Monthly Archives: January 2013

Before I die I want to…write on a wall

Our wall is installed on the grounds of the McNicols Civic Center, corner of Colfax Avenue and Bannock Street.
Candy Chang’s “Before I die’ wall first appeared in New Orleans in 2011. Today there are over 75 walls installed in cities and countries around the world: San Francisco, Scotland, Hong Kong, Paraguay, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Raleigh, N.C., Spain, Canada, Des Moines, Australia, Italy, Peru, Argentina, New York City.
 Everyone is invited to pick up a piece of chalk, add reflections on your life and share your personal aspirations in a public space. Read more about Candy Chang and how this beautiful art project began below.
Denver’s Before I die wall was brought to the city through a partnership of Arts & Venues, Community Coordinating District, Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design and Denver Design Build, LLC

What is it?

Before I Die is an interactive public art project that invites people to share their hopes and dreams in public space. After artist and urban planner Candy Chang lost someone she loved very much, she painted the wall of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence  “Before I die I want to ______.” Passersby can use chalk to write directly on the wall. The project has since spread worldwide and walls have been created by communities in Mexico, the Netherlands, Australia, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The project is about remembering what is important to you, creating a public space for contemplation, and reimagining how our public spaces can better reflect what matters to us as a community and as individuals.

Who made it?

Candy Chang. She’s an artist, designer, urban planner, and co-founder of Civic Center, a civic design studio in New Orleans. She created the wall in her neighborhood in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved very much. Read her full bio here. Additional installation assistance by Kristina Kassem, Alan Williams, Cory Klemmer, Anamaria Vizcaino, James Reeves, Alex Vialou, Sean Knowlton, Carolina Caballero, Earl Carlson, and Gary Hustwit.


Made with primer, chalkboard paint, stencils, spray paint, chalk. Self-initiated with permission from the property owner, residents of the block, the neighborhood association’s blight committee, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Arts Council, and the City Planning Commission. With generous support from the Black Rock Arts Foundation.


The original installation was created February 2011 and lasted until October 2011. At that point the property was purchased and the house is currently being renovated and turned into a home again. Happy ending! The project continues to grow, with new walls being made around the world every month.


The first installation was created on an abandoned house in Candy’s neighborhood in New Orleans, at the corner of Marigny St and Burgundy St (900 Marigny Street).

What’s Next?

After receiving many requests from people around the world, Candy and her Civic Center colleagues created this project website and a Before I Die Toolkit to help people make a wall with their community and share their wall online. A book about the project will be published by St. Martin’s Press and released in 2013. Learn more here. (2012)

TERMS OF USE: Selected high-resolution photographs and portions of the written material included here may be included in original print/web content to be created by the licensee. The portrait of the licensor, Candy Chang, shall be used as a positive example and appear unaltered in this and any derivative works. Unless stated otherwise, the acknowledgement beneath the screenshot shall read: “Copyright © Civic Center” and, where feasible, links to http://candychang.comand


The Before I Die presskit contains the complete project overview and history and a selection of high resolution photographs. Due to the large photo sizes, the package comes in at around 30MB. Download the Press Kit here. To download an individual hi-res photo, click the image you would like and scroll down to the download link.

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Santa Fe Arts District starting tonight – First Friday

CHAC Gallery Show: Stevon Lucero…the painter… the storyteller… the legend!

CHAC Gallery January 2013 Presents a Retrospective of the work of our very own Stevon Lucero.

Stevon Lucero…the painter… the storyteller… the legend!

We all know and love Stevon Lucero. He has taken some time away and everyone has been asking about him…is he still painting?  Is he still showing his work? What is he doing? Well, we are going to have him the whole month of January to view his amazing work and have him tell us his wonderful stories!

Stevon Lucero is one of the Founding members of CHAC Gallery. We are excited that he has agreed to have a retrospective of his work at CHAC Gallery.

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War Horse Comes to Denver

January 8 – 20, 2012

Buy your tickets today at

get-attachment-2 Home_page_rotator_WarHorse.sflb-1

Greg Moody, CBS4 – “It is stage magic. Somehow, three puppeteers — one visible — two inside a frame of cane and fabric and wood — make Joey the center piece of “War Horse” come alive on stage. And not simply on stage, but whenever and wherever they perform. Even in a theater lobby.”

Greg Moody is CBS4′s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the Entertainment section.

Ron Phelps – Denver Art Project interview

Denver Art Project:  DAM will make a point, starting in January 2013, of posting regular interviews with prominent art people about town. The first interview, October, 2012, was with artist Jerry De La Cruz, a seasoned professional who had much to say about art and artists, the Denver art scene-then & now, famous artists and art trends. DAP will seek people known as art professionals. These are people working and making a living in the arts who have varied ‘in the trenches’ experiences we deem valuable which could make a difference in your art life. 


Ron is RedShiftFraming on Broadway

Instead of dreaming about ice cream flavors or custom beers, this guy dreams about frames. Yep.

Ron Phelps of RedShift Framing admits he eats, drinks and dreams frames. After 30 years creating and packaging art, Phelps is the go-to guy who makes professional recommendations to artists and art clients. The needy come to him seeking advice on how to preserve, ship, display, or hang a work of art. For an artist, it’s Phelps’s peerless generosity they seek and his expert advice on how to maximize materials on a finished product heading to a show or sale. For the art lover, Phelps knows almost all the tricks of the trade that will enhance a work of art for a lifetime of beauty. He simply can’t help himself. Frames are a 24-7 priority in his psyche. If you’re in a pinch artists, collectors or memorabilia freaks, Ron Phelps has the experience and skill to structure a work of art for a long life, in an unrivaled economic fashion.

DAP:  You’ve been around the Denver art scene for a long time. How long is that exactly? And what has kept you in a business that runs hot and cold with no warning?

RON:   I’ve been framing for 30 years. I started working at the Frame It Yourself shop 24 years ago. Then I went into business for myself in 1989. What I liked about framing from the start was the immediate gratification of a finished piece. Since then I’ve framed just about everything you can think of from watches to jerseys. The memorabilia is one of my favorite challenges. It’s fun to take a 3-dimensional item, build a shadow box, and put framing or packaging around it.

DAP:  Like you are creating a work of art?

RON:   I guess you could say that.

DAP:  How has the framing industry changed in 30 years?

RON:  For one thing, there is more digital output and, sadly, it has affected the independent framer negatively. However, the computer has been a big help with tracking. There are new visual techniques and apps to apply, plus there are computerized mat cutters in use. We still hand cut our mats. Let’s face it, you can control quality by hand and it is always better with quality control.

DAP: What is the most important thing to remember as a framer?

RON: Attention to detail is the key. There are different treatments for different mediums. I make it my job to know what works best with what.

DAP:  Like knowing which glass works better for paper or acrylic works?

RON:  Yeah. A work of art on paper requires a mat and glass for protection. Oil on canvas does not. More people ask for museum glass today. It’s an amazing product that’s been optically treated and acid etched – and it has no glare at all.

DAP: What did you use before Museum Glass and is it expensive?

RON:  The museum glass is expensive and that’s why so many go with the Conservation Clear, which is the most traditional. It gives a fine clarity to glass.

DAP:  What do artists need most?

RON:  Advice on how to package a work of art for beauty, transportation, display and endurance. We stock a lot of molding, like basic black, white and natural but we carry over 20 different lines of frames (molding). My advice to artists is to stick to quality, economy and standardized sizes. For instance, stick to the 32” x 40” standard sheets of foamcore, glass and mats. Getting four 16 x 20’s, or sixteen 8 x 10’s out of a sheet with no waste. Knowing the proportions of standardized sheets allows the artist to maximize material and minimize waste. It takes only one time to experience loss and increased expenses for an artist to understand my advise which is to “maximize material and minimize waste.” 

DAP:  You’re always active at The Starz Film Festival. Did you frame for them again this year?

RON:  Yes, it was my seventh year for framing posters, and marquees. We spend a couple of months after the festival framing and shipping all over the world, to sponsors of the festival.

DAP:  Which festival stands out in your mind?

RON:  The 30th Anniversary. They had an art show in conjunction with the other festivities and Denver photographer Larry Lazlo showed 35 photos tied to the festivals. We did all the framing.

DAP:  You’ve worked with many artists in Denver. What is the best advice you would give them?

RON:  Be prolific. Don’t worry about a size or theme in your work.

DAP:  As a professional, what questions do artists ask you the most?

RON:  I am consulted a lot on packaging, transportation, ordering materials, and how to solve display issues. I search for the particulars such as where will the artist be displaying this art, at an outside or inside venue? I have to know what materials they are working with such as acrylics on canvas or oil on masonite and what are the conditions of the art show. Will the artist have works that need shrink wrap and again, is the artist using standard sizes for maximum material and minimum waste. That’s part of our job helping an artist make his work look its best and how to protect it for the journey. Along with packing and shipping, we also build crates to ensure safe transport of the art. We help the artist pack for a show, and we also do art installation and handling.

DAP:  You love to mess around with framing materials. What unusual materials have you used to build a frame in the last 30 years?


RON:  One of my strengths is thinking outside the box by incorporating non-traditional materials such as reclaimed wood, rope, skis and industrial hardware combined with plexiglass, western print and my latest – candy wrappers. After all these years and approximately 60,000 pieces later, I know what works and what doesn’t.


DAP: What are the trends in the framing industry today?

RON:  Designers have trends. Artists do not. With  framing, I advise keeping it simple. Black and natural molding are standard. White is popular. Metal is out.

Ron Phelps, RedShift Framing, 303-293-2991, 2266 Broadway, Denver, CO 80205

Random DAM photos from 2012

A sprinkling of memories for the last day of the year. Looking at Denver art and people.


From the Denver Chalk Art Festival, June 2012, Larimer Square.


Daniel Sprick at Abend Gallery for Angel Heart art auction.


Sculptor Kevin Robb, alive and well.


The irrepressible, Phil Bender at the 2012 Mayor’s Awards, winner of the 2011 Mayor’s Award.


Performance by Su Teatro at the 2012 Mayor’s Awards evening.



Sculptor Michael Baker, Costa Rica, at the Colorado Artists Show at the Pavilions in June, 2012.


Artist, Bruce Gomez at Abend Gallery.


Man about town, artist Jimmy Sellars.


Candice, LocateFineArt, Pulliam


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