Join us February 1 for the art opening for 3 of Denver’s best upcoming artists: Rochelle Johnson, Juliette Hemingway, Christine Fontenot.
To me, art is about gathering data and recording expressed moments that capture the essence of a scene. While I am primarily a figurative artist, I am increasingly interested in the play of abstract geometric forms that begin a painting. I use shape, value and color to expose the emotion and energy of my subject matter.
I grew up in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the heart of Denver and would continually watch how people interacted with one another, in good ways and bad. My paintings are stories of urban people; their struggles and joys, their emotions and their humanity. My work can be as simple as a portrait that captures the spirit of the sitter, or a street scene where a homeless person gathers their thoughts before their next move.
The art happens when the subject unites with form and color to convey feeling in a way that transcends representationalism—where a painting gives a real sense of person and place.
Contemporary Expressions Statement
The Contemporary Expressions series grew from an exploration of color: what it says about our feelings and what it signifies about ourselves. This work has its roots in my representational paintings of urban life. As both an artist and a woman of color, I’ve longed to see the beauty that was all around me represented in art, but found that cultural beauty norms are still the norm in painting, too. I chose blue to be a new skin color for all races to see if what was left wasn’t the representation of black people or brown people or white people ect., but just people.
Art, Autism & Music
Juliette’s work is indicative of a path that has been traveled to wellness and healing. There is not only the theme of music, but also the blue people who are ever present in her work. The blue people represent the acknowledgment of Autism as part of her life. Javari, her only child, is autistic and it has had an enormous impact on their lives. So therefore, it is the same in her art.
When Javari was a toddler, he didn’t talk much. And when he did it was a series of incoherent words. But even as a toddler Javari would draw. He would meticulously create his pieces with such focus and determination. As he grew older it became a way of communication for them. It was very organic how the process unfolded and apparent that this was the way to see into his world.
There was no a game plan. It wasn’t as purposed as one would think. It was a natural path for them to take and since he was very adamant about his love of drawing Juliette insisted it was incorporated in his academic plan. They started using it as a way to get him to speak, to be more social and interact with classmates. Fortunate for them they found the key to unlock his world early on.
The purpose of Juliette’s art wasn’t always apparent. For a long time she didn’t speak on the reason for her blue people. Only recently did she start speaking about it publicly and is grateful for the support she has received. Juliette’s hope that it allows others to find their voice as well. You are not alone.
Christine Fontenot is a representational oil painter who explores light an color relationships across the genres of portraiture, figure, floral, and still-life. She endeavors to create works that are both accessible and worthy representations of the honest beauty she finds in her subjects.
A native of Colorful Colorado, her artistic gift was discovered and encouraged by her parents at an early age. From private study with local artist Sally Bartalot throughout her childhood, to joining the Art Students League in 2004, she has a thirst for artistic knowledge and a lifelong love of art.
Referring to her art education as ‘self-managed,’ she feels blessed to be able to learn from and study with wonderfully talented artists such as Mitch Caster, Mark Daily, Ron Hicks, and Jane Jones. Committed to lifelong learning, her most recent studies include sculpting workshops with Yenni Tewahade, and painting workshops with Clayton Beck, Michael Godfrey and Daniel Sprick. Her work has been well received in local group and solo exhibitions. Her paintings are in collections throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Music by Exum-Hancock Collaboration
which is a trio of friends who are skilled musicians independently, but when they come together, create a musical experience that is simply elegant.
Stephanie Hancock (vocalist), Mike Chipman (piano) and Tony Exum Jr (Saxophonist)
We believe Live Jazz should be as accessible as possible. As always there is no cover charge.
5% of all art sales are donated to the charity of choice of the artists. These artists have chosen Denver Urban Gardens.