Melinda Laz shows that those who teach art can also create it
You can find art all over town -- not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.
McMean Elementary School art teacher Melinda Laz is breaking back into the local art scene with an etching press, paper and ink -- oh, and a few watercolors, too. This is Laz's first year teaching, and it's been a big career change; she comes from the nonprofit sector, where she did grant writing, among other things, for arts organizations. With her daughter starting elementary school this year, though, Laz decided teaching was the next logical step. But she hasn't given up on creating her own art. "Art is definitely a hobby right now, but it's one I'm passionate about," she says.
Laz graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she had lived until she was six and her parents moved to upstate New York. Laz was glad to return to the Midwest for school, but she was also happy when her husband got a job teaching at the University of Denver in 2001. "We really like it here, and the art scene has really grown and changed," says Laz.
When Laz first arrived in Denver, she showed in a couple of galleries, which closed during the recession. For a while, she was also involved with the Arts Students League of Denver. "I'm currently in the process of redefining what I want to be as an artist," Laz says. So she's been showing at smaller venues, where there isn't quite as much pressure.
Keep reading for more work from Melinda Laz.
200 Grant St., Denver, CO
809 15th St., Golden, CO
650 Sherman St., Denver, CO
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