The world according Charlie Boots: An art-scene newbie on what it takes to get noticed

Charlie Boots in the studio.
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.

See also:
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Charlie Boots
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Francis Roces
- Powerhaus Studio announces its PAIR artist-in-residence program


"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.

Location Info


Powerhaüs Studio

2900 Marion St., Denver, CO

Category: General

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

As a fellow young Denver artist, I can't help but agree with you about the Denver art scene. Though the people in the Denver art culture may actually be extremely kind once you meet them, the kind of finagling it takes to meet those people is absurd. That is in no way the fault of the people in the art scene, though. The entire metro area seems to be entirely ignorant of art and art history. I suppose that's as much as you can expect in a town that keeps cutting funding for education and thus the arts. I consistently thank myself for going to college out of state because even the smaller cities up North have quite a lot more emerging and notable artists, galleries, and art schools than we have here. As far as I can tell, that's just because people here don't appreciate or honor art in nearly the way that other regions of the US do. Colorado is a wonderful place, a place that I love, but it's really a tough state for young and unestablished artists.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault