Humans of the Arvada Center


Director of Galleries Collin Parson

NOTE: As we look to reopen our doors and reignite the arts, one thing becomes clear: The key to our creativity is our people. Songs are not sung, sets are not built, choreography is not taught, and canvases are not painted on their own. In our new “Humans of the Arvada Center” series, we are highlighting the heartbeat of the Center: The people who make up the Arvada Center family.

By Leslie Simon and John Moore

Collin Parson did not find the arts as a child. “The arts found me,” he said. 

“With a father who is an artist and arts educator, a modern-dance mother, an actor for a sister, and a brother who is both a musician and artist, my childhood and adult life has been all art,” he said.

Collin is a light-installation artist, curator, designer and Denver native. He became involved with the Arvada Center in 2004 while helping his accomplished sculptor father Charles Parson install an exhibition of his in the Main Gallery. “The then-Director asked if I wanted to help install future exhibitions,” Collin said, “and from there I worked my way up to become the Director of Galleries in 2016.”

But while learning at the side of a prominent artist no doubt set Collin on his lifelong path, “as an adult, he stands in nobody's shadow,” wrote Westword’s Susan Froyd. “This accomplished young man has nowhere to go but up.”

Collin is a former member at the historic Pirate: Contemporary Art cooperative and recently finished up his artist residency at RedLine Denver. The Wheat Ridge High School grad earned his degree Theater Design and Technology with emphasis in Lighting and Scene Design from the University of Colorado Boulder, and his Master in Arts in Visual Culture and Arts Administration from Regis University.

His creative emphasis involves the control of light and color to create vivid geometric light and space works. He was named one of Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives in 2013, and his work has been featured in many TV and print productions.

Collin's most recent curatorial project at the Arvada Center was titled “528.0 Regional Printmaking Exhibition and Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado.” His own public art commission was recently unveiled at Addenbrooke Park in Lakewood, and he had two sculptures on display through 2019 as part of Art on the Streets in Colorado Springs. His solo “INTERFERENCE” exhibition was shown in Denver at Michael Warren Contemporary this past fall. Over the years, he has worked as a technician or carpenter for several local theatre companies including the DCPA Theatre Company, Curious Theatre and Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Watch: Hear from Collin and father Chuck Parson

Being deeply ingrained in the creative community has helped Collin tremendously in his career, he says, because carving out a sustainable life as a working artist is a major challenge for any creative person working in any creative discipline.

“Some of the hardest-working people I know are artists, and unfortunately our culture doesn't value this profession to the degree it should,” he said. “Many consider art to be a hobby, while creators see it as a profession and lifestyle. We can be taken for granted, so it's a tough business both financially and emotionally.

“Putting your work out there can be a scary thing to do, but when your art makes an impact on someone, it's the most amazing feeling."

His message to anyone reading: “Support living artists!" And visit the Arvada Center. “We're only 64 feet above Denver,” he said.

Home,Reignite the Arts,Art at Home,Support Arvada Center Artists,Visit Us,View All Events,Gift Certificates,Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express,The Velveteen Rabbit,Dance Art Start Demonstration,Ballet Concert: The Wizard of Oz,Jazz Dance Concert: Mind, Body, Soul….What Makes Us Human,Keyboard Conversations: Celebrating Beethoven!,Coffee Concerts: American Pianistic Treasures,528.0 Regional Juried Printmaking Exhibition,Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado,Ultimate 70s Tour: Poco, Orleans & Pure Prairie League,Face Vocal Band,The Australian Pink Floyd Show,Colorado Symphony's Beethoven 2020 Tour,Cleo Parker Robinson Dance,CJRO plays Funk and Soul – featuring Robert Johnson,The Music of John Williams and the Movies with the Colorado Symphony,Wonderbound presents The Sandman with Gasoline Lollipops,Rodney Atkins,3rd Law Dance/Theater,The Denver Brass - Totally Awesome Summer Mix,The Capitol Steps,The Wind: Musical Theatre Workshop,Pink Progression: Collaborations,Donate Now,Corporate Giving,Dining Partners,Theatre,main stage musicals,Black Box Plays,Theatre for Children,Auditions,Galleries,Current Exhibitions,Upcoming Exhibitions,Art Sales,Art Submissions,Viral Influence Call for Entry,Sculpture Field,History Museum,Education,Virtual Class FAQ,View All Classes,Classes for Kids,Classes for Adults,Summer Camps,Summer Camps Virtual,Ceramics,Front Range Youth Symphony,Dance Academy,For Educators,Arts Day,Arts Day Outreach,Ageless Adults,Music and Dance,Jeffrey Siegel,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra,Humanities,On Their Shoulders We Stand,Private Events and Rentals,Straight Talk Series ,Straight Talk with Philip Sneed,COVID’s toll on Colorado theatre: 224 productions and counting ,Straight Talk with Lynne Collins,Straight Talk with Rod Lansberry,Straight Talk with Phamaly, Buntport, Colorado Shakes and Rocky Mountain Rep,Straight Talk with Creede Rep, Town Hall, Candlelight and Theatre Company of Lafayette,Straight Talk with Aurora Fox, BDT Stage, Cherry Creek Theatre and Misfits,Straight Talk with Su Teatro, Vintage, Backstage and Counterweight,Straight Talk with Local Theater Company, Theater 29, The Source and Equinox,Straight Talk with the Denver Center, Jesters Dinner Theatre, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue and Germinal Stage-Denver,Actors' union issues safety guidelines for re-opening,Straight Talk with square product, Forge Light, Springs Ensemble Theatre and Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville,Straight Talk with the Fine Arts Center, Miners Alley Playhouse, Dangerous Theatre and Lone Tree Arts Center ,Straight Talk with Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and Northglenn Arts,Inside the Arvada Center,Director's Notes: A Midsummer Night's Dream,All About Printmaking Techniques,Watercolor Class,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Collin Parson ,Arvada Center Makes Masks,Earth Day Craft,Christina Noel-Adcock,"Bright Star" cast unveils video as message of hope,Podcast: B+ with Geoffrey Kent and Jessica Austgen ,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Christine Moore,Humans of the Arvada Center: Steven Cogswell,Humans of the Arvada Center: Ashi K. Smythe,City of Arvada to install new sculpture in Hoskinson Park,Volunteer at the Center,About Us,Ticketing Policies,Contact Us,Ticket discounts,Accessiblity,Health and Safety,Ticketing Exchanges and Refunds,Errors,404,Temp,New Website