The world according Charlie Boots: An art-scene newbie on what it takes to get noticed
Editor's note: Artist Charlie Boots, represents the inaugural pair of PAIR residents at Denver's Powerhaüs Studio. As part of his residency, he and his fashion-designing counterpart will be reporting from the real world via Show and Tell, as they learn the ropes from studio mentors Mona Lucero, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Jimmy Sellars. Boots's initial post follows.
Charlie Boots in the studio.
"What does Denver have that no other place has?" I asked Leon, as we left Xi Zhang's exhibit 21st Century DNA at the McNichols Building in Civic Center. Leon, my friend and fellow painter, had just gotten back from Detroit. He told me how hard the city had been hit by the economy, about the closed businesses and empty streets. He had visited Detroit's art museum and had marveled at the collection. Too bad the museum was in the hole, just like the rest of the city.
We concluded that this is what happens when a city gives so much preference to one industry. As the auto industry crashed, so did the rest of Detroit. And even if the federal government elected to bail out some corporation(s), it's not necessarily going to bring back all of the small businesses that closed during the crash. This is what led me to the above-mentioned question.
"We have the mountains. They aren't going anywhere," Leon replied. "And weed, of course," I added.
It's true that our unique geography and the recent legalization of marijuana affords Denver the status of a pretty awesome city to visit. We're like the more healthy, "outdoorsy" version of Amsterdam. Weed and mountains. Can I get a "mile high" joke, here?
Factor in the micro-breweries and the easy transportation afforded by extending the light rail to Denver International Airport, and I think it's safe to say that Denver is going to emerge from the recession as one of the USA's most important and prosperous cities.
At least, I think it will.
Let's bring this back to art.
Continue reading for more from Charlie Boots.