Project HARTwork

Project Hartwork is an international network of artists and suppporters working together to end human trafficking. We partner with artists around the world to sell fair trade art and engage the community with the ongoing fight against human trafficking. We realize that human trafficking is an emotionally taxing topic to discuss; we’ve found that utilizing art can help start these difficult but essential conversations.

Our July exhibit at La Cour features some of our local artist partners including Anna Caraghar, Courtney Cotton, Margy Foertsch, Gary Haney, Yuni Groff and several others, in addition to some of our international artists from Vietnam and Senegal


Julie Wynn-Birr ``Art Rising``

Mission Statement

“Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe, and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy”. Albert Einstein

Art Rising is an explosion of light, delight, and a celebration of life, art, and music.

Artist Julie Wynn-Birr is a professional singer and artist, who firmly believes that excelling in one art form, leads to a natural progression to other creative endeavors.

Julie is a member of several watercolor guilds, has won several art competitions, and her work resides in private and corporate collections. She works daily on expanding her horizons to mixed media and beyond. A singer with an exceptional jazz group, she has appeared on TV, and numerous musical venues in the United States, including dinner theaters, night clubs and musical productions.

Her art reflects her life, living amongst nature, and her joy and discerning eye at the remarkable beauty that surrounds us- from her signature koi paintings, Wild life, and Native American/ cowboy paintings, Julie captures the light and her fascination with this incredible planet and Universe we reside in. A sky full of stars, and art that liberates.




Ken Sanville ``Dark Portraits``

Artist’s Statement.

This series of photographs, Dark Portraits, is a departure from my normal “straight” photography.  I have created a series of figurative studies that combine bones, feathers, plants, masks and other objects along with the human figure to explore the intricate beauty of life and death.


I am drawn to the endless photographic possibilities of this series. These darker portraits allow me a different creative outlet through which I am searching for the deeper meaning of existence.  I am exploring the mystic nature of life, death, identity and creation in these photographs.


By making these dark images, I hope to generate a photographic narrative that will cause the viewer to not only question the images but to also explore their own feelings. I trust that these photographic images will remain with the viewer and not be soon forgotten.

The Grand Opening will be September 6, 6-10 pm with jazz by MoJoJazz 7-10pm>


Nijole Rasmussen . ``Rhythm of Growing``

“I paint with my soul and then discover that life itself has already painted there a long time ago, that my soul and life are one….”

– Nijolė


Nijolė Rasmussen was born and raised in Lithuania. Since 1992 she has lived in Denver, Colorado, USA. The journey through life has taken her to photography, and eventually to painting, which has been her passion for the last 7 years. With some guidance from professional artists, she is mainly self-taught and derives her inspiration from nature, travels, and love of art. She loves to read and does so in several languages, and enjoys writing poetry. Nijolė has had many exhibitions in Denver and one solo exhibition in Chicago.


To paint for me is to access the deepest, remotest and most private corners of my imagination, where I can be free to welcome many opportunities for happy accidents to appear. With this language of shapes and colors, my desire is to communicate to the viewer my thoughts, emotions, that unique perception of the reality that later he can himself create his own world and live there protected by this illuminate power of art. Art is a harmony of nature, soul and spirit. It gives me power to express myself without much involvement of the rational mind. This harmony that my eyes can welcome and my soul can respond, is the result of my art. When I paint, it seems that my soul takes better shape, that longing for life and beauty and empowers creative process, which was already there long time ago… Nature influences my art. Where nature ends, my abstract forms begin its journey. Perhaps the path traveled matters little. The will to arrive is sufficient. Giving preference to form, shape and color, I am led to unknown places, places where beautiful world exits, the world I am willing to share with the like minded. The beauty understood has this power to illuminate the senses, still the mind and enchant the heart.  My vision to interpret the reality in abstract form is my saying Yes to spirituality, beauty and life.




Dave Pendleton . ``Familiar Narrative``

Hiking in a dramatic landscape is very similar to moving over the terrain of the human face. There is the same geography on the bridge of a person’s nose as on the saddle between two mountain peaks.  It’s the combination of the unique slopes and valleys of our faces that gives

us each our most valuable form of personal identification.  Naturally, the appearance of our faces change, due to age, weight gain, hair loss, perhaps a bar fight.  Undeterred, our faces remain remarkably faithful in the responsibility of providing our easy identification to anyone who can see them.  Over time, however, our physical appearance becomes more than simple visual indicators. Our appearance becomes an emblem for what we’ve done in our lives, for our experiences and even for our principles and beliefs.  Humanity is diverse and it’s easy to recognize superficial differences between ourselves. But ultimately, we share common stories and experiences. We all feel fear and courage, grief and hope, laziness and love. My work chronicles this common story.


Painting exclusively in black and white allows me to indulge in a personal aesthetic that offers a distilled and timeless encounter that is both illustrative and elegant in nature.  Completing a successful portrait relies on bringing together both the geography of a face with the emotions of a particular moment. While the light and shadows of face and form are beautiful and intriguing on their own, it’s the context surrounding a subject that turns a portrait from being merely documentary, to becoming a familiar narrative with emotional grip.


Dave Pendleton was born in Pueblo, Colorado in 1970.

In 2013 Dave founded Paint or Die Studio ltd., a design and painting studio, from which he oversees projects ranging from fine-art portraits to children’s book illustrations.


Dave lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Sharon. They spend as much time as they can afford traveling and eating.



Todd ``WAD`` Clough's People

Todd recently retired from the Denver Inner City Parish after 30 years as the CEO and Head of School of La Academia, a private school for at risk youth.


He created Wad Art 40 years ago as both a painter and a sculptor.  His work is currently showing in numerous galleries, including a permanent gallery space at the Denver Art Society.  His work is done without judgment, it is primal and full of spunk and energy with a dash of space for the hell of it.

Upon retirement he moved to a ranch on the North Fork of the South Platte River near Shawnee, Colorado where he is a fly fishing guide, artist, and happily attends to two dogs, three feral barn cats, eight chickens, and lots of trout.

January Artist


Kenneth Trujillo

Ken Trujillo is a fine art and commercial photographer who specializes in capturing the beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful aspects of people and the world.

He is a Colorado native, has two daughters and a love of music, words, and life. His personal story has continued to influence his outlook, his inspiration and ultimately his art.  His current work is a journey of transcendence to accept and adapt to change. Events of loss, heartache, and a new beginnings were what spurred the evolution of his fine art, abstract photography.

“There is a beautiful way to shoot even the ugliest of things.” –Hillary Fryer

This quote came from a dear friend and set Ken on a journey to find beauty in the everyday of life, the simple, the plain, even the mundane and discarded. His art represents the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, the beauty of imperfection, transience and impermanence.  Ken photographs fragments of everyday life that no one notices and exposes their inherent beauty.

His technique involves the uncovering of the colors and detail from the inner depths of the original images in vipaśyanā, Sanskrit in the Buddhist tradition for insight into the true nature of reality.  He often uses poetry, quotes or lyrics to convey his interpretation of each piece in relationship to life.




February Artist

Tanis Bula Internationally acclaimed watercolorist

“I’m an internationally collected watercolor painter. I have exhibited my work in one-woman shows, juried events and corporate and gallery venues around Colorado, and have been featured in Water-color magazine. I have also exhibited and sold paintings in Europe and Japan. My work is included in corporate and individual collections. I was one of three American watercolorists selected for indi-vidual shows in Japan, and I traveled there several years to meet with buyers and sign my paintings. It was so much fun to meet the people of Japan. I have painted in France, Italy, Portugal, Japan, the Caribbean, and Mexico. I was the owner of an award-winning graphic design firm in Denver where we created brochures and packaging for various clients. So I started taking workshops around the country and decided my new passion was watercolor painting. Soon enough recognition allowed me to turn to painting full-time. Painting is a calling to my studio in my home each day – when wondering what to do next, I think “Oh good, I can paint”. I am expecially aware of light and shadow, allowing me to paint what I see into a graphic painting probably because of my graphic background and training. I have painted a variety of subjects including landscapes from Colorado and Europe. I love to travel in Europe and take pho-tos – a wonderful painting around every corner! I am probably best known for my iris paintings both large and small. Iris have a such incredible softness that translates into watercolor painting. I studied at Iowa State University for a Bachelor of Science degree and the Kansas City Art Institute when I worked at Hallmark Cards as a package designer. I have participated in and taught numer-ous workshops, both nationally and internationally. I would like to see watercolor gain more stature as a painting medium as it seems to have a hard time competing with oil paintings.”


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