Arvada Center Blog

Talking abstract: A Q & A with local artist Heather Patterson

By Leslie Simon

This fall, the Arvada Center and Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art are proud to partner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the seminal 2009 book Colorado Abstract: Paintings and Sculpture with exhibits highlighting the history and continuing tradition of abstraction by local artists in the state. The Arvada Center exhibit Colorado Abstract +10: A Survey highlights the work of 70 local abstract artists, and opens September 12 with a reception and exhibition discussion with book co-authors Mary Voelz Chandler and Michael Paglia. In the first installment of a series of conversations with featured artists, we spoke with Heather Patterson about her influences, process, and advice for young artists.

  1. What was your journey to abstract art like?

Growing up, I had a fascination for water, and the ocean in particular. In high school, I painted very realistic looking dolphins underwater. When I went to college, I quickly learned that this was very kitsch and not going to cut it for art school! My professors introduced me to the Abstract Expressionist movement. One of them gave me a 5-foot-long bamboo stick and a jar of ink on the ground and told me I was only allowed to learn to draw with that. I quickly fell in love with gesturing and letting drips happen, and it all went downhill from there. The sloppier and thicker the paint, the better. I used to go through entire tubes of oil paints on one painting! Some of the guest artists that came through our studios didn’t even want to walk on my studio floor because it was always so saturated with wet oil paint. I loved it. It’s interesting looking back over the years that water and the landscape still certainly play into my work, but in a completely different and more evolved way.

  1. What is your process in creating new work?

I always work on several things at once…usually about 5-7 large panels at once. One reason for this is that I absolutely can’t stand waiting for paint to dry.  I like the immediacy of going from one to the next. Also, by working this way, I build up a body of work together and can see how each piece relates to the next. It’s nice to have time to look at them all together and see how I can finish each one uniquely.

Heather’s work was part of our Summer 2018 exhibition – In Sight In Site: Murals.Watch her in action!

  1. Who are the other artists that inspire you?

So many!  When I was in school I really fell in love with de Kooning, Anselm Kiefer, Rauschenburg, Eva Hesse, Rothko, Lee Krasner, Alice Neel. Now I’m loving Heather Day, Inka Essenhigh, Tara Donovan, Dana Schutz and so many others that I know I’m forgetting at the moment.

Heather Patterson, “Sediment”

  1. What do you want people see when they view your non-objective art?

I think that’s one of the great things about non-objective art, people can see or feel what they want to.  The longer a collector owns and lives with a piece, the more they see in it. I personally really enjoy when someone is talking with me about the work and totally explains the elements I was trying to portray. Even though my work is abstracted, I get a lot of my imagery from realistic images of topographic maps, weather patterns, climate systems, animal migration patterns, and elements in nature (water, lichen, plant life).  Some people may just see color, patterns, and shapes and that’s ok! But I really love when someone is able to get something from my work on a deeper level that speaks of our environment.

  1. What cool projects do you have coming down the pipeline? 

Well, I just finished a 200-foot linear mural in Boulder commissioned by the city that can be viewed at Broadway and Basalm. I also just finished another mural that I collaborated on with fellow artist Kelly Peters in the main lobby of the newly renovated bus station and One Snowmass luxury condos in Snowmass Village. It was commissioned through Styleworks Interiors and Walker Fine Art. Upcoming, I will be a part of the Loveland Open Studios for two weekends in October if you would like to stop by!  Then in February 2020, I will be in a three-person exhibition at Space Annex with (Arvada Center Director of Galleries and Curator) Collin Parson and Jodie Roth Cooper. We will have our individual work on display as well as some experimental collaboration work which will combine light, sculpture, and painting.

  1. What advice do you have for new artists out there?

Work hard, play hard! But seriously hard work and dedication will get you where you want to be.  The art world is a tough one- don’t give up- just keep doing what you love and working for it. Having some sort of business sense also helps.  It’s about as foreign to most artists’ nature as can be, but if you have some business sense, it will make this “art life” so much easier. Also, play hard because it’s only going to work if you are happy doing what you love to do.

Read more about Colorado Abstract +10: A Survey. 

The 2019 Henry Award Nominations Are…

The 2019 Henry Award Nominations Are…

by Amberle N.

The 2019 Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards have been announced, and the Arvada Center has received 17 nominations for awards that recognize our theatre season, directors, designers, actors and ensemble! Our adaption of The Diary of Anne Frank was notably recognized for direction, design, its ensemble cast, and the acting of 16-year-old Darrow Klein who starred as Anne. We were also nominated for Outstanding Production of a Play and Musical, for new work Sin Street Social Club by Jessica Austgen, and for lighting, choreography and set design.

Keep reading for the complete list, and congrats to everyone nominated!

Established in 2006, the Henry Awards serve as the Colorado Theatre Guild’s annual fundraising event. The awards are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein. Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by more than 45 statewide theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges.

Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

Outstanding Production of a Play – The Diary of Anne Frank, Directed by Christy Montour-Larson

Annie Barbour, Darrow Klein, Emily Paton Davies and Larry Cahn in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Production of a Musical – ELF – The Musical- Directed by Gavin Mayer, Musical Direction by Christopher Babbage

Josh Houghton in Elf – The Musical; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Direction of a Play – Christy Montour-Larson, The Diary of Anne Frank

The cast of The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Actor in a Play– Geoffrey Kent, Sin Street Social Club

Geoffrey Kent stole the show – and some hearts – as the rakish pirate Wilmore, and was also featured in The Moors, as well as choreographing fights for the repertory season. We’re excited for him to direct Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express this spring.

Geoffrey Kent and Lance Rasmussen; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Actress in a Play– Darrow Klein, The Diary of Anne Frank

16-year-old Darrow Klein moved everyone night after night in her role as Anne.

Darrow Klein in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical – Ian Coulter-Buford, Trav’lin – The 1930s Harlem Musical

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Ensemble Performance –  The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank starred Darrow Klein, Larry Cahn, Regina Fernandez, Annie Barbour, Emma Messenger, Abner Genece, Lance Rasmussen, Zachary Andrews, Daniel Crumrine and Emily Paton Davies.

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Choreography Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Mamma Mia! and Elf – The Musical

Mamma Mia!; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding New Play or MusicalSin Street Social Club by Jessica Austgen, Directed by Lynne Collins

This new work commissioned by the Center is a bold new take on Aphra Behn’s restoration comedy classic play The Rover, adapted by Denver playwright Jessica Austgen.

The cast of Sin Street Social Club; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Costume Design, larger budget Clare Henkel, The Diary of Anne Frank

Annie Barbour, Darrow Klein and Daniel Crumrine in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Lighting Design, larger budget – Shannon McKinney, The Diary of Anne Frank, & Jon Olson, Educating Rita

John Hutton in Educating Rita; McLeod Creative

Outstanding Scenic Design, larger budget – Brian Mallgrave, The Diary of Anne Frank

This season, his outstanding sets will be featured in Plaza Suite, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Small Mouth Sounds.

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Sound Design, larger budget -Jason Ducat, The Diary of Anne Frank, & Becca Pearce, Educating Rita

Emily Van Fleet and John Hutton; McLeod Creative

 

Winners will be announced at a gala event July 22 at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

Arvada Center receives a record-breaking 29 Henry Award Nominations!

The 2018 Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards have been announced, and the Arvada Center has received a record-breaking 29 nominations for awards that recognize our theatre season, directors, designers, actors and ensemble! Our adaption of Sense and Sensibility is the most honored play of the year, and other nominations include recognition of Outstanding Season, directoral nominations for both plays and musicals, and 10 nominations for design

Keep reading for the complete list, and congrats to everyone nominated! Read the list of all nominees from around the city here.

Established in 2006, the Henry Awards serve as the Colorado Theatre Guild’s annual fundraising event. The awards are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein. Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by more than 45 statewide theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges.

 

Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

Outstanding Production of a Play

  • All My Sons, Directed by Lynne Collins

All My Sons cast photo, M. Gale Photography 2018

  • Sense and Sensibility, Directed by Lynne Collins

M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Production of a Musical

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Directed by Gavin Mayer, Musical Direction by Roberto Sinha

M. Gale Photography 2017

Outstanding Direction of a Play

  • Lynne Collins, All My Sons

Regina Fernandez and Sam Gregory in All My Sons
M. Gale Photography 2018

  • Lynne Collins, Sense and Sensibility

Regina Fernandez and Geoffrey Kent in Sense and Sensibility, M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

  • Rod A. Lansberry, A Chorus Line

M. Gale Photography 2017

  • Gavin Mayer, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Sarah Rex in Joseph… M. Gale Photography 2017

Outstanding Musical Direction

  • Roberto Sinha, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Outstanding Actor in a Play

  • Lance Rasmussen, Sense and Sensibility

Lance Rasmussen and Jessica Robblee, M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Actress in a Play

  • Jessica Robblee, Sense and Sensibility

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

  • Geoffrey Kent, All My Sons

Geoffrey Kent, M. Gale Photography 2018

  • Zachary Andrews, Sense and Sensibility

Regina Fernandez, Zachary Andrews and Jessica Robblee. M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

  • Jessica Austgen, Sense and Sensibility

Jessica Austgen, M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Stephen Day, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Aaron Young and Stephen Day, M. Gale Photography 2017

Outstanding Ensemble Performance

  • A Chorus Line

M. Gale Photography 2017

  • Sense and Sensibility

Outstanding Choreography

  • Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, A Chorus Line
  • Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Outstanding Costume Design

  • Clare Henkel, Sense and Sensibility
  • Clare Henkel, Sunday in the Park with George

M. Gale Photography 2018

  • Drew Mathisen, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Outstanding Lighting Design

  • Shannon McKinney, Sunday in the Park with George

Outstanding Scenic Design

  • Brian Mallgrave, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Brian Mallgrave, Sense and Sensibility
  • Brian Mallgrave, Sunday in the Park with George

M. Gale Photography 2018

Outstanding Sound Design

  • Jason Ducat, All My Sons
  • Jason Ducat, Sense and Sensibility
  • David Thomas, Sunday in the Park with George

2017 True West Award Recognitions

Every year, the True West Awards recognize 30 achievements in Denver’s theatre community – and the Arvada Center was finely represented this year with six awards! Congrats to everyone recognized this year!
2017 True West Awards
 
Timothy McCracken and Sam Gregory, Matt Gale Photography

Timothy McCracken and Sam Gregory, Matt Gale Photography

 
Emily Van FleetBus Stop and The Drowning Girls
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Jenna Moll Reyes and Emily Van Fleet in Bus Stop Matt Gale Photography

Emily Van Fleet in The Drowning Girls, Matt Gale Photography

Emily Van Fleet in The Drowning Girls, Matt Gale Photography

 
Sammie Joe KinnettThe Foreigner
Sammie Joe Kinnett in The Foreigner Photo by Zachary Andrews

Sammie Joe Kinnett in The Foreigner
Photo by Zachary Andrews

Stage Manager Maegan Burnell – Black Box Repertory season
Emily Van Fleet, Kate Gleason and Jessica Robblee in The Drowning Girls M. Gale Photo

Emily Van Fleet, Kate Gleason and Jessica Robblee in The Drowning Girls
Matt Gale Photo

Lighting Designer Vance McKenzieThe Foreigner
Set for The Foreigner, Matt Gale Photography

Set for The Foreigner, Matt Gale Photography

Composer and Music Director David Nehls
I'll Be Home for Christmas, P. Switzer Photography

I’ll Be Home for Christmas, P. Switzer Photography

About the True West Awards

The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. You can read through the complete list of winners here!

Help DreamWise Marketing celebrate 20 years!

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In honor of their 20th Anniversary, the Arvada Center’s community partner DreamWise Marketing is giving one lucky nonprofit in Denver a donation! They’re asking for the community’s help in choosing one – and they’ve selected the Arvada Center as part of their celebration.

Their 20th anniversary falls on the same year as our 40th, an exciting milestone to share! Twenty years ago, the Arvada Center was DreamWise Marketing’s very first client.

Based in Denver, DreamWise is a women-owned, full-service marketing firm. DreamWise started in the owner’s basement and has expanded over the years to its current 24,000 square foot warehouse. They’ve been on ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in Colorado list for the past four years, and have been recognized by the Denver Business Journal and the Business Marketing Association for their philanthropy.

The organization has a proud history of giving back to the community and is using their 20th as an opportunity to support one Denver nonprofit in a big way. They’ve selected a list of six, and community votes will determine who the donation goes to.

We’d love it if you support the Arvada Center and vote for us! If we win, the donation will go toward supporting arts education programming. Donations will help us purchase paints, clay, colored pencils, paper, glue, beads, scissors, easels and many other art supplies used in our classes.

The organization with the most number of votes wins. Vote often! The last day to vote is September 23, and the winner will be announced October 4. Follow this link to cast your vote: https://www.dreamwisemarketing.com/go/vote/. Read more about the contest here!