K Contemporary, the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund, Governor Polis, and the First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, are proud to announce the upcoming one-night only experiential event “Response”, curated by Doug Kacena, co-owner and director of K Contemporary. This incredible art experience will feature the work of such notable artists as Jonathan Saiz, Shawn Huckins, Suchitra Mattai and Sarah Winkler, as they each respond to the history, architecture and finely curated interiors of the specific rooms and spaces each artist claimed within this historic landmark.
For more than a century, Colorado’s stately Governor’s Residence has represented ideals of elegance, eminence and permanence. For this single evening, the historic mansion will briefly transform into a grand repository of art experience, generosity and community, as reverential artists from K Contemporary gallery pay homage to the lordly landmark’s distinguished past, present and future.
Benefitting the mansion’s devoted caretakers at the non-profit Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund and its Elementary Education Program, the unique pop-up exhibition will be a ticketed event featuring fine food, fine drink, and fine spectacle as historic rooms become discreetly draped in the most modern of attire. Four highly accomplished artists from K Contemporary, will donate their time and talents to create this unforgettable experience with the intent to blend their artistic ideals of the 21st Century with those of the 19th, taking visitors on a harmonious visual journey stretching from the courtly Victorian to the New Millennium.
A groundbreaking art populist and committed champion of utopian vs. dystopian ideas, Denver artist, Jonathan Saiz, is preparing a lavish visual feast to be served in the mansion’s Formal Dining Room. As a counterpoint to his purely utopian conversation currently exhibited at the Denver Art Museum, titled “Utopia is Free”, with this pop-up exhibition, Saiz is acknowledging that beautiful regrowth can come from and during cataclysmic dystopian events. Using a metaphor of a forest being destroyed by a fire, Saiz portrays a decadent visual sprouting full of cleansing, regeneration and regrowth - a bloom of good omens in the form of countless hand-carved and painted ladybugs and beetles. Contrasting the exquisite beauty of reborn nature with imagery of tragic destruction, he makes a poignant reminder of loss, but inspires a stimulating dialogue of optimism.
Specializing in giving historic paintings a contemporary twist, one might believe that nationally recognized artist, Shawn Huckins, has been preparing for an evening at the Governor’s Residence his entire career. Huckins will display his respectfully impertinent paintings in the mansion’s charming Library, a fitting place for guests to reflect on the curiously contrasting chapters of Colorado’s ongoing story.
A multi-disciplinary Denver artist with a growing international reputation, Suchitra Mattai will offer a warm welcome in the Residence’s plush and proper formal Drawing Room. Speaking to the complexity of immigration in a post-colonial world, unravelling the social, psychological, and political threads that create one's sense of "home," and questioning the nature of belonging, Mattai’s multi-media creations will hang eloquently on the lath and plaster walls of a former government seat in a state peopled almost entirely by immigrants.
A celebrated contemporary landscape painter, Sarah Winkler is best known for her desert and mountain geological interpretations of the American West. Winkler’s response to the Palm Room will be to reveal the history and materiality of some of the state’s signature mountains including Pikes Peak, Longs Peak and Mount Evans using paint with crushed minerals from the Colorado landscape. When the residence was built on a rise in 1907, the Palm Room was intended to be an indoor-outdoor space connecting the family closer to the garden, nature and the breathtaking views of the Front Range. In 1915 the Boettchers expanded the Palm Room to enclose the former porch into a magnificent bay, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fountain and gardens, with the view reaching to Pike's Peak, 70 miles to the south, Mount Evans to the West and Longs Peak to the Northwest. Over the years with the growth of the city, some of the views have become obscured; Winkler will be bringing them back to the Colorado Governor's Residence, showcasing the geology of these formations and honoring their relationship to the architecture of the mansion.
For more than a hundred years, the Colorado Governor’s Residence has embodied the grace and glory of a proud young state. During the last 10 years, the men and women of the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund have labored tirelessly in its service. And, for a few memorable hours on June 13 of this year, the celebrated artists of K Contemporary will mingle traditions ancient and new to help ensure that a priceless slice piece of Colorado’s past will enjoy a long and lovely future.
For this pop-up exhibition, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund and its Elementary Education Program. To learn more about the Colorado Governor’s Residence or purchase event tickets, visit the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund website at http://www.coloradoshome.org/events/.