Culture

Collectors as artists

Arvada Center show takes look behind curtain of state’s art collections

Posted 2/3/14

Some of the most interesting, nuanced and diverse art collections in the world are in the private collections of corporations, institutions and individuals.

The downside is that it limits the amount of people who get to experience the works these …

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Culture

Collectors as artists

Arvada Center show takes look behind curtain of state’s art collections

Posted

Some of the most interesting, nuanced and diverse art collections in the world are in the private collections of corporations, institutions and individuals.

The downside is that it limits the amount of people who get to experience the works these collectors have amassed.

The Arvada Center’s winter exhibition series, “COLLECT: The Art of Colorado Corporations, Institutions and Individuals” changes this by shining a light on these collections and their collectors.

“We wanted to look at the artist and arts advocate as collectors,” curatorial assistant Kristin Bueb said. “This is a very distinct show — what we tried to capture was each collector’s voice.”

The show will be in the center’s galleries, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., through March 30. The galleries are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The galleries also remain open until 7:30 p.m. on evenings with theater performances.

The main gallery focuses on corporations and their collections and was put together in partnerships with NINE dot ARTS.

“We help acquire art for businesses and figure out how to make the art more than decor,” Katharine Lees, a project manager with the company said. “We want to help these companies tell a story about their corporate culture.”

Some of the corporations with art on display are Delta Dental of Colorado, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital and Moye White LLP.

Lees said when putting together the exhibit the goal was to get a sampling of what each company likes to feature in their art, whether it is medium — photography to sculpture — or style — whimsical to uplifting.

The Upper Gallery examines collections from Colorado institutions like the Clyfford Still Museum and Museo de las Americas as well as public art from the City and County of Denver.

Bueb said that many of the institutions collections are extremely deep because they have been collecting for many years.

The Theater Gallery houses private collections from long time collectors like Dana Cain and Tracy and Sushe Felix. These collections have been built up through a variety of means, from purchasing for anniversary gifts to trading with other artists.

“We made the effort to get to know these collectors, to walk around their homes and hear their stories,” Beub said.

Lees said that the show will hopefully shed light on some misconceptions people may have about collecting and getting started in that world.

“You don’t have to go to places to New York or L.A. to find great work,” she said. “People also think that it is very expensive, but are not actually aware of what it costs.”

Some other misconceptions people may have is that you have to be older to start collecting, when according to Lees many start young and built up their collections over the years. The wide swath of styles available is also something many may not be aware of.

“Art can be for everyone — you just have to find the right style,” Lees said.

In the end, Bueb said that many collectors have the same advice for everyone: “Collect what you love.”

For more information, go to or call 720-898-7200.

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