music etiquette while dragging a huge-ass instrument all over the world. His set-backs and struggles, he made them interesting. Still, he overcame more than you or I could imagine. Once you read the book, you will wonder as I did. ‘Would I have done what Charlie did for his art?’

At 12 yrs old, Charlie took the only instrument that was offered to him in his school, the huge stand up bass. It became the love his life, his lone mistress, his joy and his road to a well-respected career at the Denver Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and jazz joints around the world.

There’s genuine depth and intellect woven through the book and, there’s much to know about Charlie Burrell, inside & outside.  Not only about his music, memories and anecdotes but about perseverance and pride in giving of oneself.  His niece, Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves and nephew Purnell Steen (jazz pianist) have much to say about Uncle Charlie. He recognized their talent and encouraged them with the love and knowledge of music and his well-honed skills in ‘becoming a person.’ You have to read the book to understand how this phrase was important in the making of Charlie Burrell.

Charlie Burrell received a Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award in Denver last week. I can not think of a more deserving person.

Rock on, Charlie Burrell.

The Life of Charlie Burrell, Breaking the Color Barrier in Classical Music, by Charlie Burrell and Mitch Handelsan, Foreward by Dianne Reeves. #CharlieBurrell

ISBN: 1502896451

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YeeHaw, Ya’ll

You’re probably not a cowboy or cowgirl but that’s ok. When January rolls around in the West, everyone wants to be one.

Coincidentally, the 109th National Western Stock Show opened January 10, 2015, with one of the best displays of Western art in the world. The Coors Western Art Exhibition & Sale premiered to rave reviews and enormous sales. That seems to be the case each year. And here’s to tell you the historic stock show has much more than livestock and boots to experience and purchase.

Featured Coors 2015 artist is Teresa Elliott. She’s in good company with: Tony Angell, Duke Beardsley, Allen Birnbach, Gordon Brown, Sophy Brown, George Bumann, Kenneth Bunn, G. Russell Case, Dan Chen, Len Chmiel, Neil Clifford, Don Coen, Mark Daily, Glenn Dean, John Demott, Caroline Douglas, Sharron Evans, Scott Fraser, Terry Gardner, Ulrich Gleiter, Brent Greenwood, David Griffin, David Grossmann, William Haskell, Rocky Hawkins, Quang Ho, Tony Hockstetler, T.D. Kelsey, Steve Kestrel, Amy Laugesen, T. Allen Lawson, Richard Loffler, Kim Lordier, Leon Loughridge, Michael Lynch, Jerry Markham, Walter Matia, William Matthews, Dean Mitchell, Jim Morgan, Julia Mulligan, Arlo Namingha, Dan Namingha, Joel Ostlind, Howard Post, Susan Raymond, Karen Roehl, Brad Rude, Jo LeMay Rutledge, Tim Shinabarger, Preston Singletary, Jill Soukup, Michael Stano, Don Stinson, Karmel Timmons, Susan Tirrell, Kent Ullberg, Barbara VanCleve, Skip Whitcomb, Laura Wilson, Seth Winegar, Dinah Worman, Melanie Yazzie, Dan Young.

Here’s a sprinkling of the fabulous art to be seen at the stock show’s Coors Western gallery.

• High Noon, Teresa Elliott

• Duke Beardsley

• Leon Loughridge

• Skip Whitcomb

• Seth Winegar

• Barbara VanCleve

Downtown at Abend Gallery, the gallery that miraculously stays on top of the West’s best emerging artists and, the best selling like Dave Santillanes, Elsa Sroka, Lorenzo Chavez, Lindsey Bittner Graham, Bruce Gomez, Stephanie Hartshorn, Elizabeth Sandia, Clyde Steadman, opened their Western show featuring pop and tradition.

The stylistic paintings of David Kammerzell, Travis Walker and Stephanie Hartshorn are a stretch from the very traditional Dave Santillanes or Bruce Gomez classic western genre. A comprehensive taken from this show is temperament. The show has personality created by first class painter’s narratives which follow a Western theme.

Old Traditions / New Frontiers, was no doubt designed to coincide with the stock show and, without gushing, it’s a very good show. The West is ‘in’ in January. Christine Serr, gallery owner, just gets it. Traditions/Frontiers combines classic Western landscapes intermingled with campy, retro styles and subject matter reminiscent of Gene Autry and Pecos Bill illustrated story books. The interesting mix creates a full bodied show of classic landscapes topped with humor and color.

• David Kammerzell

A real cowboy! (Model for Lindsey B Graham)

• Dave Santillanes

• Lindsey Bittner Graham

• Stephanie Hartshorn

• Michelle Conrad

• Bruce Gomez

Denver galleries are numerous and the owners have great taste in art and artists. If you’re thinking rodeo, think art too. An art trip to Denver is a trip in itself.

The Coors Exhibit is at the National Western Complex off I-70 & Brighton Avenue; from downtown, just north of Coors Field. Abend Gallery is at Colfax & York, east of the Capitol Building.

888 Market Street Gallery opens

“Art,” said Gerhard Richter, “is the highest form of hope.”

There is a legitimate reason I’ve been remiss about posting lately. Since May, 2014, I have been working on an online market place for you.


888MarketStreet.com will sell fine art & specialty items and, serve as the gallery/market site for Denver Art Matters.

The idea was not original. My email is packed every day with notices from online stores and sites touting everything from pickles to pet portraits. I visit sites selling jewelry for thousands of dollars. It’s evident people are shopping for fine art online. With 2015, only hours away, I think it’s going to be the year for e-commerce. It’s hot regardless of the product.

Flitting around on weekly art ventures, especially in the last couple of years, I noticed an abundance of art studios/galleries and local artisan shops cropping up on streets (in neighborhoods, downtown, art districts) over night.

I thought to myself I’ve never seen more entrepreneurs creating more unique sauces, breads, gluten-free brownies, bread, pasta, candied bacon, craft beer, whiskey, gourmet chocolate, edible sculptures, jewelry, clothes and relishes.  Definitely. I saw something happening with local creatives.

The idea of an online market/gallery simmered as I browsed the internet. I knew it wasn’t just Colorado getting creative. On the sites I was invited to visit, I noticed most every state had a new abundance of creative people and products. This was confirmed on a trip across the Southeast in 2013. I was impressed at the vast and varied amount of quality art and products I saw in every city, town, beach stop and gas station.

Back in Denver a fellow art acquaintance and I were having coffee when he asked kindly what I planned to do with Denver Art Matters (meaning, are you ever going to try to make any money). I answered with little pause, “I think I’ll start a website to sell the art and products I love.” 

888MarketStreet.com launched on December 5, 2014.

If you haven’t visited, please take a look.  888MarketStreet.com

It is a work in progress. I am still tweaking the site and continue to add more art daily. I realize with a site such as this, I’ll be tweaking and adding art regardless of where I sit with my laptop – Denver or Paris (planning ahead). 

The artists on 888 Market Street are my friends. They include sculptor, Jay Eighmy; photographer, John Ambrosino; painter, Jacquetta Green; ceramist, Michaele Green; silk screen artist, Hannah Schechter; fashion designer, Mona Lucero; photographer, Wilson Goodrich; jeweler, William Gray; jewelry designer, Maria Pelissier; glass artist, Steve Fisher; sculptor & jewelry designer, Charles Sherman; entrepreneur Bill Abernathy; art consultant Candice Pulliam; author, Rob Foster. Several artists are in my mailbox waiting to join the gallery and I’ll introduce them as their art is posted. I’m grateful to my artist friends who agreed to be a part of this site. They helped me tremendously as I pulled this together over the past eight months.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA    photo_3    DSCF0106    Pink_Baby_Bag (1)

888 Market Street has a secondary art market category, titled d’Art Market. I think will interest you. It is a unique way for collectors to shop for art not necessarily on gallery walls anymore. Similar to a museum’s deaccessioning process, all collectors eventually must make room for new pieces, while simultaneously allowing for a change in taste. d’Art Market gives all collectors an avenue to buy & sell art on 888 Market Street.

The Vintage category is a source for oddities and hundreds of cowboy boots in every color and size. We plan to include additional categories such as food and custom-made jewelry and fashions as we learn more about our customers.

Potpourri is just that, a little bit of this and that. All you pot heads will love Bill Abernathy’s carrying case, the Big Kahuna, for keeping your ‘meds’ fresh and safe. It even comes with a lock & key.


I want to thank everyone who helped me with the beginnings of 888 Market Street. Your encouragement and suggestions were greatly appreciated. With your patience and good taste, I finally settled on the name, the logo, the font, the template. I know you’re all happy I no longer email frantic requests asking your opinion on names and fonts. You’re the best. I never would have gotten to 888 Market Street without you. 

With love and hugs to Candice, Celeste, Jennifer, Jacquetta, Kay, Julie, Alice, Katherine, Tina, Carol, Helen, Mona, Chip, John, Wilson, Bill. And sweet gratitude to Matthew of Blue13Creative.com, who put it all together for 888MarketStreet.com.

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