ARTCRANK is a new art exhibition hitting the Denver scene that will be showcasing bicycle-inspired original poster artwork that you can enjoy looking at and actually afford to take home. The show rolls out in Minneapolis this Saturday, April 4, and in Denver next Saturday, April 11.

A good friend of mine here in Denver is helping host the show at 8pm this next Saturday. You can see my poster above (the red, white and blue one). I screenprinted them here in Denver. I did a little overprinting and was pretty pleased with how it came out. It is one of those posters that reads different up close and at a distance. I suggest standing back about 10 feet. I printed 39 (kept one for myself) and the rest will be available signed and numbered at the exhibition for $30. I did a really large print (18×24 inches) so it will take up a nice chunk of wallspace. I decided to go old school on this one and toss out my sometimes heavy digital style. I am the worst Colorado resident ever gracing the mountains only a few times a year so when I ride my bike, it is usually almost always in the city. But that is kind of the way I like it (haven’t ridden hardly at all this year though).

My good friend and occasional CTT blogger, Aaron Ray of Legwork Studio also did two really nice prints that you can see above as well. Great work Aaron.

If you would like to come out and have a beer with us next Saturday we would love to see you and meet you at the show. Below are the details. Plan on a party. Oh and ride your bike. I will do another post next week to remind those of you who might forget.


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DoubleButter is a Denver, CO-based furniture design and manufacturing company founded by David Larabee and Dexter Thornton. They have just launched an entirely new website featuring an online shop that ships within 10 days of purchase. The stock consists of modernist, hard-wearing and high-quality chairs, tables and case goods in a range of colors and materials. The site is also now featuring photographs of every piece in the line (in every color and material combination) and a set of publication-ready, high-resolution images for download. There are some really unusual materials to choose from as well. It is absolutely fantastic to see some really high caliber furniture design coming out of Denver. It is wonderful to have Doublebutter on our scene. I started a new category today just for the occasion.

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Seriously amazing, absolutely amazing paintings from Denver-based Lucong. A true young master. I can’t say enough about the enormity of the talent here. Really stunning and the fact that he lives in Denver is fantastic. Its always great to discover truly inspiring talent right in your own backyard.

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Craig Holden Feinberg first attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From there he went on to study at Fabrica, The United Colors of Benetton Communications and Development Center in Treviso, Italy. He has since lectured around the globe and to my surprise moved to Denver. As you can imagine from his background, there is some pretty fantastic work in his portfolio.

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My friend and local Denver web designer/developer Joe Mease has relaunched his website. Joe is one of Denver’s best kept secrets and has developed sites for some of the best agencies in the city. He also happens to be a incredibly nice guy and you just absolutely cannot miss if you are looking for a consistently amazing Flash developer.

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Ahh, I spoke with Scot LeFavor about this little incident last week at the Manifest Hope wrap party and it was almost funnier in person. He went out last week with the notorious Shepard Fairey and was arrested for wheat pasting posters up around Denver. Scot, Fairey and his crew were apparently mistaken for a group of crazy anarchists. It scared the shit out of Scot at first but, I said, ‘C’mon man, you were arrested with Shepard Fairey, how awesome is that?’ That’s every designer/artist’s dream come true.

* Alright, I have to revise this a little. If you are not a fan of Shepard Fairey or into what he has done, you probably wouldn’t find being arrested with him a dream come true. Apologies there.

Scot is rocking one of my t-shirts in the video by the way. Thanks Scot.

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Well, I was asked by readers via email and in comments for more detail about the Manifest Hope show here in Denver. In short, it was an amazing show but more so an amazing outpouring of individual talent and expression unified as a single voice around a central message. Every artist I spoke with felt the same. We see the error of the last 8 years and we know things have to change. We also know that it is going to take more than just one politician to do that. It is going to take all of us taking action and becoming more involved in our own system.

I spent a little time speaking with Ron English, and he said that this show wasn’t about making money or gaining recognition, it was about forwarding a cause that we all believe in. He said, and I agree, that he loves this country very much and that he takes it very personally to have had to watch our image be tarnished by some absolutely despicable decisions. We need to turn the page on this era and admit the error of our ways and usher in something that serves us all better. That is what the Manifest Hope show was about and that is why all of the artists, including myself have worked hard to promote someone we feel will begin doing that for us.

With that said, I will leave you with nearly 50 images of both the show and the private after party. It was one of the best times I have had in a long time and I was absolutely thrilled to be there. It’s not something I will ever forget. I did manage to sell the first signed, numbered and framed poster that was in the show along with several more in the Manifest Hope store. I am signing the remaining posters next week and then they will be shipped to Merchline in Florida so they will be available for purchase the second week of September.

Be sure to click ‘continue reading’ to continue on and see the nearly 50 photos of the rest of the art in the exhibit. The photos also include some of the street art around the exhibit.

Continue reading »

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As some of you may or may not know I work as an Art Director at Cactus, an advertising agency in Denver. We are growing right now in a big way and we are currently and for the first time in over two years, seeking some new people for our creative team. Essentially we are seeking an Art Director and Copywriter. We need an Art Director who is quick and capable of producing with a solid understanding of core design principles like typography, composition, color and is able of incorporating those elements into branding and advertising. In turn, you also need to be highly conceptual and able to think through all mediums in terms of creative problem solving such as new media, web, broadcast, print and branding. Our copywriters are quick on their feet and capable of making the most of jobs both large and small for a broad range of clients.The official Cactus description and contact information is posted below (note: we are hiring NOW and looking for people to bring on board as soon as possible so if you have the right stuff do not hesitate to contact us.)

“At Cactus, CREATIVE is KING. Our village is growing and we’re looking for a great new “mid-level” creative team (two-years of great stuff): a copywriter and art director tandem. If you’ve got the book to prove it, and you’re half or the whole team, we should talk. We’re looking for the right duo — a copywriter/AD combination who can throw together concepts that stick. Don’t be shy if you’re only half of the equation, we can do the matchmaking if necessary.While a good resume, relevant experience and strong references are important, we require you have an impressive portfolio and creative work samples to be considered for a position with us. If you’re interested, send your resume to 303.455.0408 (fax) or careers@sharpideas.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with “creative team” in the subject line.”

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When you work at an advertising agency it’s commonplace that people drop by the office looking for business. This includes all kinds of people in the creative business, motion graphics agencies, production companies and photographers. One such individual, a photographer by the name of Greg Friedler dropped by the office this morning. Greg is a transplant from New York who is on the lookout for new projects in Denver.

I absolutely love photography of people and Greg’s work really impressed me. He is able to capture the personality of his subjects in his images in a way that really connects at a visceral level. He doesn’t shy away from nudity either and I think there is something artistically captivating about seeing someone off the street in the nude. His images are raw and beautiful. I was really taken back by his pictures of Havana as well. I have always wanted to go there, especially after having had lived in Miami.

Best of luck to you Greg.

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Well, if you live in Denver and you work in the advertising or creative community and, yes one more and, you spend some time online, you have probably heard of the Denver Egotist by now. They have stirred the best and probably more the worst in us over the past year but all in all, those of us who have participated in their rise have no doubt experienced a bit of a group catharsis. They have been supportive of me and I can’t express how much I appreciate that since Denver really is a tough town to have a go as a creative. Regardless of how you feel, they have got everyone talking and sometimes flat out yelling at each other. That to me, is a good thing. That is also what the internet is for. They have provided an outlet and we have vented.

They are celebrating their 1 year anniversary tomorrow, Thursday this week from 5 to 7:30 at the Breckenridge Brewery. So, if you want to get together and maybe hug it out after all the mud-slinging, then this is your chance. Better take advantage.

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Todd from Joyengine sent me a note about this today and asked if I would do a little write up about it, so here it is. I was really impressed with the conceptual nature of some of the work and really like that it is something very different and contemporary. It is also nice that it can be seen right here in Denver.

So without further ado, here is the press copy:
“Artyard Contemporary Sculpture presents an exhibition of a new body of work by Colorado artist Joseph Shaeffer in an exhibition titled, CONFRONT(A)VOID. This is Shaeffer’s 3rd solo exhibition at Artyard. A reception, with the artist in attendance, will be held on Friday, May 23rd, 2008, from 6 -9 p.m.. This exhibition continues through June 29th, 2008. Artyard Contemporary Sculpture is open Thursday through Saturday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment.

For more information visit Artyard online at www.artyardgallery.com or call (303)777-3219. Artyard Contemporary Sculpture is located at 1251 South Pearl Street minutes from downtown Denver”

Unfortunately I am flying out of the country this weekend so I won’t be able to attend but if you are in the city, please do stop by and check it out. It looks like it will be an interesting show.

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Jack Ryan Schuler is now a Denver resident with a book full of confident and effective design. He graduated from the Art Center College of Design. Following graduation he lived in a loft above skid row in downtown Los Angeles while working for Shimoda Design Group. Shimona is an architecture firm that has done commercial interior work for Lord’s Couture, MTV and Rolex. He almost became a back-up guitarist at one point for Kelly Osbourne. He is in Denver now looking for an agency or design firm to call home and I would imagine he is also seeking freelance in the interim. Visit his site and send the guy an email. We don’t want to lose him.

Link discovered via The Denver Egotist.

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If you haven’t stopped by Denver’s own Andenken Gallery to check out the paintings of the petite-powerhouse Leslie Minnis, then make some time to do so. Her paintings are just phenomenal. It is nice to see something that transcends trendy right now as well. The art world kind of pisses me off right now because so much of it is turning into art for artists, but there is something in Leslie’s paintings that go beyond our bullshit scene that the everyman could relate to. That is what I think is missing from a lot of art right now. Everyone poses like you have to be ‘in-the-know’ to appreciate art right now, but art should be something you don’t need to know anything about and still appreciate. Art used to be the voice and expression of the masses as channeled through the artist, but lately it seems it is the voice and expression of trend seekers and the actual artists themselves. Of course art is always the expression of the individual artist, but that used to be a mirror for the culture at large. So by that judgment the current art scene seems pretty empty and self-serving, all style no substance. Of course I am talking about the art circles we move in, such as the ones promoted by magazines like Juxtapoz. Maybe that art isn’t supposed to be for the masses however. Lately it seems all any of this is about is ‘getting up’ and ‘getting over’. It’s no wonder you see the same people over and over again at shows because no one outside the clique has any reason to be interested.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Do check out Leslie’s show. And if you don’t like my opinions, don’t read my blog.

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Local Denver Motion Graphics Designer, Adam Expinoza has updated his site with some nice work. He has become quite  popular in a City where the motion industry has been somewhat lagging. Local agencies have been using Adam as their secret weapon for a while now and he has been booked pretty solid lately. If you want to net him for your next project, you may find yourself on a waiting list.

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Celeste, in my humble opinion, is one of the best young local designers we ‘had’ in this city and now she is going the way of the birds. It is a shame really because she is genuinely talented. She is talented enough that two former high-up creatives from Fallon saw her goods and decided to take her in at their new shop, Zeus Jones in Minneapolis. Sadder still, she is taking her boyfriend Rob with her who was also very talented and works under the name Lifter Baron.

Its sad that you hear a lot of low-murmur whining in the Denver advertising and design community about the lack of talent and jobs available here, and that there is ‘not really much going on’. Then when we do have some raw talent here just waiting to create an impact, we let it go to somewhere else that apparently ‘is happening’.

Someone should have nabbed Celeste when they had the chance. She will truly be missed by those of us who know from firsthand experience just how far she may go.

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