Monthly Archives: January 2014

Demeter’s Choice: A Portrait of Artist Mary Lawrence Tonetti

Great read on this cold, snowy day. If you love sculptor Malvina Hoffman, you’ll love this story of an American sculptor in Paris. Cannot wait to read the book, Demeter’s Choice: A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Artist

American Girls Art Club In Paris. . . and Beyond


Demeter's Choice

Demeter’s Choice: A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Artist is the story of a young American sculptor named Mary Lawrence Tonetti who began studying under Augustus Saint-Gaudens at a very young age. She came of age in the art studios of New York and Paris in the late 19th century, and is most famous for her sculpture of Christopher Columbus for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.

The author is the sculptor’s own granddaughter, Mary Tonetti Dorra, who had access to wonderful personal information to make the story rich with detail and insight. There are even copies of some of Mary Lawrence’s original pen and ink sketches and travel notes.

Demeter’s Choice tells the story of one woman’s choice between art and love. Mary Lawrence led a remarkable, artistic life both before and after her big choice. It’s a life worth knowing more about. And for the…

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Legends made in Denver: Drag Queens, too

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It’s common knowledge, Denver is a first class theatre city. I heard a friend brag we are second to New York City. While I can’t give you the bonafide stats on my friend’s statement, it’s not far from the truth.

Join me while I raise a glass of bubbly to the Denver Center Theatre Company’s new play program, because, due to their professional and ceaseless drive for quality literary plays, Denver has officially been named one of the top five theater companies in the country. The success comes via the annual development of new plays and musicals. The innovative program named the New Play Development Fund enables Denver to commission the most talented playwrights and host the Colorado New Play Summit every year. It is through this landmark program that playwrights have a chance to read and perform their work to an audience of professionals from New York to Los Angeles.


A few plays (born in Denver) you may have seen since 2008, are Plainsong, Eventide, Grace, or the Art of Climbing, The Whale, Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner, Black Odyssey and the latest The Legend of Georgia McBride – the 2013 New Play Summit runaway hit.

Georgia McBride premiered last week to a devoted audience. The stage setting was decidedly apropos. Produced on a smaller stage the performers appeared about ten feet tall. Elvis swallowed up the stage as he opened the show in his white sequined jumpsuit. The story unfolds to an Elvis impersonator who is bumped to accommodate the bar’s new theme – drag night.

The audience quickly becomes enchanted with kitschy karaoke and drag queen antics. Hilariously enhanced by talented actors with the unimaginable storyline of a straight, married drag queen.  What follows is uproarious theatre by four (4), only four (the audience is completely blindsided by this) highly professional actors. It is enchanting and clever theater brought to life by the young and distinctly talented New York playwright Matthew Lopez. Kudos to Denver for choosing this spectacular mix of inventive dialogue peppered with high camp in glitzy costumes. DON’T Miss The Legend of Georgia McBride.

FYI: Denver has remarkable Drag Queens, i.e.,  Daniella DeCoteau (the audience was thrilled with her performance at the cast party / opening night celebration), Nuclia Waste, Shirley Delta Blow, Izzedead MotherEffer and Minor Misdemeanor to name a few. You can see one of the best drag shows monthly at Hamburger Mary’s on 17th Avenue. Trust me, it is as good as any show I’ve seen. Yep, better than the infamous Lady Chablis from Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, by John Berendt. On a recent trip to Savannah we caught a once a month performance of her popular show. Regrets to Miss Champagne. Hamburger Mary’s drag queens (and show) are hands down superior to the most famous Drag Queen of the 20th Century.

FYI (2) : February 7-9, is the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit featuring five readings by playwrights such as Eric Schmiedle, reading his Benediction by Kent Haruf. Other readings include Appoggiatura by James Still, The Comparables, by Laura Schellhardt,

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14 Thoughts For 2014

In case you haven’t made your 2014 list of to-do’s, Hey Girl says it all. I have made a daily schedule for writing time, blog posts, work (for $), creating my on-line gallery, and for the first time set a time-line for self-publishing a book this year…by damn! Best of luck to you all who want to accomplish something significant in 2014. We must stay on track and remember, these are our goals, no one else.



Hey Girl, welcome to 2014. I think this time of year is the most exciting, it rustles with the whispers of new promise and dreams to chase. While I love the potential a new year holds I don’t like resolutions because most of them set us up for failure. A couple years ago I decided to adjust my perspective, ditch resolutions, and start celebrating every small victory throughout the year. Instead of defaulting to the  generic resolutions people try to stick to (you know these: eat better, lose weight, work out, drink less, stop calling/texting/Facebook stalking that one person you should have forgotten about months ago) I think smaller and more specific. I think about what is going to make me a more confident, grateful and loving human being…and then I go forth and conquer from there. So here are my 14 commitments to 2014:

1. Call People On the…

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Denver loves everything that makes us happy!

Happy New Year, everyone.

Thank you for your likes, posts, comments and follows. It was a great year and I love you for hoping on this ride with me. Please tell your friends – if you think they’d enjoy reading Denver Art Matters. I promise to make some interesting new posts along with a few surprises I have up my sleeve.


Much appreciation and gratitude to you, my DAM readers,


photo & sculptures from the Downtown Denver Art Festival, May 2013


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